Gonna remind you up front of the most accurate passage from yesterday’s six-page Trump rant to Pelosi:
If the proceedings were as somber and regrettable as Democrats would have us believe, a formal warning to the caucus not to celebrate on the House floor wouldn’t be necessary, would it?
But here we are.
Pelosi and her staff have instructed her caucus to show unity and not to gloat at all during the proceedings, per multiple sources. She wants the public to see Democrats as taking this moment seriously and not be seen as cheering the President’s impeachment, members say
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 18, 2019
Presumably this too was focus-grouped, like the Democrats’ ill-fated flirtation with charging Trump with bribery.
The solemnity pander extends even to today’s fashion choices, per CNN:
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) December 18, 2019
“Put on a frowny face” is the least House Dems can do to make life a little easier for the Elissa Slotkins in the caucus, the freshmen from Trump districts who are likely to be punted out of office next fall. Pelosi fought against impeachment for months, knowing how it would place the House majority at risk, but the Ukraine matter shifted opinion among Democrats to the point where she had no choice. So they’re going to do it, but they’re also going to go out of their way not to taunt Trump voters about it. No cheering. No gloating.
No Ole-Miss-style doggie leg-lift end-zone dance by Rashida “Impeach the Motherf***er” Tlaib.
Because, let’s face it, that was destined to happen if Pelosi hadn’t put her foot down.
But it’s also destined that someone in the caucus *will* gloat, possibly during a TV interview, possibly while greeting supporters later when the enthusiasm of the moment overwhelms them. The Squad are the likeliest suspects but I don’t see it happening with AOC or Ilhan Omar. The two of them are scolds, fundamentally; scolds rarely celebrate because there’s always more work to be done en route to utopia, and why aren’t we doing that work right now? But Tlaib is a dope and more exuberant in her radicalism. Her famous remark about impeachment on the day she was sworn in haunts the caucus even now, evidence that Republicans are right when they say that Democrats were out to impeach Trump from day one. If anyone’s going to hand the RNC some useful post-impeachment oppo by dabbing in front of cameras after the vote, it’s her.
Most House Dems will probably affect the appropriate tone. But anti-Trumpers who don’t have to answer to voters? Their tone might be … different:
HAPPY IMPEACHMENT DAY pic.twitter.com/eZcsinofNu
— ROSIE (@Rosie) December 18, 2019
The middle-ground position among Democratic leaders, it appears, is to project deep regret that it’s come to this while also noting that the president appears to be mentally disturbed. Way better than gloating! Here’s Pelosi last night and Adam Schiff this morning responding to Trump’s ranting letter.
Pelosi's first reaction to Trump's letter. "I don't have a reaction. It's ridiculous," she told me. I asked her why no reaction: "I mean, I haven't full read it. We've been working. I've seen the essence of it. It's really sick." pic.twitter.com/pPhvsb0axh
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 17, 2019
Schiff on Trump's screed to Pelosi: "It is a long, angry rambling letter of someone who appears not well." pic.twitter.com/aLaKeqmskw
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 18, 2019