Conservative politicians and journalists have been questioning Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s actions and motives throughout the impeachment ordeal. After over three weeks of political jockeying over what the House can tell the Senate to do, some progressive politicians have started question Pelosi’s strategy as well. Now, she is finally ready to send the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate. This comes after a clear answer to her own question. The House can’t tell the Senate to do anything.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza acknowledged the severity of the Speaker’s mistake.
What Pelosi seemed to, uh, underestimate is the extent to which the Senate, by its very nature, resists being told what to do in any way, shape or form. While it is easy to lay all of that on McConnell, the truth of the matter is that the Senate has never liked being told what to do by the House. And the House has never liked being told what to do by the Senate. Each body views itself as an independent fiefdom, governed by its own rules and codes of conduct. The idea of one chamber telling the other what to do is simply anathema — no matter which party is in charge of each.
That, plus McConnell’s remarkable ability to keep his 53 Republican senators in line, led to Pelosi being left holding not much of a hand. The move she announced Tuesday is the equivalent of throwing her hand in, understanding that what she was holding was, in a word, dreck.
Dreck, indeed. Cillizza was much nicer to Pelosi than she deserves after mucking this up so badly. As our EIC noted, she had tons of momentum following the House hearings and votes on the Articles. Even though there were defectors, she claimed she didn’t whip the caucus, meaning the overall support from vulnerable Democrats in Trump districts was mostly organic. Mainstream media was on her side. The people were ready to get the trial started shortly after the new decade started, but even at that point poll showed many had already become fatigued and disinterested.
She waited at least a week longer than she should have. Had she sent them over once the new session began, nobody would have blinked. But instead, she let it fester. This was a critical mistake, one that may cost her the chair she cherishes whether Democrats retain control of the House or not in November.
The spin game has been going on since last week. Pelosi says she had a plan and it worked as more people are aware that the White House is withholding witnesses and documents, but that’s a weak argument since Senator Chuck Schumer and his team would have made that crystal clear if her impeachment managers didn’t. It’s noteworthy that even her closest allies in Congress are silent about the failed strategy. Pelosi is stuck trying to spin it on her own.
House Minority Leader offered an interesting conspiracy theory:
This is the dirty little secret that nobody is talking about: Remember how the Dem Party cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination last time? Now they're at it again.
By withholding articles of impeachment from the Senate, Speaker Pelosi is hurting Bernie and helping Biden. pic.twitter.com/DCqfA7DHer
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) January 12, 2020
Did Nancy Pelosi withhold the articles to benefit Joe Biden? When left-leaning journalists like Chris Cillizza are calling her delay tactics a mistake, it should make us question her motivations. Then again, it may make perfect sense to the Democratic Establishment.