Nancy Pelosi and Impeachment are Donald Trump’s Nightmares

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 floor Congressman John Lewis delivered a stirring speech announcing his support of an impeachment inquiry.  The words “the time has come for an impeachment inquiry” carried the weight befitting of one of America’s most significant living figures.  Hours after Mr. Lewis left the floor, Nancy Pelosi addressed the nation and announced her own support of a formal inquiry.

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 of the House.  Not to mention her hesitancy would have undermined the efforts of her caucus to hold the world’s most powerful man to account.

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]

Justin Amash Doesn’t Care

Justin Amash, the six-term congressman from Michigan, became the darling of the political media when he became the first Republican member of Congress to call for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.  Amash’s damning analysis of the Mueller report, delivered via Twitter, earned him the infamous “loser” label from the incumbent president. 

Intra-party squabbles have long been catnip for the press and politicos by helping to fill cable news segments and empty columns in newspapers. These squabbles are almost always overly reported, blown out of proportion, and all-in-all melodramatic fights over bruised egos.  

However, the Trump-Amash fracas feels different.  It feels different because Amash has further than any congressional republican in criticizing Trump.  One reason is for this is Amash’s record for being a steadfast conservative.   The other reason it feels different was because of his detailed description of this support for an inquiry. 

Amash tweeted a searing articulation of the case for impeaching the president.  In his support for an inquiry, Amash tweeted that Trump has a “false narrative” around the Mueller report.  A very diplomatic way of saying he thinks the president is lying.  Anyone with merely a bare-bones knowledge of Justin Amash should be showing no sense of surprise by the posture of the Michigander.  

Justin Amash has long been an intriguing figure largely because he revels in being an oddball in the modern Republican party.  The man also explains every vote he makes.  Every, single, vote.  While some members of Congress chose to avoid defending their voting record like it’s the plague, Amash embraces his with a full bearhug.  Amash even opposed the confirmation of the conservative fratboy god that is Brett Kavanaugh. 

In 2015 he played a pivotal role, along with other fiscally conservative GOP house members, in founding the Freedom Caucus.   The group that helped force John Boehner for not being conservative enough has now become the loudest group of cheerleaders that Trump has in Congress, with almost unfettered access to the White House. 

Amash’s criticism of Trump has not gone over well, to say the least, with the rest of the caucus and has earned him a badge of condemnation.   The Freedom Caucus has now condemned one of its founding fathers for the unforgivable act of criticizing a republican leader almost four years ago the Freedom caucus forced a republican leader by the name of John Boehner from power.  Ironic, yes.  Does Amash care? Not one bit.       

Facing conservatives, however, is the unfortunate reality that Amash is one of the most ardent conservatives in American politics.  They can’t attack Amash with the usual “never Trumper” talking points they’ve used to go after other Trump critics such as Jeff Flake or Mitt Romney.  This is what makes Amash’s support of an impeachment inquiry all the more powerful.

He has given House Democrats the ability to portray any inquiry as a bi-partisan matter, he’s potentially given cover to other House republicans that support an inquiry but are nervous of the presidential Twitter feed, and put additional pressure on Nancy Pelosi to give into an inquiry.   

With the constant drama surrounding the will they or won’t they impeach, the Amash-Trump conflict has once again exposed how deeply the GOP has indeed become the party of Trump.  Trump has embedded himself so deeply within the modern GOP that he is now in many ways it’s corner-stone.  He’s both a polarizing figure that the 21st-century Republican party has built itself around for both the short and long-term.   

Amash’s position may, at the end of the day, may turn out to be an empty vessel if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t move towards impeachment.  But the mere fact that a sitting member of Congress from the party of the sitting president has articulated a case for impeaching Donald Trump far better than many democrats is in its own respect remarkable.  And Amash’s ability to make this case, without being afraid of Trump’s wrath of, or his party turning his back on him, is evermore noteworthy.

Header Image: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America [CC BY-SA 2.0]