Impeachment: It's All in the Timing

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

As FP writer Sister Todjah outlined here earlier today,  there is a growing chorus of Democrats growing fretful about the nonsensical impeachment show going on in the House.  Increasingly, it would appear that many vulnerable Democrats, closely watching the polls and seeing people not particularly caring about impeachment despite the media’s drumbeat, are worried about their reelection prospects.  The problem for all but two of those Democrats is that they voted to open up this whole can of silly worms in the first place.  To dopes like Nadler and Schiff, they are too invested in the process to go back now.  They assured us the goods were there for impeachment, that discussion of corruption in Ukraine with the new Ukrainian president amounted to an “abuse of power” because the name of Biden was dropped.

We on the Right have, unfortunately, some Senators (Romney, Collins, Murkowski) who refused to sign Lindsey Graham’s letter calling out the House for the sham impeachment inquiry that it clearly is.  Although the House Intelligence Committee, under the “guidance” of Schiff, forwarded a report to the House Judiciary Committee citing these alleged abuses of power, it is that Committee that is now charged with drawing up articles of impeachment, holding hearings and all that other stuff they do wasting precious time in DC.

It is highly doubtful that the House Judiciary Committee will learn anything new that Schiff was unable to prove with his clown show that basically boils down to a gaggle of witnesses who witnessed nothing.  All we are left with is their beliefs and concerns about a phone call between two world leaders, some hurt feelings, and whining by bureaucrats who should have been kicked out of the Trump administration long ago.

So, what is a poor Democrat to do?  They know in their hearts that there is nowhere near the two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict and remove President Trump.  Say what you want about Mitch McConnell, but he knows his caucus, he has seen the so-called “evidence,” and he knows this is, in the words of Joe Biden, “a bunch of malarkey.”

And Joe Biden is where timing of this nonsense comes in.  By most accounts, Joe Biden is the alleged front runner in the Democrat presidential sweepstakes.  Although the late entrance of Michael Bloomberg coupled with his strategy of foregoing the early primaries and caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada somewhat complicates things, there is little doubt that these early primaries will whittle out the “has-beens.”  After these primaries and caucuses, unless there are some unforeseen major surprises, we should realistically be left with four choices among the Democrats- Sanders, Warren, Biden, and Buttigieg (although I think the latter, unless he pulls the surprise of surprises, will be a VP candidate).

For the Democrats, we are left with a wait-and-see strategy.  Should anyone but Biden emerge out of these early primaries as the new front runner, the Democrats are now in a quandary.  In fact, they are in a quandary either way with the only question then becoming whether they wish to throw Biden under the proverbial bus.

That is why this writer does not believe the Democrats are in any hurry to resolve this impeachment nonsense.  Nadler will hold his hearings which will likely lead up to the Christmas/New Year’s break.  After that, they have to prepare and vote on articles of impeachment in the Judiciary Committee.  Then, they have to be approved by the full House by simple majority vote.  Next, they must choose floor managers for a trial in the Senate.  After that they are sent to the Senate.  Although McConnell can likely use some parliamentary obstacles along the way, they are required to suspend the business of the Senate and proceed to a trial.  Once in the Senate, their rules apply regarding witnesses.  Nadler, Schiff and Pelosi, who worked so hard to prevent that list of witnesses suggested by Devin Nunes (R-CA) in the Schiff/Nadler show, are rendered impotent at this point.  The Senate calls witnesses for and against the President, not just Schiff and Nadler.

Although it can likely be fast-tracked by the House, it is doubtful.  Instead, it is more likely that if they choose this route, we are well into late January/early February before any articles of impeachment are introduced by the House in the Senate.  We are also into he Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, possibly South Carolina and Nevada before there is any action.  By that time, there are those four candidates realistically left among the Democrats.

Suppose Biden loses Iowa and New Hampshire.  Would that be cause for him to drop out?  Suppose he does drop out.  The questions then becomes: Do the Democrats proceed with impeachment?  Do they allow the Senate to call witnesses who can damage the reputation of his son and him?  Does he become a witness in an impeachment trial?  Are the Democrats willing to throw Biden under the bus simply for a losing cause as regards impeachment?

But, what if Biden comes out unscathed from Iowa, New Hampshire or the other early primaries?  What if he emerges as a clear front runner to take on Trump on 2020?  Do the Democrats then decide that this whole venture was a show for naught?  Do they really want their best chance to the win the nomination subjected to an impeachment trial in the Senate as a key witness?  And his son?  Exactly how deep does the loyalty to Biden extend in the Democrat Party?

My best guess is that this is a waiting game on the part of Democrats.  With so much time and effort invested by House Democrats in this impeachment charade, should Biden bow out early, the Democrats will not shy away from leaving Biden twisting in the wind.  But, if he emerges victorious and the front runner, they will pull back on impeachment and go all-in for censure.

Censure is a low-risk strategy and face-saving effort for the Democrats, or so they think.  Unlike impeachment, however, McConnell holds the cards and can stonewall, delay, or even table such a motion.  Instead, look for an even more downgrading of any Congressional action in the form of a “Sense of the Congress” proclamation that any American should not solicit help from a foreign government in an election… without mentioning Ukraine, Biden, Trump, Burisma, etc.

This is the bind Democrats now find themselves in as this writer sees it.  The only question is the timing and whether they are willing to go that extra mile to sacrifice Biden and make bigger fools of themselves.

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