I’ve never been a fan of Nancy Pelosi. She isn’t a great public speaker with many hesitancy quirks and frequently seems ill-prepared in her press conferences. She has presided over a House of Representatives twice when she has seemed unable to coral her unruly peers into governing together rather than fighting with each other. I was disappointed to see that she was going to be Speaker of the House a second time and was optimistic about somebody else and her second tenure has turned out to be as bad as the first.
And now, her handling of to-impeach or not-to-impeach has dragged on for way too long. For years, Trump has been doing things that are illegal and easily proven but she has maintained that it isn’t enough for impeachment. And Trump seems to have taken that as a challenge: ‘Oh, if that wasn’t then how about this? Still no? Then I can do this.’ Like a toddler testing limits. Actually, I take that back – he *is* a toddler testing limits. And his parent Nancy is failing to push back. And the toddler President is getting away with more and more. Every day that Trump remains President is another 2 that it will take to fix. Or maybe the time to fix things is going up logarithmically and we are now at a point where 1 year of Trump equals 10 years to fix.
Granted, impeachment seemed unlikely to succeed in the senate so the President would very likely remain in office. But if the House was able to be decisive, hold people accountable, get the sins out into the daylight, there was a chance that Republican Congress might have not wanted to continue working with Trump as much as they have. Or it might even have helped put a fence around Trump that would either have limited his damage or maybe even helped him realize that his powers were not unlimited. (George Will article on the benefits of impeachment) But dragging on for years now meant the public became numb to the idea and Pelosi and her her party seemed feckless.
As of the end of September 2019, Pelosi is now on board with impeachment. Why now? Does she think that she will now get Republicans to vote with her to impeach? Maybe there is some strategic thinking going on behind the scenes – maybe she feels like she can get evidence public that she could not have gotten before and that impeachment will then be supported by the public and possibly even congressional Republicans where it was not before?
But I remain concerned. Because it’s quite possible that the impeachment inquiry that has now begun will not go anywhere, that it will drag on for months with no visible progress, that it will become unpopular, and that it will ultimately leave the Democrats looking worse than if they had continued to not fight back at all. The only thing worse than not standing up to a bully is to try to stand up to the bully but fall down in the process. Pity doesn’t win elections.