Nancy Pelosi looks like she’s feeling the pressure.
The House speaker has already been plagued this session with rebels in her own ranks — in the form of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her squadmates.
Now, judging by the abrupt end of a Pelosi news conference reported by the Washington Examiner on Thursday, it looks like the constant questions about impeaching President Donald Trump have the California Democrat approaching the breaking point.
Pelosi’s irritation over the impeachment issue was clear — from her arrogantly imperious tone to her near-frantic hand movements.
“I travel the entire country,” she told reporters. “Come with me some time and you’ll hear what the American people are saying.
“They understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure. But if we have to go there, we have to go there. But we can’t go there unless we have the facts.”
Pelosi gets testy with a reporter who asks her about House Dems’ mixed messaging on impeachment, says the American people “understand that impeachment is a very divisive measure. But if we have to go there, we’ll have to go there. But we can’t go there unless we have the facts.” pic.twitter.com/9JtDvqdZ7X
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 12, 2019
Near the end of that oration, Pelosi tried to cut off any further questions about the I-word.
“That’s all I’m going to say about this subject, and there’s nothing different from one day to the next. We’re still on our same path,” she said.
But it turned out some reporters were still on the same subject.
And Pelosi did not handle it well at all.
Watch how she ended the news conference here. The question is tough to make out, but its topic was impeachment, and Pelosi wasn’t having it at all:
That’s not the look of a woman in command.
Sure, she attempted to change the subject to gun control, a topic Democrats think they have some traction on. She challenged reporters to bother Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with questions about why he’s not rolling over for Democrat proposals to infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights instead of bothering her with “impeachment” questions.
“Why is it that you are hung up with a word over here when lives are at stake over there?” she asked.
But all the pretentious blather in the world isn’t going to change the political reality in which Pelosi is living.
Her frustration is understandable, of course. She’s the head of a political caucus that’s riven by far-left lawmakers (from safely blue seats) who wanted impeachment hearings to start in January, and Democratic “moderates” who won seats in the 2018 midterms that they’ll be giving up in 2020 if leftist Democrats enrage Americans in saner congressional districts.
In the latest bit of Democratic straddling, the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted to discuss setting the ground rules for future impeachment inquiries, Fox News reported.
It might sound portentous enough to mollify liberals for the moment, but it was a move mocked by Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee. According to Fox, Collins called it a “giant Instagram filter to make [it] appear that something’s happening that’s not.”
What most news accounts, and the Democratic maneuverings, appear to be missing is that there is literally no legal foundation for Democrats to be pursuing impeachment anyway.
Once the long, expensive special counsel’s probe into Russian “collusion” charges came up empty in April, the impeachment drive was as good as dead.
By the time former special counsel Robert Mueller’s appearance before Congress in July was finishing up as a disaster for Democrats, impeachment should have given up the ghost.
The “facts,” which Pelosi seems to think are so important, are simply not on her side, and not likely to be any time no matter what games House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and his Democratic colleagues can come up with.
Then there’s the small matter of the Republican-controlled Senate, where Democrats don’t have a prayer of winning a conviction for Trump even if they actually got to the point of impeachment in the House.
But Pelosi can’t even admit that kind of common knowledge to her party at the risk of infuriating its liberal base.
And pushing ahead with a meaningless impeachment almost certainly would end up costing her party the congressional seats it won in November by pretending to be sane.
So she’s squarely in the middle, and getting badgered by reporters’ questions isn’t helping her a bit.
The pressure is on Pelosi, and as Thursday’s news conference showed, madam speaker is feeling it.
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