There appears to be a difference in opinion between California Congressman Adam Schiff and New York Congressman Jerry Nadler on whether Democrats would politically lose if they don’t secure a Senate conviction of President Donald Trump.
“No, it isn’t a failure,” Schiff told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week when asked about a possible Senate acquittal. “At least, it’s not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House.”
Nadler struck a bit of a different tone in the same appearance.
There are two questions that are implicated in all this. One, is it OK to solicit foreign interference for your election campaign? Is it OK to use the power of the presidency to coerce a foreign government into helping you in the election, and to subvert the honesty of the election? And secondly, is it OK to order everyone not to testify in order to cover it up?
Those are the two articles of impeachment. If the answer to either of those questions is it’s OK, we will not have a democracy anymore.
The harsher tone from Nadler may be due to concerns about his upcoming Democratic primary election. He’s faced plenty of criticism from Linsday Boylan for not moving quicker on impeachment.
“Congressman Nadler is listening to the Speaker of the House because he knows that’s where his source of power comes from,” Boylan told Yahoo! News back in September when discussing her run for the 10th District. “That is not leadership for this district which overwhelmingly supports impeachment. That’s not leadership in terms of making hard decisions, that’s what we ask our leaders to do sometimes…That’s what we need in this case. So, I think he’s absolutely fumbled on this I think he’s actually given credence through this muddled, elongated prolonged process of nothingness.”
Boylan is in the running to become the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City with the potential to electorally knock off a sitting Democrat congressional representative. She’s popular enough to be featured in City & State New York and claims to have almost $500k in the race against Nadler. Daily News reported he’s got more money and is making plenty of stops in District 10 to avoid the same fate of Joseph Crowley, who Ocasio-Cortez beat in 2018.
Nadler has some advantages in this race. He’s facing six primary challengers, meaning a dilution of anti-establishment votes. Boylan, who is considered the top challenger, is failing to get endorsements even though she’s hauling in campaign cash. Brooklyn Lambda Independent Democrats told Daily News her presentation on why she should replace Nadler was pretty unimpressive and weak. LID decided to endorse Nadler. Boylan also appears to be less of a democratic socialist from a name standpoint, unlike Ocasio-Cortez. Her work for Governor Andrew Cuomo might also drive some anti-establishment voters away. Anything is possible, obviously, but this race comes across as pretty similar to some of the Tea Party vs. Republican establishment races in 2010-2013: an incumbent hardens the line a bit to stave away any defectors while the opponent brings in cash, but not votes. Time will tell.
Schiff’s re-election bid is more certain although he’s got six of his own challengers. Los Angeles Daily News reported a few months ago he was sitting on $3M in campaign totals. Schiff will probably cruise to victory next year although California’s wacky election system makes is plausible, but not likely, for a surprise.
So, who’s right between Schiff and Nadler on impeachment?
Schiff is correct in saying the House is following its constitutional duty, however, there are legitimate criticisms about the process not following past precedence. If only the House was more willing to hold presidents accountable when they behaved incorrectly (Looking at you, Republicans from 2011 to 2018)! Of course, despite Schiff’s laughable claims otherwise, there’s no way Democrats would suddenly remember the importance of the Constitution were one of their own in the White House.
Nadler is correct in suggesting Trump’s actions were untoward when it comes to presidential behavior. Whether he believes it or not is a better question because there is evidence suggesting a bit of quid quo pro between Joe Biden and Ukraine. However, it’s doubtful he’d be climbing up this tree if it were a Democrat in office.
The lesson from all this? Politicians are hypocrites whose positions on things like impeachment change with whoever is in power. But, hey, it’s all for the fundraising cash and appearing to defend the Constitution.