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Who is the most devious and calculating Democrat operating out of Washington DC? Some would give the crown to Hillary Clinton, the master manipulator who has wielded the DNC for her own purposes for over five years. Others may point to President Obama, a man who is still squarely involved in swamp politics despite claiming to be out of the game. Elizabeth Warren has proven to be excellent at conniving as she paints and repaints herself based on whatever she thinks will help her achieve her goals. But none of these deranged egomaniacs can hold a candle to the true master of the dark political arts, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
She conspicuously held back on impeachment for months despite calls from the radical progressives in her caucus. Her reasoning? It would divide the nation. She was correct, but she did it anyway. What prompted her change of heart? Nothing. Her heart didn’t change at all. She knew it would divide the country and she pushed forward at her own pace while lying to her colleagues, the media, and the American people. Impeachment was always one of her goals. She just wanted to do it in her terms, which meant waiting for the right opportunity to make it seem reactionary instead of the coup attempt she’s been planning since the results of the 2016 election were announced.
Here was her plan: Step one, obstruct the White House and the Republican majorities on Capitol Hill any way she could in order to position the Democrats to win back control of the House in 2018. Step two, secure the Speaker’s chair at all costs. Step three, begin the search for anything the President did that could be spun into something that resembled impeachment. Step four, pretend like impeachment is the last thing on her mind, even if it meant fighting with her own caucus. Step five, launch an impeachment inquiry as soon as the right piece of dirt landed on her desk. Step six, impeach. Step seven, send to the Senate if she thought she’d made a good case or hold the Articles if the case was weak.
Fox News took a stab at figuring out why she’s withholding the Articles of Impeachment. They listed a baker’s dozen speculations about her motives. Five of them are at least partially accurate. I’ve listed their correct answers here:
Reporter’s Notebook: Why is Pelosi holding the articles of impeachment? DC insiders have some theories
6. Pelosi was waiting for the House to adopt additional articles of impeachment in the coming months – ranging from the president’s tax returns to emoluments. Then she’d send the entire slate of articles of impeachment to the Senate.
8. By holding the articles, Pelosi could dictate when a Senate trial could begin. After all, the Senate is pretty much bound to go through the motions of a trial at least. Perhaps Pelosi could send the articles in the early fall – right before the presidential election.
9. Pelosi has known how to get under Trump’s skin. Consider how Trump talked about how he wandered around alone at the White House last Christmas during the government shutdown. The president said just the other day he wanted a speedy trial. By holding onto the articles, Pelosi could deny the president his most prominent wish – and essentially rent space in Trump’s head. The president thought this would all be done by mid-January. Not now.
11. By stalling the articles in perpetuity, Pelosi could block the president from his chief wish: exoneration by the Senate. Holding the articles could trick Trump into a misstep and thwart him from saying the Senate rebuked what many Republicans called an overreach by the House.
12. By keeping the articles in the House, Pelosi would maintain control, instead of Trump. McConnell wouldn’t have control either. With the articles of impeachment in limbo, everyone else would be off balance – except Pelosi.
We know one thing with an absolute certainty: The one thing that drives her the most is maintaining her position as Speaker of the House. She loves the job more than anything else in this world. She loves the power it bestows on her as arguably the second most powerful politician in the nation. She adores the attention, not just from voters and the media but also from her caucus; she loves feeling like a general in charge of her troops. But most of all, she loves being loved, and the most love she receives from her adoring fans is when she’s operating from the Speaker’s chair.
Before it seems like I’m giving her too much credit, let’s understand that her scheming has been far from perfect. Yes, she was able to secure the House majority based in large part on her actions as well as the press coverage she was able to dictate during the midterm elections. It was clear as day that her talking points were distributed to the media as she played them like a violin. And it worked. But she miscalculated about her ability to keep calm in her caucus thanks in large part to “The Squad.” We saw in her dismissive attitude towards them that she truly believes they are powerless idiots, and with the makeup of the House as it currently is, she’s correct. If she loses a dozen or so seats in 2020, the Justice Democrats’ proxies in her caucus will have much more control.
That’s an even worse scenario than we have today, so I dare not even speculate on “The Squad” swelling to double-digit members and having similar power over legislation as the House Freedom Caucus had during John Boehner’s reign as Speaker. They drove him to retirement with their strict adherence to conservatism. The radicals in “The Squad” would do the same to Pelosi if their votes were necessary to enact legislation.
It’s not enough for Pelosi to lose some seats. She needs to lose the majority in the House so she can be booted from the Speaker’s chair forever. We did it once. We can do it again. This is nearly as important as President Trump winning reelection because his agenda in his second term will be relegated to reliance on temporary executive orders that risk getting stuck in judiciary limbo. We saw what President Obama failed to accomplish in his second term. We must not allow President Trump’s second term to be equally hamstrung by Pelosi. It is of utmost importance that the GOP regain control of the House and retain control of the Senate in 2020.
Pelosi is doing everything she can to stop that from happening, which is ultimately why she’s leveraging the Articles of Impeachment instead of sending them to their death in the Senate. She needs attention to be focused on her as the wielder of power for as long as possible. By withholding the Articles, she’s still calling the shots. The moment she releases them, she becomes insignificant. She’s going to milk this for as long as it’s politically expedient, and that may be indefinitely. As we can see by today’s top stories on Google News, they’re still highlighting impeachment a week after the vote.
But holding onto attention with the current Articles in not her ideal situation. She wants more than just the attention she gets from dangling them in front of a furious President and impotent Senate Majority Leader. She’s buying her team time to dig up more dirt, to win battles in the courts, and to start the impeachment process all over again with new charges. By her calculations, she can keep herself in the forefront for months as impeachment drags on, dividing the country even further along the way.
Impeachment helped her make her case to retain her position. But if an upstart member of caucus launches a serious push to have her abdicate in 2021 (in the event the Democrats hold their majority), getting this impeachment done won’t be enough to stop the pressure. She needs a much bigger win and she believes overseeing more impeachment inquiries to pile on top of each other is her best chance of staving off anyone seeking her chair.
Nancy Pelosi is a politician’s politician, the queen of all liars, and a person whose every action is dedicated to extending her time in the Speaker’s chair. If America is harmed in the process, she’s okay with that. She just wants to hold the gavel.
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