For most of 2019 Pelosi opposed impeaching the president. In March Pelosi opposed impeachment telling the Washington Post the action “is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.”
However, as the year progressed, it appears Pelosi was forced out of a sense of desperation to make an about-face and forge ahead with the impeachment process.
Pelosi is in a tough spot. She is surrounded by a rising tide of policy extremism that is branding Democrats as the radical political party that is far outside the values of practical American voters.
Also on the horizon is the Department of Justice inspector general report on possible FISA abuse and Attorney General William Barr’s examination of the origins of the Russia collusion investigation, both of which have the potential to reach into the Obama White House.
Anything just anything to change the debate, and Pelosi’s call to move forward with the impeachment process does exactly that.
Impeachment is filling the airwaves with anti-Trump news drowning out Democrat policy extremism. It also gives Democrats a talking point about the DOJ’s duel investigations. When the reports are released, Democrats will say the DOJ was driven by President Trump’s political need to distract Americans from impeachment.
Following the 2018 election and regaining the speaker position Pelosi has been pressured from the Left, especially from freshman House Democrats.
In fact, even before she was elected to regain her position as Speaker of the House Pelosi was under pressure from newly elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Before Ocasio-Cotez was sworn into office, she participated in a climate change protest with the Sunrise Movement—a nonprofit group that backs the Green New Deal—at Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office.
Pelosi is not impressed with the Green New Deal and while she supported the “enthusiasm” of its backers she refused to allow a vote on the resolution.
Tensions between Ocasio-Cortez and her team of radical freshmen colleagues—Reps. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts—escalated into open warfare after Congress passed the $4.6 billion border aid bill.
The freshmen Representatives openly complained about the bill and Pelosi responded by dismissing their influence saying, “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world” and “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got.”
Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Pelosi by using the race card. “It got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color,” she said.
Beyond the internal infighting, the outspoken freshmen Democrats were branding Democrats as the extremist political party with anti-Semitic remarks and support for extreme policies, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.
Initiating the impeachment process calms the Democrats, since all the freshmen back impeaching President Trump. Now the news cycle for the next few months will be on impeachment and not on the House members’ extremist policies and a rebellion within the House ranks.
The impeachment effort news coverage also helps drown out the socialist-type policies being offered by the Democrat 2020 presidential candidates.
For example, the Medicare for All health care policy being offered by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) comes with an enormous price tag of tens of trillions of dollars and it will end private health insurance coverage for millions of Americans.
The speaker is very concerned about policies being offered by the 2020 candidates. In an interview with Bloomberg, Pelosi confessed proposals such as the Green New Deal and Medicare for All will not sell in the Midwest. “What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan,” she explained.
Warren’s idea of taxing wealth is also facing resistance from Wall Street Democrats who are not happy with her plan.
Pelosi is a seasoned politician and she is very well aware launching the impeachment investigation is politically dangerous and likely to backfire.
Impeachment is popular with the liberal Democrat base but it not popular in some key Midwestern battle ground states, as noted in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.
However, given the political cards dealt to Pelosi by the radical House members and the Democrat 2020 candidates, she is choosing impeachment as a better hand.
It’s a Hail Mary pass, and Pelosi is just hoping for the best, because she knows radical politicians with extremist policies are politically toxic.
Tom Borelli Ph.D. is a contributor to America’s Voice News and a TV and radio political commentator.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.