America is the midst of a one-sided faux impeachment standoff. The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has done an impeachment vote… in a rush. There were expressions of great urgency and charges of great import. But apparently the charges were not actually important enough to put to paper or to actually convey to the Senate for trial.
You can judge the consistency of the words and actions for yourself.
The big idea
Now the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader have drawn firm lines in the sand. Soon we’ll understand better what is going on soon. Pelosi has no standing to dictate the terms of a Senate trial. She has zero constitutional right, nor does she have a political position. What she has is an embarrassment. Why has she put herself in a position that will end with her surrendering to McConnell?
Time magazine has an opinion piece attempting to shed some light on the thought process. One of the interesting aspects of the piece is Pelosi has gotten the bright idea from Nixon’s former White House lawyer, noted felon John Dean. Dean is often portrayed as a patriotic, whistleblowing impeachment expert. He definitely planned the Watergate coverup. Then he informed on everyone he conspired with after they were caught.
His expertise is cashing in on criminality for the past 50 years. Did Pelosi rely on Dean’s advice? Surely Pelosi wasn’t browbeaten into doing so by talking heads on America’s least popular cable news network. Whatever you make of the case against President Donald Trump, it’s very difficult to argue that this impeachment effort by the House has been effective. Pelosi realizes impeachment was a mistake.
The steps to Hades
We have seen two emergency impeachment hearings. There was a one-sided pretend standoff. The coverage from the media has been massive, supportive of and cooperative with the leftist politicians. Yet, poll numbers have not budged. If anything, they may even have edged in Trump’s favor.
Reading Time’s version of the story, Pelosi has micromanaged every step of this process. Maybe… but Pelosi realizes impeachment was a mistake. She doesn’t want the president to be able to tell voters the Senate heard the case and reached an acquittal. That’s I’m innocent, in spades and in your face.
There was only one way to mitigate the damage. Pelosi undertook a ham-handed effort to attack the Senate trial. The hope: to dampen, or circumvent, the inevitable moment. A Trump acquittal in the Senate; as will undoubtedly happen.
Leaving McConnell the high ground
In the process, Pelosi destroyed the justification for rushing impeachment in the first place. From the beginning, both Nadler and Schiff did argue Trump’s tenure in office was a national emergency. Their position was that there is only one way to save the republic from another stolen election. We must move quickly. But they forgot to tell Nancy? I don’t think so…
McConnell took a short break from confirming judges. In that time he informed the House; the Senate would treat the impeachment of Donald Trump the same way it treated the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Shocking, it will follow precedent. It will use the rules package that passed 100-0 in 1998. It is kind of hard to argue with that. Pelosi realizes impeachment was a mistake.
Using Clinton precedent: The Senate will allow both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers to make their case. The Senate will follow with questions. The Pelosi defenders are running out of arguments… at least ones that make logical sense.
The excuses… The results
Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin says acting on the Clinton precedent means moderate Republican senators “will face the real possibility that conclusive evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing will come to light after a sham trial. That would make for a disastrous, humiliating legacy.” The shortcoming of the argument is the House Democrats claim to have conclusive evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing.
First, they claimed they had proof of quid pro quo, but they did not include it in the impeachment articles. Then they claimed they had proof of bribery, but they didn’t include bribery in the impeachment articles. Next, they claimed to have proof in the Mueller report that Trump obstructed justice, yet obstruction of justice is not in the articles of impeachments either. They are long on claims and very short on evidence.
They keep saying we already have definitive proof Trump did commit an impeachable offense. But the truth is: if the House had made a persuasive case, the pressure would be on Republicans. It is not. The House did not make a persuasive case. Not even their charges are well reasoned… unless you are simply blind with hatred. This is the reason Pelosi embraced Dean’s silly idea. The Speaker looks ridiculous with the lit cigar in her mouth. She’s going to be humiliated when it blows up in her face. Boom! Pelosi realizes impeachment was a mistake.