Nancy Pelosi is finally all in. Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump was as monumental as it was anti-climatic. It always seemed as if we all knew that impeachment was an unwritten chapter that was poised to come to fruition during Donald Trump’s presidency.
Pelosi has long resisted throwing her weight behind impeachment, going so far as to say that Trump “wasn’t worth it”. But, revelations of a July 25th phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump urged Mr. Zelensky to look into Joe and Hunter Biden was the final straw. What followed was a never-ending cascade of Democratic House members announcing their support of an impeachment inquiry.
On the House
The speaker had no other choice than to support an inquiry
The swelling of support was too much for the speaker to continue to look the other way. Anything less than a full-throated endorsement would have resulted in a serious threat to her effectiveness as Speak
For a time the number of reasons for impeaching the president could equal the number of reasons not too. Evidence of obstruction of justice matched concerns of an inquiry aiding the president’s re-election bid, and whether or not the actions of the president rose to the frustratingly mythical threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors” laid out in Article II of the Constitution.
While calls for impeachment have been continual for two and a half years, amplified by Democrats re-taking control of the House and the Mueller report published in April. These calls have in many ways diminished the unique gravity of such an endurance. Divisiveness and partisanship have tainted the somber ness, gravity, and seriousness of a presidential impeachment.
Donald J. Trump is now only the fourth president to face such an exercise in accountability and self-governance. The allegations, and supporting memo of the call and whistleblower complaint, is without the taint of partisanship that followed the Mueller investigation. His staunchest of defenders have found themselves unable to coherently defend Trump’s actions.
Pelosi has continually proven herself to be one of the great political tacticians of the 21st century. That should scare Trump to death. Trump’s feelings toward her are a cocktail of fear, anger, and awe. Pelosi will now have to tactfully lead the House, and the country, through the somber impeachment process.
Header Image: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA]