Hats off to CNN’s Dana Bash for actually forcing a Democrat to answer a difficult question instead of letting them off with a non-response that does its best to avoid it.

Democrat challenger to Senate Republican Ted Cruz (TX), Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, was asked by a member of the crowd during a CNN debate whether or not he still supports impeaching President Donald Trump. O’Rourke refused to initially answer, instead, giving a very long-winded explanation about everything under the sun, from teachers in Abilene to the Earth’s orbit.

Once O’Rourke felt the crowd was sufficiently distracted he walked away to applause, but Bash reeled him back and reminded him what the question actually was.

“Congressman, his question was about impeachment,” said Bash. “And you said in July that you would, as a member of the House right now, vote to impeach. Have you changed your mind?”

“I haven’t,” said O’Rourke finally said.

The El Paso Democrat went on to say there was collusion in action when Trump defended Russian President Vladimir Putin against the American people. He also brought up the firing of James Comey and asking Jeff Sessions to end the Russian investigation as clues to Trump’s being guilty of obstruction. Ultimately, O’Rourke said there needs to be a fair investigation, and that Meuller should be supported in his attempts at finding the truth.

It was still a very vague answer and one that didn’t address O’Rourke previous support for impeaching Trump without evidence. Bash wouldn’t let that go, however, and made O’Rourke get specific on the grounds with which he would try to impeach Trump.

“But you’ve already said, even though that’s not done, that you would vote to impeach, and so according to the Constitution, that means that the president has committed the crime of treason, bribery, or a high crime and misdemeanor,” said Bash. “Which one of those do you think the president has committed?”

O’Rourke once again gave a very long-winded answer where the summary seems to be that he’s not so gung-ho about impeachment per se, but wants to take Trump to trial because there’s enough evidence there for impeachment. O’Rourke assures us, however, that even though he supports impeachment, he’d be neutral on the grounds of removing Trump from office.

As Ed Morrisey at Hot Air writes, there is logically no way O’Rourke is being truthful here:

So he’d vote to impeach but he’s completely neutral on a vote to remove? It’s true that an impeachment is roughly analogous to an indictment, but even those who move an indictment believe it to be true. They work to convict the people they indict.  You can’t both be a grand jury member and a trial jury member in this analogy, not with any intellectual honesty or consistency. O’Rourke wants to eat his cake and have it too, claiming that he can vote for impeachment while remaining neutral on removal. That’s absurd.

It’s almost as absurd as someone running in a deep red state telling voters he wants to impeach the president they support. But I suspect O’Rourke has stopped running for election, and started running for the media anyway — and for the money.

Morrisey’s guess that O’Rourke has given up Texas for lost might be accurate. Recently, clues have appeared that O’Rourke may be setting his sites beyond Texas, and toward the Oval Office, but I digress.

O’Rourke’s clearly trying to come off as a centrist in order to attract the lost Democrats who wandered over to the right during the great identity politics takeover of the Democratic party. While O’Rourke clearly subscribes to some of it, he seems more aware of the effects it can have than some of his fellow leftists. He also knows that impeachment isn’t as popular as some Democrats hoped it would be, and is trying to come off as a person who would impeach Trump out of responsibility and truth-seeking, not so much as a cheap way to get him out of office.

Hats off to Bash for making him really bring that double-speak into the spotlight where we can all see it.

(h/t: Hot Air)