At the beginning of this Congressional term, Nancy Pelosi struck a deal to thwart a coup: She would retire as Speaker the next time the seat was up. With 2020 fast approaching, all of the work Pelosi has put into rebuilding the Democratic Party in Washington D.C. appears threatened by a rabid group of subordinates who are more interested in listening to activists on social media and within the D.C. media bubble than to what’s going on in the rest of the country.
Prior to Trump, Pelosi was seen as a valuable asset for her party. She had access to rich donors and was a great fundraiser for the Democrats. She knew the ins and outs of Congress and the politics that go on there. She was a veteran of so many battles within those walls.
Sure, she has had plenty of gaffes, but the Democrats adored her. Why wouldn’t they? She was their leader, and she had earned their respect and trust. The media loved her. The base loved her. It was good to be Nancy Pelosi, a woman well on her way to becoming known as one of the most powerful women in the history of the House of Representatives.
At the start of this term, Pelosi very delicately maneuvered around the topic of impeachment. It was very clear that she did not want to take that route, but try to legislatively (as well as through other public means) whittle away at Trump’s popularity. Her strategy, it appeared, was to make the Democratic Party appear moderate and sensible and show the Republicans were the fringe and out of touch party.
Every step of the way, however, Pelosi was met with resistance in her own caucus. The younger generation, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, was more openly socialist and more openly defiant of the Democratic Establishment. They didn’t see any reason to be moderate. They wanted to give the people what they thought they were mandated to do – expand the size and power of government to fix our environment, our insurance system, our economic policies, and to impeach Donald Trump.
More and more Democrats began to nod and agree, especially with that last point. Impeaching Trump had to become the issue. The Mueller investigation was already well underway, and it would not be long before it delivered the silver bullet needed to bring down Trump. The committees began targeting Trump’s tax returns, his business, his subordinates, and everything else they could get their hands on.
Then the Mueller Report was a dud, and they had to look for another silver bullet. That’s when Adam Schiff coordinated a slow-leak campaign of a whistleblower report that accused Trump of trying to force Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden in order to receive aid.
Schiff’s coordination – with both the whistleblower and the media – made it impossible for Pelosi to keep ignoring the calls for impeachment. She had lost this battle and, she feared, her party.
The investigation has been disastrous. Schiff has not been able to bring one witness with direct knowledge of anything, or direct evidence, or a paper trail. Jerry Nadler, a man every Democrat was terrified would lead the investigation, hosted an absolute trainwreck of a hearing on Wednesday. One witness outright accused the Democrats of flirting with abusing power. Another seemed incredibly unhinged.
If Pelosi was not a drinker before this, I can’t imagine she isn’t one now.
Pelosi understands, more than any other Democrat in Congress, that her party is losing. The longer this drags out, the more the American public loses interest. In fact, they have lost interest. The media and the activists on social media are still frothing over it, saying there’s a there there, but no American citizen believes it. They are tired of the drama and ready to move on to the next thing.
And you have Trump, who polls weakly against Democratic candidates and is shown as being incredibly unpopular among several groups, currently poised to be re-elected because of it. The guy no one believed would be President, who defeated the Clinton Machine, who is at best an unorthodox politician, and who is seen as wildly unpopular is poised to beat her party again.
And she’ll step down at the end of this Congressional term as Speaker with that as her legacy.