There’s been a great deal of discussion of late that Democrats’ threats to impeach Trump are not simply idle ones; that they, in fact, really mean to do it. They promise.
It’s been like watching a child threaten to hold his breath indefinitely if he doesn’t get his way. The adult knows they’ve won because they’re aware of things the child isn’t. In this case, that the child is not only incapable of making his plan work because his body won’t let him, but that he’ll only be hurting himself in trying.
That’s pretty much what’s going on with the Democrats’ plans to impeach — not only are they unlikely to have any evidence to make it work, but also, as Kimberly Strassel writes at the Wall Street Journal, they are only hurting themselves by trying.
The Pelosi impeachment resolution was supposed to deprive the GOP of its complaint that the process wasn’t formal. Instead, it formalized a rigged process—and gives Republicans a solid rationale for rejecting the entire proceeding. Democrats gripe that the GOP refuses to talk about the substance of the case against the president. But it is Democrats who have made that impossible, given the secrecy and one-sided approach. Due process is at the heart of America’s system of ordered liberty, and the “evidence” Democrats are secretly compiling in the basement of the House is already soiled.
That’s why every House Republican—even vulnerable ones—felt confident in voting “no” on Thursday’s resolution.
Strassel points out that now that Dems have handed Republicans a safe reason not to support impeachment should they manage to get it to the Senate, there’s actually precedent that gives them further cover should they decide to do what it seems more and more likely: immediately pass a motion to dismiss.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made recent statements to the effect that he would take up an impeachment vote — they he could not simply ignore such a thing — but that he may not be spending a great deal of time on it. Which has Strassel and others speculating he may be of the mind to follow in the footsteps of West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd during the impeachment proceedings for Bill Clinton, who filed such a motion to have the proceedings dismissed before they began by a simple majority vote.
Byrd’s motion failed. But a similar motion this go round, particularly in light of Rep. Adam Schiff’s secret proceedings and contempt for due process, could possibly succeed in a GOP majority-held Senate.
And, as Strassel notes, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have overplayed her hand in holding Thursday’s vote to formalize the rules of inquiry into impeachment. At least two Democrat Congressmen defected citing concerns about transparency.
In short, Pelosi’s vote Thursday, on the heels of secret hearings with more scheduled for next week, may have been the equivalent of a child in the corner holding his breath until Republicans get on board with impeaching Donald Trump.