The Washington Post published an interview with Speaker Pelosi today. She was asked about her position on impeachment, something that many on the left are pushing now that Democrats control the House, but Nancy says she’s against it (in the most dismissive way possible):
Post: There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.
Pelosi: I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.
But lest you think Pelosi is slacking off on the president, she goes on to say that’s not ethically or intellectually fit for office:
Post: You said earlier you don’t feel it’s worth it to pursue impeachment. Do you believe he’s fit to be president?
Pelosi: Are we talking ethically? Intellectually? Politically? What are we talking here?
Post: All —
Pelosi: All of the above. No. No. I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States. And that’s up to us to make the contrast to show that this president — while he may be appealing to you on your insecurity and therefore your xenophobia, whether it’s globalization or immigrants — is fighting clean air for your children to breathe, clean water for them to drink, food safety, every good thing that we should be doing that people can’t do for themselves. You know, I have five kids, and I think I can do everything for them, but I can’t control the air they breathe, the water that they drink. You depend on the public sector to do certain things for the health and well-being of your family, and he is counter to that.
Pelosi has been trying to get the pro-Impeachment squad to tone it down for months. I don’t think that has anything to do with her desire to avoid dividing the country. Her party thrives on a divided country. But she’s shrewd enough to realize that impeachment is a big play and one that could backfire on Democrats. In fact, that’s exactly what she warned members of her party last August in the run up to the midterm elections:
A House Democrat close with leadership put it bluntly: “The voters don’t want to talk about impeachment right now. … You don’t want to poke the bear in a way that he’s able to come back even stronger.”
And what was true in the midterms is even truer in 2020. Going for impeachment now, short of some kind of slam dunk from Robert Mueller, is a risk Democrats are hesitant to take. A Quinnipiac poll published last week found that a majority of respondents don’t want impeachment, regardless of what the far left says:
The poll found that 59 percent of voters surveyed said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, while 35 percent said Congress should do so. The remaining 6 percent of Americans said they don’t know if Trump should be impeached, according to the poll.
Politico published a story today saying Democrats are indeed hesitant to take this step unless the evidence to support it is overwhelming:
Pelosi and her allies have argued they can move forward with impeachment only when public opinion turns against Trump in such a way that it’s no longer politically advantageous for Republicans to stick with him.
“You have to think, at the beginning of the process, that the evidence is so stark, the deed so terrible, that you believe that once it’s all laid out, then you will be able to get an appreciable fraction,” Nadler said, warning that Democrats should not risk being accused of subverting the will of the people.
“If you do it, you don’t [want to] have half the country saying for the next 30 years: We won the election, you stole it,” added Nadler.
Maybe Mueller will pull a rabbit out of his hat, but at this point, Pelosi is correct that this is likely to be a loser for her party no matter what Tom Steyer and the backbenchers in her party are saying.
Update: Here’s Tom Steyer slamming Pelosi.
NEW: Billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer responds: "Is defending our legal system 'worth it?' Is holding the President accountable for his crimes and cover-ups 'worth it?' Is doing what’s right 'worth it?'" https://t.co/dplipIBFnW pic.twitter.com/ZJdNpR6xyu
— ABC News (@ABC) March 11, 2019
And Adam Schiff is now siding with Pelosi:
Schiff added: “I think given how polarized the country is right now and given how the Republican members of Congress have prostrated themselves right now in front of the president, in the absence of very graphic evidence, it would be difficult to get the support of” the Senate
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 11, 2019