Are Democrats Bungling Impeachment?

Why the strategy of delaying the transfer to the senate is almost certainly a bad one.

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Photo via Mitch McConnell on Instagram

For the Republican Party and President Donald Trump in particular, the past few months have been chaotic to say the least. Since news broke of Trump’s phone call with the President of Ukraine in which he attempted to solicit the help of a foreign government for his own personal political benefit, Republicans have been scrambling to find ways in which they can defend him.

Now as we all know, the President’s actions have resulted in his impeachment, making him just the third President in United States history to be impeached. While many have reasonably predicted there will be a full acquittal following the trial in the Republican majority senate, we may be waiting a while longer to see the results of the trial. For reasons of which we can only speculate, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has made the decision to hold off on naming House Managers, and transferring the necessary documents over to the Senate for the trial.

Unfortunately, it really comes as no surprise that Democrats have found another way to bungle this.

While some of Nancy Pelosi’s fans in the cocktail circuit of D.C. might think it’s a smart political move to hold off the senate trial, I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling to find reasons why what she’s doing is a good idea.

At this point in the impeachment process, everything is about polling. While it might be unlikely that the senate would vote to convict Donald Trump and remove him from office, it might be a little easier if independents in purple states where Republicans are up for re-election are persuaded. For a vulnerable Senator like Maine’s Susan Collins, I would venture a guess that she would be a little bit easier to convince to vote in favor of conviction if she knew critical re-election votes depend on it. Of course, with each passing day that Nancy Pelosi delays, it allows for Republicans to take to the television screens and tell the American people that this means the case was weak, and nothing more than a political move rather than one based on principles and the setting of precedent.

Naturally, impeachment is becoming less and less popular the longer this goes on. Some might say it doesn’t matter anyways. Even if a few Republicans did flip and vote for conviction, it’s still highly unlikely there would be enough to get Trump removed from office.

Maybe true, but here’s the thing… that’s okay.

Get the trial over and done with. Have Republicans on the record setting this precedent and putting party over the constitution. Use those votes as the material in the ads you run throughout their states while they’re campaigning for re-election. If Democrats actually knew how to play this game, then every single purple state Republican would be gone come their next election. And yet as time goes on, the less likely it becomes that those tactics would be as effective. The inability of democrats to think longterm and force Republicans to think about their political careers will never cease to amaze me.

What do they have to gain by delaying? They have no leverage by delaying the handing over of documents to the senate that Mitch McConnell doesn’t even want. All they’re doing now is allowing the narrative to change against the democrats and impeachment, and instead it will be the future of their political party that could be negatively effected. The more time goes on, the worse this will be.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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