Mitch McConnell is bluffing

With Speaker Pelosi and the House preparing to move forward with an emergency high speed impeachment, it’s raised questions about what Mitch McConnell will do in response. Now he’s announced tonight that he won’t allow any impeachment trial to begin prior to January 20th. But here’s the thing.

Everything in politics is a negotiation. Mitch McConnell always begins such negotiations by taking what he would like to have happen, and announcing it as if it’s definitely going to happen. His goal is always to make you think that he’s already won right out of the gate, so you won’t fight him on it. If you fall for it, he automatically wins. But if you point out that he can’t simply and magically do whatever he wants, then he has to fall back to some more realistic position.

In this instance, Mitch McConnell doesn’t have the leverage to just run out the clock on impeachment. He’s sitting on the thinnest of Senate majorities, 50-48 (which could be 50-50 within a week), and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is already publicly calling for Trump’s ouster. So no, McConnell could end up being forced into holding an impeachment trial by some of his own GOP members.

  

The key, as always, is to not let McConnell fool you into thinking he’s already won before the battle has begun. If we call out the fact that he doesn’t have the ability to unilaterally prevent an impeachment trial from happening, then he can’t keep sticking to that imaginary position.

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