How McConnell outplayed Pelosi

The chances that the House would strong arm the Senate into adopting the preferences of Schumer were always low. They shrank to zero once Democrats and media personalities began questioning Pelosi’s tactics. The comparison would horrify her, but Pelosi’s move reminded me of the Tea Party’s plan to force a Democratic Senate to repeal Obamacare through House appropriations bills. You can shut down the government, or prolong an impeachment, only for so long. Soon you will take the blame.

McConnell’s victory carries risks. It guarantees that there will be a trial. And a trial is an unpredictable entity. Any senator can offer a motion. How involved Chief Justice John Roberts will want to be is unknown. Party unity might help the Democrats more than Republicans. Once the trial begins, if three GOP senators vote with a unified Democratic conference on a given motion, Schumer will have his way. McConnell’s challenge: keep Republicans together to limit the scope and duration of the proceedings.

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