House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a colossal mistake by moving forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump – but that fact will only become crystal clear when Trump wins reelection in November of next year.
Pelosi’s political “genius” can be questioned on that point alone, but we don’t believe for a minute that she would have called for impeachment if she didn’t believe she at least had the votes to put it through the full House. So we’re skeptical that moderate defectors will humiliate her when the vote comes up next week.
Even so, reports have it that there will at least be a few Democrats to vote against impeachment…or at least abstain.
“House Democratic leaders are bracing for some defections among a group of moderate Democrats in swing districts who are concerned a vote to impeach President Trump could cost them their seats in November,” reported the Washington Post on Wednesday. “Lawmakers and senior aides are privately predicting they will lose more than the two Democrats who opposed the impeachment inquiry rules package in late September, according to multiple officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly. Two senior Democratic aides said the total could be as many as a half-dozen, while a third said the number could be higher.”
It is bad enough that Democrats could muster no bipartisan support whatsoever for this impeachment vote. Literally zero Republicans are expected to join the majority. The best they can do is the now-insane Rep. Justin Amash, who has left the Freedom Caucus and the Republican Party behind. So they are moving forward with an impeachment where they not only lack any GOP support, they can’t even get their entire caucus on board. How much more obvious can it get that this is a partisan, shambolic strike against democracy?
According to the Post, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership has said that they won’t try to whip the votes ahead of the impeachment roll call, which either speaks to their confidence or to the possibility that they are actually hoping for defeat. They can only afford to lose 19 Democrats, and there are more than 30 districts where Dems are holding seats in Trump-favored areas. It’s hard to imagine that Pelosi would want to see this vote go down in flames, but in the end it might be preferable to sending impeachment to the Senate, where its death will undoubtedly be even more painful.
Our overwhelming bet is that impeachment will pass the House relatively easily. But that won’t change the fact that this is a political and strategic blunder that could very well cost Pelosi the majority next November…in addition to costing Democrats any shot they might have had of taking back the White House.