Pelosi's Failed Impeachment Gambit

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Tony Katz

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Pelosi's Failed Impeachment Gambit

Pelosi didn't want impeachment, but she did it anyway. Will she ever recover?

(Alex Wong / Staff/Getty Images)

After a month-long delay, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally decided to hand the Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, proving to America that her gambit to control the Senate proceedings had failed miserably, and that her time as Speaker may be coming to a close.

Pelosi had argued that the trial in the Senate had to be fair, and that until assurance were given, the Article would not be sent. The assurances "demanded" were voiced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who argued that the only way to have a fair trial was if Republicans called witnesses Democrats wanted to hear from, while not calling witnesses Democrats didn't want to hear from. And, if the GOP refused in anyway, well, that was proof of a coverup:

 

If you're afraid of the facts. If you're afraid of what would come out. If you want to cover it up, even in something as weighty and serious  as impeachment, you say no witnesses and no documents. We say, witnesses and documents? Fair trial. No witnesses and no documents? Cover up.

That simple sentence describes it all.

Cocaine Mitch was not moved. Possible defectors, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, sided with Sen. McConnell, and echos of the musical "Hamilton" were heard across The Hill. Pelosi never had leverage, and she knew it. Just like she knew Democrats should never have gone forward with impeachment. In March of 2019, she was clear and unequivocal:

 

“I’m not for impeachment,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a Washington Post interview published Monday. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

But she could not handle the pressure from the new power class of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. And she could not keep at bay the political party she helped create. Americans that were told day in and day out for over two years that President Trump colluded with Russia (spoiler alert: he didn't.) And over the last three-plus years, they were told President Trump  (hell, candidate Trump!) was evil and disgusting and must be destroyed. Him, and anyone associated with him.

Oh. Hi, Justice Kavanaugh!

She warned, counseled, and begged her party to stay away from impeachment. But it wasn't just the new class, and it wasn't just the voters, who felt compelled to walk into this unnecessary insanity. Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler were gleeful to join in; a chance to endear themselves to the new power, and the not-too-distant-future leadership.

And so, Pelosi couldn't resist. She crumbled. She allowed impeachment to occur, and walked away with no charge of any crime, just Obstruction of Congress and Abuse of Power; two nonsense phrases that force Democrats to explain to America what in the world they even mean. And as the adage goes, in politics, if you're explaining, you're losing. And she followed it up with a delay in sending over the articles that made her look weaker.

Put an end to the "Master Legislator" conversation. Cease with the "Tougher Than Trump" talk. Step away from images of Speaker Nancy Pelosi yelling at President Trump and VP Mike Pence and members of the Cabinet as those of a "strong woman." Pelosi is the Master of Nothing. She is not tough. Her strength has been sapped.

She didn't listen to her own advice. She couldn't control her party - both the old school and the new - and she underestimated the blood lust of her creation: the Progressive voter. And between all three, and Trump's possible coattails, the only real victims will be her party's control of the House...and her Speakership.

 

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