Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sure caught a lucky break today when Republican Congressman Justin Amash called for impeachment proceedings to begin against Donald Trump. It makes it a lot easier for Pelosi and the House Democrats to move forward with impeachment now that they have a sliver of bipartisan cover. But did Pelosi really get lucky at all?
I would argue that this wasn’t luck, and Nancy Pelosi simply knows what she’s doing. Maybe she had a heads-up from Justin Amash that he was eventually going to make this announcement, and maybe she didn’t. But it was easy to see this kind of thing coming. Amash is a Republican from such a moderate district, he gains points back home by doing this. As far as the timing, consider that the Flynn bombshell just made clear where this is heading, and the Mueller and McGahn hearings over the next two weeks are about to put it over the top. Do you really think Pelosi wasn’t are that some House Republican from a moderate district would jump on the opportunity to “beat” her to the impeachment punch? She won today by not saying it before Amash did.
Pelosi keeps saying that she wants to wait on impeachment until the evidence is there. But even as she says this, she keeps moving forward with an impeachment strategy – she simply isn’t calling it that. If she announced tomorrow that impeachment has begun, it would largely consist of the same slow process we’re seeing now: subpoena battles in court and carefully scheduled hearings. In fact, if Pelosi were calling it “impeachment” right now, Trump would boast that the necessarily slow and complex process was a sign that the Democrats had nothing on him.
Even as opportunist pundits and confused observers within the Resistance continue to yell and scream at Nancy Pelosi for not waving a magic wand at Donald Trump – or whatever it is they think they want her to be doing – the reality is that this process keeps tilting more heavily in her favor. When it comes to taking Donald Trump down, everything is lining up just as any realist with an understanding of the process would hope. Either Pelosi just keeps getting lucky, to the point that she should run out and buy lottery tickets, or – spoiler alert – she really does know what she’s doing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report