Tuesday, March 12, 2019

And If They Do

What Pelosi really did was affirm that Democrats long ago gave the Republican Party a silent veto over whether Trump should be held accountable for anything. Back in May of last year, when Democrats were still in the minority, House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff insisted, “there will be no impeachment, no matter how high the crime or serious the misdemeanor,” unless “Democratic and Republican members of Congress can make the case to their constituents that they were obligated to remove him.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler adopted a similar standard recently, and yesterday he endorsed Pelosi’s view. “She laid down a number of conditions—it has got to be bipartisan, the evidence has to be overwhelming—which is what I’ve been saying.”

Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler are seasoned politicians who don’t say much that’s unrehearsed. Their position that passing articles of impeachment—a process that requires a simple majority in the House—must be bipartisan sends a clear message to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other GOP leaders: that the key to Trump’s continued impunity is for Republicans to simply continue doing what they’ve been doing all along—ignore or celebrate his misconduct, attack the investigators, lie as much as it takes to keep Trump’s base of support from falling through the floor.

If, for whatever unlikely reason, Republicans ever do turn on Trump and decide to take his presidency down, they'll overnight position themselves as the principled crusaders for justice, who had to act when the impotent flailing democrats refused.

And as full as shit as they would be with this, they'd have a point.