I’m imagining Pence responding, “Super, go right ahead.” Why would he want to take the initiative and increase the antagonism between him and MAGA further if he doesn’t absolutely need to? They nearly murdered him in the Capitol yesterday.
Note that this isn’t actually an ultimatum. Pelosi says the House “may be prepared” to impeach if Pence doesn’t act, not that it will.
BREAKING: Speaker Pelosi calls for VP Pence and the Cabinet to remove President Trump from office via the 25th Amendment, or another impeachment effort may be carried out by Democrats. pic.twitter.com/U0Oh31jmPJ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 7, 2021
It seems like an exceptionally bad idea to signal to an unstable demagogue that his hours in power are numbered when (a) he still has power to wield and (b) he’s already proved that he’s not above setting a mob on Congress and then declining to send help. If there’s a 25th Amendment play in the works, might want to keep that on the down-low so that the president doesn’t, you know, fire the entire cabinet before they can move against him.
Not lookin’ good early for the plan to punt this to the veep:
He said they were kept on hold for 25 minutes & then staff told them that Pence would not come to the phone.
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 7, 2021
There are 13 days left in Trump’s presidency. Every minute the House waits to act is another minute that momentum for removing Trump in the aftermath of yesterday’s terror drains away. It’s draining already:
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 7, 2021
He doesn’t believe the 25th Amendment is appropriate “at this point”? Does Lindsey need to see a congressman beheaded during the MAGA equivalent of an ISIS video before we arrive at the relevant point?
I don’t understand why the House doesn’t impeach him lickety-split and then hand this off to McConnell so that he and Pence are left having to figure out what to do. The only answer I can come up with is that maybe McConnell has already told her he can’t find 19 votes, in which case it’s arguably reckless to proceed with impeachment. If they’re going to have a showdown with a president who looks to have lost his marbles, they need to know in advance that they’ll definitely win that showdown. It’d be foolish to antagonize him to no effect.
Does McConnell not have the votes? Is he even asking around?
Earlier Ed noted Andy McCarthy’s argument that impeachment may be justified but would be ill-advised under the circumstances, as there’s a mere 13 days to go and impeachment couldn’t be done at this stage with traditional due process (witnesses, a trial, etc). He noted also that impeachment would raise the political temperature at a moment when we should be trying to reduce it, which is why some GOP senators dropped their plans to object to certain states’ electoral results after Congress’s certification session resumed last night. The wrinkle, unfortunately, is that there’s no reason to believe Trump won’t turn the temperature up again at any moment. This isn’t a case of “if Congress deescalates, the president will too.” It’s a case of “a crazy person has barricaded himself in his home with weapons and now the police need to get him out with the fewest possible casualties.” There may be no alternative, realistically, to storming the proverbial residence by impeaching. Pelosi is justifiably worried about what Trump might do to try to disrupt the inauguration:
Pelosi on Trump: “This man is deadly. To our democracy, and to our people.” pic.twitter.com/VPNwjzT44J
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 7, 2021
In lieu of an exit question, to get the measure of the man, read this CNN scoop about how Trump and his top aides did next to nothing to check on Pence while a mob was running through the Capitol looking to lynch him. What I didn’t realize until now is that Pence’s wife and daughter were with him for the occasion. The whole family could have been killed and yet, according to CNN’s source, none of the people with whom Pence has worked closely for the past five years seemed to care very much. This is why we’re talking about the 25th Amendment today.