Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Yastreblyansky writes:

Last night, seven newly elected House members who are being described as "national security Democrats" published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which they raised the possibility of impeachment hearings.
Our lives have been defined by national service. We are not career politicians. We are veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies. Our service is rooted in the defense of our country on the front lines of national security....

If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense. We do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, and we call on our colleagues in Congress to consider the use of all congressional authorities available to us, including the power of “inherent contempt” and impeachment hearings, to address these new allegations, find the truth and protect our national security.
A couple of days ago I predicted that the Ukraine whistleblower story wouldn't amount to anything, because of Nancy Pelosi's fear of a left-centrist voter backlash against impeachment and because rank-and-file voters aren't likely to understand what the fuss is about. And yet now we're being told that impeachment seems "almost inevitable."

What changed? There's no polling evidence I know of that suggests voters outside the progressive community are actively pro-impeachment now. There's no polling evidence suggesting that voters consider this a bigger scandal than Russiagate or emoluments or porn-star payoffs. And -- despite a lot of optimistic talk -- there's no reason to believe that even a single Republican in Congress will support impeachment or vote to convict in the Senate. (Mitt Romney's words are characteristically mealy-mouthed: "If the President asked or pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme." And I swear I can hear Susan Collins quietly wringing her hands somewhere off in the distance.)

Yet impeachment is on the table now. Why? Nancy Pelosi is still the same person she was a week ago, when impeachment was being slow-walked at her insistence. Pelosi still fears Republicans and Reagan Democrat, Obama/Trump voters in Michigan diners.

But she's accepting this because now she can sell the pursuit as centrist. It's about global stability and international alliances. If you want to use the term, Trump is being accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in a neoliberal way.

But wait -- wasn't Russiagate also about global stability? Yes, but those awful progressives seized on it and never let go. That Maddow woman talked about it every night. Blue-collar retires eating pancakes don't like her! They also don't like Hillary Clinton, or at least they didn't like her enough to maintain the Democrats' blue Electoral College wall in 2016. This story involves Joe Biden. Rural diner customers like Joe Biden.

Or maybe the explanation is in that op-ed by the seven first-term Democrats:
[President Trump] allegedly sought to use the very security assistance dollars appropriated by Congress to create stability in the world, to help root out corruption and to protect our national security interests, for his own personal gain.
This is about money appropriated by Congress. Pelosi cares because her toes have been stepped on.

Also, Republicans agree with Democrats on these global security measures, so Pelosi assumes she has permission from the GOP to object to the misuse of the funds.

She doesn't -- Republicans will close ranks around the president. But I'm glad she's come around, even if it should have happened a long time ago, in response to other abuses.

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