As I watched the Republicans’ strategy of confusion, lies, and misrepresentations during the impeachment hearings I worried that everyday Americans might not know what to believe. Therefore, I considered what I thought the Democrats should do to counter Republican conspiracy theories. I wrote the following letter to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer outlining what I thought the they should do to counter act the misinformation Republicans are spreading.
I admit this is not my best literary work but I was in a hurry and just wanted to get my thinking to them.
December 23, 2019
Speaker of the House of Representatives
90 7th Street – Suite 2-800
San Francisco, CA 94103
Minority Leader of the US Senate
Leo O’Brien Building, Room 420
Albany, NY 12207
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer:
I strongly support the impeachment of President Trump. I think through the testimony of professional, courageous, and patriotic fact witnesses you have proven that the President has abused the power of his office and has obstructed the Congress in its investigation of the case. However, the Republicans’ strategy of confusion, misrepresentations, pure lies, and attempts to switch blame to the Bidens has been effective in leaving many Americans uncertain about what to believe.
You need to turn that around. It seems to me that you need to become much more aggressive in pressing your case. I recommend the following to reclaim the initiative:
1) Immediately ask every Democratic legislator who appears on any media outlet to talk about the sheer volume of bipartisan bills passed by the House this year but held up in the Senate. Also have them talk about specific bipartisan bills important to working Americans that McConnell will not allow to come to the floor. The two of you should also deliver the same message frequently and identify specific legislation that the people want out of the Senate every time. Use the media the way the Republicans do to get your message across – repeat! repeat! repeat!
2) Hold a very public press conference where the two of you stand together and announce your willingness to subpoena witnesses Republicans want to testify (except the whistleblower) in the Senate trial in exchange for the testimony of those Senator Schumer has already identified. Alert the press that a major impeachment announcement is coming a day or two ahead. That will build public interest and attention. At the press conference you ought to make the point that you consider the Bidens’ activities unrelated to the charges against the President, but that you are willing to open the door for them to be subpoenaed so Republicans can see its irrelevance.
The object of item 1 should be to erode McConnell’s credibility as a Senate leader working for the people. Republicans continue to claim that the House is getting nothing done because it spends all of its time on impeachment. I hear that on the street every single day. You need to get the facts out and repeat them every time you speak. Make McConnell the bad guy. The Republicans and the President have been particularly effective at beating their drum continuously and making people believe their mantra, or at least be concerned about your focus and motives.
The objective of item 2 is to demonstrate that you truly want all the relevant facts out for Americans to hear and consider. I am a fan of Joe Biden. I think he is an honest guy. But you need to face the fact that the Bidens created an opening for Republicans to exploit and therefore they must help clean it up. Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian work while his father was VP doesn’t look good to the average American, at least the way the Republicans describe it. If they did nothing wrong, which I expect, then they should be able to testify credibly, honestly, and factually. That should put Americans’ fears of a Democratic coverup to rest.
Most Americans seem to already believe that witnesses should testify in the Senate trial. You need to exploit that; you will appear more sincere in your efforts to get to the whole truth if you yield to Republican demands for their witnesses in exchange for yours.
Currently McConnell has the power and seems unwilling to call any witnesses. You need a substantial shift in public opinion to change his mind. You have nothing to lose by pressing the issue and calling the Republicans’ and President’s bluff. If they agree to witnesses we will all win. You will be able to hear testimony of witnesses under oath who have direct knowledge of the President’s behavior. If the President and/or Republicans won’t agree then you will have taken the political high ground in the public mind. That may influence some vulnerable Republican Senators to vote for witnesses. And whether you get the witnesses or not, or even change public opinion, you may very well drive a wedge between Trump and McConnell. That can only be good.
L. Mark Mathys
340 W. Goodale Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
864 378 4811