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Tags: pelosi | swing districts | house majority

As With Obamacare, Pelosi Risks House Majority With Impeachment Vote

As With Obamacare, Pelosi Risks House Majority With Impeachment Vote
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill December 12, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/GettyImages)

Tom Basile By Monday, 16 December 2019 11:21 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Way back in March, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that impeachment must be “compelling and overwhelmingly bipartisan." She said that removing President Trump “wasn’t worth it.”

It looked like she was going to stand firm against the forces in her party who made up their minds long ago that they were going to take down the president. It was encouraging to many Americans, no doubt, that the Speaker — her party’s leader — was going to prevent her members from diverting attention from the people’s business to focus on a partisan, made-for-TV kangaroo court.

Now we know it was all a lie.

This week Pelosi finally admitted, during comments at a Politico conference, that the effort to impeach the president “has been going on for two years.”

The Speaker’s public reversal about the radical course she has set for her party has allowed every member of her conference to be tarred by the same anti-Trump hysteria that we’ve seen from front-men Schiff, Nadler, and the biased media.

Like she did with Obamacare, she’s decided to risk it all again. This time to go after Trump. The outcome will be the same. She will win the battle and lose the war.

In many of her more than 20 most vulnerable districts, Democrat Members of Congress now have an untenable choice to make. They can risk their reelections and the comfortable Democrat majority for the sake of towing the party line or they can vote to censure the president instead of impeaching him.

If they don’t exercise some political independence from the Speaker, Schiff, and Nadler, they will look totally controlled by far-Left California and New York power brokers in the party. That might allow members in districts on the coasts to explain away a vote to impeach, but it won’t bode well for members in red and purple states.

A vote for censure and against impeachment would certainly provide some distance for Democrats from Pelosi and Co. After all, these members ran and won last year on actual issues impacting the lives of people in their districts. If they vote for impeachment, they will be painted, along with the other members of the conference, as abandoning the issues in favor of what is widely seen as a partisan power grab.

If they vote to impeach, they risk a massive backlash from right-leaning independents in their districts, as polls suggest this is a giant waste of time.

Reps. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Ben McAdams of Utah, Susie Lee of Nevada, Slotkin of Michigan, Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and other Democrats from swing districts could also face a backlash from the left if they don’t vote with the Speaker. Those alone represent nearly half of the Democrat edge in the House.

Then there’s the money. Democrats say they aren’t whipping votes on impeachment but every vulnerable member needs infusions of money to win re-election. Buck the party and it may not come. Pro-impeachment Mike “Moneybags” Bloomberg is sweetening the pot with his $10 million contribution to help vulnerable House Democrats. Not only is he hoping to buy more goodwill with delegates, primary voters, and elected officials, those resources can be used to cajole wavering members to choose impeachment.

Pelosi may not care either way. She may consent to allowing dissenting votes. Democrats were willing to pass Obamacare with bi-partisan opposition because it advanced their agenda. They sacrificed their majority to do it. Radical ideologues are mission-driven at all costs. They are willing to risk their own for their agenda. This impeachment farce has been no different.

Again, the abdication by Democrats of their entire agenda for the sake of taking out the president will only fuel the existing enthusiasm deficit between mainline Democrats and Republicans in favor of Trump. As it does, this whole stunt will leave House Democrats poised to lose their majority in 2022.

Pelosi will have risked it all again and lost.

Tom Basile has been part of the American political landscape from Presidential campaigns to local politics. He served in the Bush Administration from 2001-2004, as Executive Director of the NYS Republican Party and has held a range of senior-level communications roles in and out of government. Basile's critically-acclaimed book, "Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq" (Foreword by Amb. John R. Bolton), chronicles his time in Baghdad fighting media bias and driving fairer coverage of the Iraq war. In 2011, he was featured in Time Magazine's Person of the Year spread about political activism around the world. Basile is an adjunct professor at Fordham University, a local elected official and runs a New York-based strategic communications firm. He is a member of the New York Bar and sits on a number of academic and philanthropic advisory boards. Learn more about him at TomBasile.com or follow him on Twitter @Tom_Basile. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Way back in March, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that impeachment must be “compelling and overwhelmingly bipartisan." She said that removing President Trump “wasn’t worth it.”
pelosi, swing districts, house majority
Monday, 16 December 2019 11:21 AM
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