Say what you want about Nancy Pelosi’s politics, but she’s currently one of the most skilled parliamentarians in the country. Which is why the timing of the Democrats’ decision to pull the impeachment trigger was somewhat puzzling, to me anyway. What purpose could it possibly serve? What was the endgame? Was it simply a matter of caving to the pressure of the base, or do Pelosi and the congressional Democrats really think they have a shot at removing President Trump from office?
I confess that thoughts like these have percolated in my mind throughout the impeachment inquiry. That is until the statement by Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, nearly six hours into the proceedings on Nov. 21:
“The warm-up band is over, and now we’re going on to the main event and that’s in the U.S. Senate, and in the U.S. Senate there won’t be secret testimony,” he said. “There’s not going to be a chairman that refuses to let us ask appropriate questions or deny a defense … so we’ll finally be able to get to the truth. So I’m talking to my colleagues in the Senate -- these are some of the witnesses that you need to call and these are some of the questions that you need to ask.” Stewart then launched into a litany of leads he said the Senate investigation should follow.
That’s when epiphany struck.
A lengthy, drawn-out Senate trial is precisely what Nancy Pelosi wants. Why? Because her decision to green-light the impeachment inquiry when she did had little to do with removing President Trump from office and everything to do with preventing an unelectable, far-left Democrat from securing the party’s presidential nomination.
Think about it. Pelosi isn’t stupid. She knows that the radical Democrats haven’t a hope in hell of beating President Trump in a general election. And who are the popular Democratic candidates leading the party’s electorally suicidal lurch to the left? Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. That’s right, senators. Pelosi is unlikely to be a fan of Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker — equally unelectable candidates who are drawing media attention and donor dollars away from potentially viable competitors.
A lengthy impeachment trial in the Senate could compromise these senators’ hopes of securing the Democratic Party nomination. Such a trial would undoubtedly drag well into the primary season, and Sanders, Warren, and the rest of their Senate pals would have a hard time explaining to voters on the campaign trail why they are shirking their responsibilities during such significant and important proceedings.
Warren has already said that she would return to the Senate and fulfill her duties. In addition to recognizing their poor electoral prospects, Pelosi dislikes and distrusts her party’s radical left wing, so the idea of her conspiring with the pro-establishment, capitalist-friendly wing to sink their candidacies isn’t entirely far-fetched. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Democrats tried to rig their primaries.
It also explains why, just as the House impeachment inquiry was wrapping up, Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg, two arch-globalist, pro-Wall Street liberals, just happened to declare their candidacies for the Democratic nomination (and why Sanders and Warren, who also aren’t stupid, made such strong public statements against them). Well played, Nancy. Well played.
Pelosi’s manipulation of events even ensures that she’ll come out ahead regardless of how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell structures the impeachment trial in the upper chamber. McConnell can either move to dismiss the impeachment charges right away, or conduct a full trial to show the public that Republicans take the process seriously. If he chooses the first option, Pelosi can accuse Republicans of politicizing the matter. If he chooses the second option, he’ll be undermining the candidacies of some of the most easily beatable Democrats in the 2020 field.
The more I think about Pelosi’s parliamentary prowess, not to mention her barely concealed contempt for the neo-communists in her ranks, the more sense this all makes. Pelosi’s decision to launch the impeachment inquiry when she did wasn’t designed to knock Trump out of the presidential race, but to create a space for an establishment Democrat to enter the contest and secure the nomination.
This is why Mitch McConnell, though there will surely be hell to pay with the mainstream media, must do the exact opposite of what Chris Stewart and many Republicans desire and end the impeachment charade as quickly as possible once it reaches the Senate. If current polling trends are accurate, doing so would increase the odds that the Democrats get stuck with an unelectable, far-left candidate, thus helping Trump’s quest for a second term.
The longer impeachment proceedings drag on in the Senate, the more they affect the Democrats’ primary process, and the better the chances that they can avoid nominating a candidate who will ensure their defeat before the general election even begins.