It’s kind of irrelevant, now that she has finally announced steps towards impeaching the so called president, but the pernicious myth that Nancy Pelosi is tough or smart is a dangerous one when she may still choose to wimp out in pursuing Trump.
Lots of polls show increasing support for the impeachment inquiry in the wake of the story about how Trump tried to browbeat the president of Ukraine into investigating spurious allegations against former vice president Joe Biden and his son. Pelosi has waited, much too long, to start an impeachment inquiry because she wanted to make sure she had public support before taking that momentous step.
She is not wrong that public support for impeachment is essential. Her important mistake lay in not realizing that it was her job to inculcate public support for impeachment and that Robert Mueller handed her all the ammunition she needed had she just paid enough attention to what was in the report and worked harder to force Attorney General Barr to release the entire report, including by proceeding on the assumption that the full report was as damning as it could be and giving Barr the option of releasing it to prove it is as exculpatory as he and the president have claimed it is.
It almost certainly is not, since, which Pelosi, inexplicably, does not seem to understand, Mueller stated that he did not indict Trump only because Department of Justice rules forbade him to do so, which was his way of saying that he thinks Trump is guilty of crimes that merit indictment or, since he is president at the moment, impeachment.
So we need to give up this ridiculous myth that Pelosi is some sort of political genius. Her absurd puffery about a statute making it easier to indict a sitting president only shows that her understanding of the issue is grossly deficient. Indictment is irrelevant. If the president merits indictment, they merit impeachment. That is the remedy the Constitution provides for criminal officials. This is obvious. What’s not obvious is why Pelosi does not understand it.
Pelosi failed to provide the leadership she could have and should have provided from the moment Mueller issued his report. She and House Committee Chairs need to push a case to the Supreme Court to get a decision on the various subpoenas Trump is defying. No telling how the Court will rule, even though the House plainly has the law on their side. If the Court is willing to prop up Trump, we need to know that. If Trump loses and defies the Court, we need to know that, too.
We need to find out how deep the rot is so we can know how hard the fight will be to eradicate it. This is not a time for timidity, which is all we have seen from Pelosi.
We need to keep the pressure on her and all of the House leadership.