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Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler

Nancy Pelosi owes every Democrat in the country an impeachment investigation. It is long past time for her to pay up.

The Atlantic is out with a characteristically pseudo liberal, conformist, flaccid piece of work trying to justify Nancy Pelosi’s failure to impeach Donald Trump. It is utterly unconvincing. It starts quoting Abraham Lincoln that “public sentiment is everything.”

It goes on to say, “ For Pelosi, public sentiment doesn’t mean following public opinion, but strategically shaping it so that it’s more receptive to a strategic goal.”

Um, she’s not doing that.

The reason Pelosi is Speaker of the House again after eight years of Republican control is not any shaping of public opinion she managed as minority leader. What prompted the much vaunted blue wave in 2018 that returned the Democrats to control of the House was revulsion over the entirely predictable, galloping incompetence of the president most voters didn’t want to begin with. What exactly to do about Trump was an open question in November 2018, when the electorate turned out in record numbers and elected an unprecedented number of women and minorities to the House of Representatives, and in January 2019, when the new majority took over and elected Pelosi Speaker after much debate, among the rank and file, anyway.

But now, the taciturn, tight lipped Republican who spent two years investigating the hugely corrupt, criminal, so called president has delivered his report, and closed his special counsel office with a public statement that he hoped would be his final words on the subject. In that statement, he repeated what his report said: “if we had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime.”

He then said, “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.”

This is as close as Mueller is going to get to saying, “IMPEACH! IMPEACH! IMPEACH!”

What to do about Trump is no longer an open question.

Mueller is a lawyer, a good one, by most accounts. Most people are not lawyers.

Most people are unhappy with Trump. Enough of the country is unhappy with him to vote in midterm elections in historic numbers and vote for the Party that is not the Party of the president, which is as close as they could get to voting against the president in a midterm election.

Most people don’t understand that Mueller is not only a lawyer, but a very rule bound kind of lawyer who would never consider violating the rule at the Department of Justice against indicting a sitting president. Lots of people still make the mistake of talking about indicting Trump. That’s what most people think of when they think of criminal prosecution, and that is not wrong.

Pelosi should take Mueller’s lawyerly, rule bound suggestion and translate it for the general public. She’s not doing that. She’s being really stupid instead. Pelosi should print out Mueller’s statement and explain for the world to hear that it amounts to Mueller saying, “IMPEACH! IMPEACH! IMPEACH!”

It is reasonable to argue that, when the biggest threat to the republic is a stupid person who does not understand what rules are and cares not for institutions, despite depending heavily on them, hewing closely to institutions and their rules is the best response. The institutions and their rules are far from perfect, but they’re a damn sight better than anything the so called president is going to come up with.

The U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4, states, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” In law, “shall” is significant. You better do it.

The Constitution effectively orders Pelosi to impeach Trump.

Why she refuses is very hard to understand.

There is the question of evidence, but finding and exhibiting the evidence for all to see is exactly how Pelosi could “strategically shape public opinion.”

The Constitution gives the House “the sole power of impeachment.” That means that the House is the only entity in the federal government that has the power to level a criminal allegation at the president. They’re supposed to gather and present the evidence for the trial in the Senate.

She and every mainstream news outlet that persists in pretending that her “strategy,” if that’s what it is, makes sense, are being idiots and doing a grave disservice to the republic.

Impeach Trump now.

Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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