Even as the Democrats continue to incrementally gain the upper hand over Donald Trump by the day, to hear a lot of folks tell it, the Democrats have lost and Trump is now Emperor and the sky is falling and the world is over. The doomsday histrionics are out of control. So let’s take a moment and look at the actual facts, and what’s really going on here.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave an interview this morning in which she said that Donald Trump is trying to goad her into impeaching him. She’s right, of course. Even Trump can look at the numbers and see that, as things now stand, he’s on track to lose the 2020 election in a historic blowout. He knows the upheaval of impeachment would shake things up, and while it would probably work against him, there’s a small chance it could work in his favor.
Specifically, Trump knows that the best shot of making it work in his favor is he can goad Pelosi into declaring impeachment right now – before the key impeachment witnesses like Robert Mueller and Don McGahn have testified – because then he can spin the entire process as being overtly partisan. Yes, Trump is deranged, but he’s repeatedly shown that he does understand strategy. So does Pelosi, and she knows that the best chance of impeachment working in her favor is if she keeps nay-saying it until after the key witnesses go on television and make the case for her.
All of the above is straightforward, simple, and obvious to those who have even a basic understanding of how leverage and winning work. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks out there who are too overcome with emotion, fear, and rage. Instead of rooting for Pelosi’s winning strategy, they’re demanding that impeachment happen right this second. They can’t make a coherent argument for why it has to happen this second, or why it would work out positively for their side. They’re simply reduced to yelling things – including utterly asinine and extremely harmful things like calling for Pelosi’s resignation because she’s not foaming at the mouth like they are.
This kind of indiscriminate foaming at the mouth ends up unwittingly working in Nancy Pelosi’s favor, of course. She’s playing it this way because she wants as much public demand for impeachment to build as possible before she starts using that word, as it’ll give it the best chance of playing out well for her side. And she couldn’t care less what her own side thinks of her on any given day, because she’s only interested in delivering them results in the end, and not stopping to coddle them along the way.
Donald Trump is completely and criminally out of control – but that’s been the case all along. Meanwhile, Trump’s side is falling apart. William Barr is meeting with the House Judiciary Committee today to beg them not to hold him in contempt of Congress tomorrow. The Trump White House told Don McGahn he’s not legally allowed to turn over certain documents, but it’s not even trying to stop him from testifying, because there is no possible way to stop McGahn from testifying.
We are in dangerous times. But for the moment, the biggest danger comes from the possibility that the Resistance implodes on itself because it’s too rattled to follow along with how Nancy Pelosi is winning this battle. Impeachment is coming. That’s a 100% given. Considering that Mueller is set to testify next week, and McGahn the week after, the impeachment process is actually moving very quickly, even though that word is still not being used. For the moment, everyone needs to take a deep breath. Pelosi is kicking Trump’s butt up and down the beltway – but you’ll only be able to see it if you’re not hyperventilating.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report