Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had long resisted the siren song of impeachment that echoed incessantly from her left flank over the past three years, only to finally give in to the pressure this past week over the contrived controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Pelosi not only announced that she is now supporting an effort to impeach Trump, but she also made clear that she is willing to suffer the potentially devastating political consequences for her party of doing so — as long as it means getting Trump out of the Oval Office.
Pelosi goes all in
The Hill reported that Pelosi’s acknowledgement of the inherent political risks of a partisan impeachment effort came during a discussion Saturday at the Texas Tribune Festival, during which she seemingly accepted the possibility that she could lose her majority in the House if voters disagreed with what House Democrats were attempting to do.
“I think right now there is a cover-up of a cover-up,” Pelosi said with regard to the Ukraine controversy, in which Democrats and the media have accused Trump — via second- and third-hand reports — of pressuring Ukraine to investigate alleged corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“People say you have to take a political risk doing that,” she said of impeachment.
She continued, “That doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter, because we cannot have a president of the United States undermining his oath of office — his loyalty to his oath of office — undermining our national security, and undermining the integrity of our elections.”
Losing majority “doesn’t matter”
Later in the discussion, Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith focused on the political dangers of impeachment and asked Pelosi, “Do you have any anxiety at all about any of the stuff we’re talking about — or about anything that we’re not talking about — impacting your ability to hold control of the House in 2020?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Pelosi replied without hesitation.
“Our first responsibility is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she added.
Despite a full-court press from Democrats and the media on the topic of impeachment over the past week or two — if not years, really — and in spite of some shifting in the polls in favor of the left’s position on the issue, the planned impeachment of President Trump remains a highly divisive move that threatens to dramatically widen the already serious partisan split in this country.
Should Democrats proceed with impeachment, regardless of how the effort is ultimately concluded in the Senate, there is a strong possibility that Democrats will suffer a huge backlash from voters that will remove many of them from power and could very well ensure that Trump is re-elected in 2020.
There is little doubt that Pelosi fully understands those risks and what they might mean for herself and for her party, but it appears she has determined that ousting the Bad Orange Man from the presidency is worth potentially having to pay such a high political price.