Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
This doesn’t have to do with the impeachment vote itself, which will still happen tonight, but rather the handing off of the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial.
That idea was first raised a few days ago by some of Twitter’s finest far-left minds, such as Lawrence Tribe. Others like Jennifer Rubin would parrot it as brilliant. My colleague streiff covered that in detail at the time, which you can read here.
Now, it looks like the idea has left social media and is actually being considered.
Hoyer "said Wednesday that Democrats must discuss a last-ditch gambit to delay sending articles of impeachment to the Senate and prevent the Republican controlled chamber from summarily discarding the case against" Trump. https://t.co/5QurZe9LIY
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) December 18, 2019
That reasoning is nonsense. The Senate is not going to summarily dismiss the case because they don’t have the votes to do so. They likely won’t even allow such a vote, as it’d be seen as legitimatizing the articles of impeachment when it fails. No, what’s really going on here is the Democrats are panicking and are looking for an escape hatch. By delaying the articles being sent over to the Senate, it allows them more time to hopefully strengthen their case and put a stop to what is currently a downward slide in support.
But if that’s what they want to do, why vote at all today? Why would you vote for something and then say you need more investigation? That makes no sense at all, as you either have your case built or you don’t. But that’s the corner they’ve painted themselves into. They have to vote, even though they know it’s a loser, not just at trial, but with the American people.
Despite the stupidity of the strategy, Nancy Pelosi is apparently “considering” it.
UPDATE: Rep. Blumenauer says he has approached Pelosi about this and said she indicated she's "considering it." He argued that a delay would allow the House to continue collecting evidence and possibly win favorable court rulings to advance their case. https://t.co/FpehnzSlec
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 18, 2019
This isn’t going to work. All it will do is make the case Democrats have built look weak and like they jumped the gun, which also happens to be the truth. Leader McConnell will be more than happy to shelve this while he keeps confirming judges. Republicans could quickly claim victory and point out that Democrats clearly aren’t serious if they are going to not even allow the Senate to vote on the articles.
The simple fact is that Schumer and Pelosi have no leverage here.
I have now read this argument in ten different places and it is still not clear to me what “leverage” or advantage is conferred upon the Democratic party by the House not doing the thing that the Senate does not want the House to do. https://t.co/2JS6cFrhvK
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) December 18, 2019
That’s one of the downsides of only being in charge of one chamber. Republicans get to make the rules over in the Senate and whining about just taking their ball and going home makes the process look even more political. That will only exacerbate the swing in public opinion against impeachment. In short, the more games are played with this, the better it is for Trump.
Democrats had a chance to not make this mistake. Instead, they ran head long into a buzz-saw to please a base that is largely irrelevant for 2020 anyway. It’s the mid-west swing voters that will decide this election and Pelosi has put her party in a terrible position going forward.