Playing the Long Game

12 March 2019


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Pelosi "Not For" Impeachment, Unless


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made some news yesterday when she announced that she was not for the impeachment of President Trump. She did not say she opposed it, however, which is a different thing. What she wants to do, rather than dash headlong into an impeachment procedure that will result in acquittal in the Senate, is let the Trump administration bungle its positions so badly that the election of 2020 resolves the entire matter with the election of a Democrat.

What she said verbatim as reported in the Washington Post was, "I'm not for impeachment. This is news. I'm going to give you some news right now because I haven't said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I've been thinking about this: 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."

The most important word in that paragraph is "unless." She has not taken impeachment off the table. She has merely pointed out that there is not enough public pressure to turn 20 GOP Senators against Mr. Trump, the bare minimum needed to secure a 2/3 majority to convict the president. One recalls the Watergate affair in this regard. There was not sufficient support to remove President Nixon until the release of the tapes on which he was caught giving the order to lie to the FBI investigating the burglary and tell the agency that they had stumbled onto a CIA operation. Once there was a smoking gun in the public domain, his firewall in the Senate was breached.

This journal believes there is more than enough evidence to remove the president right now. What this journal believes does not move a single Senator, however. The Mueller Report may not even provide such evidence. The investigations conducted by the Southern District of New York may not uncover it. And yesterday's announced investigation by the New York Attorney-General may not find such proof.

Absent such proof, an impeachment attempt will fail, and Mr. Trump will pose as vindicated when the Senate fails to remove him. Running as a martyr, he might win re-election.

Taking a more patient approach, Speaker Pelosi has put impeachment on the back-burner until after the 2020 election. It is clearly preferable for the electorate to dump the president rather than to have him removed by legislative action. Her move puts that mechanism in the forefront. Not even the biggest pro-Trump faction can argue against that. And if he is re-elected, the Democrats can still impeach if they choose.

That does not mean that the investigations into Mr. Trump are at an end. Indeed, they become an open-ended source of campaign ads and viral internet videos. For more than a year-and-a-half, the Democrats in the House can grill witnesses live on TV and ask embarrassing questions. Having not had any Congressional supervision for the last two years, the White House is woefully unprepared for this. Even under the best of circumstances, this administration is unable to stick to a script, and under pressure, it has shown no ability at all to cope. 

The plan, and it is a well-proven one, is to cripple the president's re-election bid by shining a light on his administration's bungling ineptitude. More arrests are likely as are more convictions and plea deals. The Democrats will have to select a plausible and exciting candidate, but winning the White House against a president whose shortcomings are on TV day and night is easier than beating a man whom the Senate failed to convict after a House impeachment.

© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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