Adam Schiff

 (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP)

The shift to ‘’Bribery’’ is a calculated move, but it adds up to invalidating the Democrat formula.

In her weekly press conference yesterday Nancy Pelosi answered a question about the impeachment inquiry. ‘‘This is not about Democrats,’’ she explained, ‘’this is for the American people. This is about Patriotism, it’s not about politics.’’ She then went on to describe some of the testimony from Wednesday but did so with a notable shift in the language.

In referencing the testimonies from that day she brought up ‘The President’s own appointee describing bribery.’’ That is a significant change from ‘’quid pro quo’’, and Pelosi’s usage here officially alters what had been the very thrust of this entire impeachment imbroglio. This suddenly sharp pivot in language from one term to another in the matter of a day reveals much about the Democrat effort to remove the President.

It shows they are not on firm footing with their accusations. It also disproves Pelosi’s claim of this not being political and, most revealing, it shows a rampant contradiction within their own argument.

Wednesday evening, just ahead of Nancy’s presser, I was a fill-in host on a talk show on KLRN where I discussed a number of attributes of the impeachment, with one factor being the constant shift in the language used by Adam Schiff throughout this proceeding. He initially noted (then dropped) President Trump threatened the Ukrainian President 8 times. He has called for transparency, then hidden his whistleblower. He has said the whistleblower needs to address Congress but now hides them from any questioning.

Even on the matter of the quid pro quo Schiff has been incapable of consistency. It was alleged early in the narrative, then Schiff abruptly said a quid pro quo was no longer needed for impeachment to go forward after the phone call transcripts came out. Later they massaged the interpretation of the call to make a quid pro quo claim valid anew, but now we have moved away from the charge once again, with ‘’bribery’’ becoming the operative allegation.

This ever-moving target would completely undermine any legitimate inquiry, but a derangement in D.C. precludes any legitimacy in politics. Impeachment should be rooted in foundational activities that warrant an inquiry on whether criminal acts justify a punishment. This is instead a quest to see if they can discover if any wrongdoing took place. They are not looking into actionable behavior, they are looking for it. That absolutely defines how this is in fact all about politics.

There are sound reasons why the Democrats have altered their language, while keeping their narrative intact. For one, they have seen that the quid pro quo charge cannot be established without very fluid interpretations of events. Secondly, the word ‘’bribery’’ is actually in the Constitution, and seemingly justifies their foundering quid pro quo approach. One other reason behind this alteration in their verbiage: it sounds better with their voting base. That’s accurate. The completely non-political and totally patriotic investigation is based on what polling data shows people respond to favorably.

It says everything about the hollow nature of this inquiry that the push for impeachment is not rooted in provable activity but on what makes a focus respond better. Nothing at all political about this, correct Mrs. Pelosi?

But this change in tack is also a major problem for the Democrat argument. While the bribery option has been in discussion for about a week or so the main arguments heard on The Hill have still centered on the quid pro quo allegation. Much of the questioning we heard from Democrats on Wednesday were focused on whether President Trump had withheld military aid to Ukraine. This is in direct opposition to their central argument.

Bribery entails the attempt to induce someone to behave a certain way with a payment. The Democrats all along have said that Trump has violated his office because he withheld the aid to Ukraine. This means that within the timeframe of one day they moved from saying that they needed to impeach because President Trump because he refused to provide aid, to now saying that impeachment hinges on offering aid to compel the Ukrainians to act on his behalf.

This is the classic case of Soviet-style accusations: ‘’You find me the man and then I’ll find for you the crime.’’ It becomes a classic case of Democrat projection. The party that loves to accuse others of fascism seems very comfortable with brown-shirt tactics when it comes to politics.