President Donald Trump has faced calls for his impeachment since the day he was sworn into office, and in recent months, Democrats like Maxine Waters and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have continued ratcheting up support for the move on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately for them, the rest of America isn’t on board.
Again showing her hesitation to pull the plug on Trump, Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats on Friday that “the public isn’t there on impeachment,” and urged her caucus to give her more time.
“It’s your voice and constituency, but give me the leverage I need to make sure that we’re ready and it is as strong as it can be,” Pelosi said in a conference call with House Democrats, according to The Hill.
It is unclear exactly what sort of “leverage” Pelosi was referring to in her Friday call. She may be hoping for a larger majority in the House or even an advantage in the Senate.
Or she could just need more time to dig up evidence against the president, especially after Democrats were so let down by Robert Mueller.
Indeed, Pelosi’s call for more “leverage” seemed to serve as a warning to fellow party members that pursuing impeachment without evidence of wrongdoing could appear partisan and petty — a look Dems don’t want to have going into 2020.
“The equities we have to weigh are our responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution and to be unifying and not dividing,” Pelosi said. “But if and when we act, people will know he gave us no choice. If he cannot respect the Constitution, we’ll have to deal with that. It’s about patriotism, not partisanship.”
But Pelosi wants Dems to know she’s still on their side — at least in spirit.
“I myself have a nightguard, ’cause I find it very hard not to grind my teeth all night about what’s going on in the White House,” Pelosi said Friday.
Pelosi and the people
Pelosi was absolutely right about one thing: the public isn’t there on impeachment. A recent poll from Monmouth University — no friend to the president — found that despite an underwater approval rating for Trump among voters, only 35% of respondents said the president should be impeached.
A whopping 59% were against impeachment.
The evidence of impeachable offenses by President Trump simply isn’t there. The general public knows it, the pollsters know it, Nancy Pelosi knows it, and now, House Democrats know it, too. Whether they take their leader’s advice, however, remains to be seen.