As she prepares to finally send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate, where they are destined to die an unceremonious death, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to suggest that regardless of Trump’s forthcoming exoneration, she has scored an immense political victory.
Despite winning exactly zero concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell through her ill-advised decision to withhold the impeachment articles for several weeks, Pelosi was patting herself on the back this weekend in an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.
“This president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said. “He will be impeached forever.”
Well yes, that was a foregone conclusion the moment the House voted on these articles a month ago, but it isn’t the stain on Trump’s presidency that Pelosi seems to believe it is. Had she managed to secure even a single Republican vote for impeachment, perhaps that calculation would be different. Had she convinced a majority of the American public that Trump deserved to be thrown out of office, her statement might carry some weight. But since Trump was impeached in a party line vote and since the articles of impeachment themselves decline to enumerate any crimes committed, we could just as easily say: “House Democrats have befouled the concept of impeachment forever.”
It’s just as true, and it’s much more relevant, politically.
Having impeached Trump on the flimsiest excuse for “wrongdoing” that has ever graced the halls of the House is no accomplishment, and it’s certainly no kind of victory. It is only made worse by the fact that everyone knows that Democrats were looking for this impeachment from the first day of Trump’s presidency. It is only made worse by the fact that he is staring at certain acquittal in the Senate. It is only made worse by the fact that Democrats only pursued this avenue because they have no confidence in their 2020 lineup.
A victory? Not hardly. But we’re sure that “impeached for life” will haunt Trump in his nightmare for the next four years.
You know, the years he’ll be spending in the presidential suite of the White House.