Politics with Amy Walter: Quid Pro Quo My God

October 04, 2019

Player utilities

This week, new information about President Trump’s interactions with foreign governments have rattled Washington, D.C. 

While the White House works on beating back the impeachment inquiry, members of Congress are home in their districts checking in with constituents. This task might prove difficult for those representing districts that have supported the president in the past, like Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria from Virginia.

Representative Luria joined Politics with Amy Walter to discuss why she decided to support the impeachment inquiry and the response she's received from constituents in a district that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. 

DC-based reporters Yamiche Alcindor of PBS and MSNBC and Rachael Bade of The Washington Post contextualize the ongoing impeachment proceedings. Tim Alberta from Politico chronicles the transformation of the Republican Party and historian Timothy Naftali demonstrates the role of bipartisanship during past impeachments. 

Amy's Final Take

This week, we also got our first polls taken since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House was starting a formal impeachment inquiry. Here’s what they show: Even as support for impeachment has grown, opinions about how the president is doing his job are virtually unchanged. In other words, as we’ve seen over the last 2 plus years, voters are pretty locked into how they feel about this president and there’s nothing that has been able to alter that. 

This is different from what we saw back during the Nixon impeachment. Back then, as support for impeachment rose, Nixon’s approval rating dropped. While support for impeaching Trump is basically at the same point it was with Nixon in 1974, Trump’s job approval rating is 41 percent Nixon’s was just 25 percent.  It is a testament to just how much more polarized the electorate is today than it was 45 years ago. And, a reminder that even as more and more information about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine are revealed — much of it is getting to Americans through partisan, biased filters like social media and cable news - making it harder and harder for any sort of ‘consensus’ to be found either among members of Congress - or the electorate. 

And, we end up where we’ve been all along. A divided country, more deeply and firmly entrenched than ever. And, those who aren’t as politically engaged or aligned, struggling to make sense of it all.

Opening music: I Think Like Midnight