As I sat and thought for way too long trying to figure out
why in the world Nancy Pelosi conducted that ridiculous delay on submitting the
articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate, I batted around a
number of potential ideas:
- Pelosi didn’t want to do this in the first place because she thinks it is going to hurt Democrats in the upcoming election, so she was trying to find a way to stop it from going on without getting blasted by radicals in her own party. Casting Republican Senate leaders as the bad guys who wouldn’t play fair could potentially pull that off.
- Pelosi knew there was no way that the Senate would convict Trump and so she was trying to hold out until perhaps Democrats could take over the Senate in November. If Trump was not re-elected, it’s a non-issue; if he was, and she had a better chance in the Senate, she could submit them then.
- She was worried that Mitch McConnell would schedule the trial to take place in such a fashion that it drug key Democrat presidential candidates off the campaign trail, and thus hurt the party’s chances in November.
All of those ideas have some obvious holes, however. Why had
Pelosi rushed through the impeachment hearings and proceedings only to then sit
on the articles for weeks? If it was a matter of urgency, as she had said
repeatedly, then why so lacking in urgency now? So many questions.
And therefore, maybe the most plausible theory of all is
what Jon Gabriel just posited in a recent op-ed:
The Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary follows on Feb. 11. Likely during both, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will be stuck on Capitol Hill as former vice president Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg barnstorm the early states… The Speaker wants to harm the more left-leaning presidential campaigns.
Why would Pelosi want this? She herself is a leftist, so why
would she oppose the rise of Bernie and Liz Warren? Gabriel explains it’s
because Pelosi isn’t focused on her policy preferences, but on her own power:
Look at it from her perspective. Getting a Democrat into the Oval Office is important, but Pelosi’s priority is to maintain, if not expand, her House majority. She masterfully engineered this in 2018, not by backing leftist candidates, but moderates.
Democrats knocked out Republican after Republican, many in red districts, with talk of pre-existing conditions, not socialist revolution. Most voters want modest improvements, not a tearing-down and rebuilding of society at large… Her delay tactics didn’t make sense as an impeachment strategy. But they make perfect sense if she wants to keep her Speaker’s gavel.
Granted, buying this theory requires me to ascribe to Nancy
Pelosi a degree of cunning and intellect that I’m not completely comfortable
granting her. I wrote recently that I think there’s something wrong with her
mind, and that was only reinforced in her last press conference where she
weaved together this bizarre string of buffoonery:
“As you know,” Pelosi said, “I referenced temporal markers that our founders and our poets and others have used over time to place us in time, to emphasize the importance of time, because everything is about time.”
Huh? You see why I’m hesitant to think such a woman capable
of masterminding a shrewd political power grab.
But there’s one other thing that I’m left thinking about all
this, supposing it’s true. Democrat leaders screwed over their far-left,
Bernie-voting base in 2016. It seemed like through their application of
superdelegates, Bernie would win a primary and Hillary would still grow her
delegate count lead. There was no shortage of angst felt and expressed by the
left at the time, even after Bernie bit the bullet and endorsed the ill-fated
candidacy of the former First Lady.
But doesn’t it appear that they’re doing it again? What if
Democrat leaders are preying on the far left’s unhinged hatred for Trump by
agreeing to impeach him only so they can then coordinate the trial to harm the
At this point, it’s as probable a theory as any. And if it’s
true, maybe it’s time for liberals to stop whining about how Republican efforts
to remove dead and unregistered people from voting rolls is disenfranchising
voters. It seems their own Democrat party may just be way ahead in that