There are really two ways to look at this effort. One is that this attempt to impeach President Trump got slapped down hard today. The other is that there are now 58 Democrats willing to attach their names to this desperate action which their own leadership is officially against, at least for the moment. In either case, Rep. Al Green promised yesterday he would bring this to a vote and today he made good on that promise. The result was a bust. From the Texas Tribune:
U.S. Rep. Al Green’s effort to push the U.S. House to vote to impeach President Donald Trump quickly died Wednesday under bipartisan criticism for the Houston Democrat’s move.
Hours after he stood in front of a nearly empty House chamber to introduce articles of impeachment, Green sat alone in the middle of the chamber as the House voted 364-58 on a “motion to table” the resolution, effectively killing it…
In laying out his resolution on the House floor midday Wednesday, Green called it one of the “greatest moments” of his life.
Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer released a joint statement on the vote which came well short of saying Trump didn’t deserve to be impeached:
This President has made statements and taken actions that are beyond the pale for most Americans, embracing those who espouse hatred and division while promoting policies that would harm our economy and undermine our national security. Legitimate questions have been raised about his fitness to lead this nation. Right now, Congressional committees continue to be deeply engaged in investigations into the President’s actions both before and after his inauguration. The special counsel’s investigation is moving forward as well, and those inquiries should be allowed to continue. Now is not the time to consider articles of impeachment.
Again, the message isn’t ‘No’ it’s ‘Not yet.’ The White House responded by labeling Rep. Green and those who voted with him extremists. From Politico:
“It’s disappointing that extremists in Congress still refuse to accept the President’s decisive victory in last year’s election,” spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “Their time would be better spent focusing on tax relief for American families and businesses, and working to fund our troops and veterans through the holiday season rather than threaten a government shutdown.”
As nutty as she is, Nancy Pelosi is smart to avoid getting on board the impeachment train (at least publicly). If Mueller somehow connects the misdeeds of Flynn or Manafort to Trump, then any prior impeachment effort is going to look thin and partisan and premature. And if Mueller doesn’t come up with something, then that fact is going to doom any existing impeachment effort once and for all. Rep. Green’s effort is a sop to “the resistance” and little more.
But again, it’s always possible to spin this as a valiant effort rather than an embarrassment. With nearly a third of the total number of Democrats in the House putting their names to this, it’s clear there is an appetite for it even on the thinnest of pretenses.
Here’s a clip of Rep. Green going down in flames, apparently this is one of the greatest moments of his life.