Warren has already said that she would return to the Senate and fulfill her duties. In addition to recognizing their poor electoral prospects, Pelosi dislikes and distrusts her party’s radical left wing, so the idea of her conspiring with the pro-establishment, capitalist-friendly wing to sink their candidacies isn’t entirely far-fetched. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Democrats tried to rig their primaries.

It also explains why, just as the House impeachment inquiry was wrapping up, Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg, two arch-globalist, pro-Wall Street liberals, just happened to declare their candidacies for the Democratic nomination (and why Sanders and Warren, who also aren’t stupid, made such strong public statements against them). Well played, Nancy. Well played.

Pelosi’s manipulation of events even ensures that she’ll come out ahead regardless of how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell structures the impeachment trial in the upper chamber. McConnell can either move to dismiss the impeachment charges right away, or conduct a full trial to show the public that Republicans take the process seriously. If he chooses the first option, Pelosi can accuse Republicans of politicizing the matter. If he chooses the second option, he’ll be undermining the candidacies of some of the most easily beatable Democrats in the 2020 field.