And Trump can’t stand it
A few weeks ago, I wrote about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s all-in decision to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump. She spoke loud and clear then, and she spoke loud and clear last night as the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against the president. Speaker Pelosi is, without a doubt, the most powerful woman in the United States of America. And it drives Donald Trump crazy.
The way she’s handled the whole process, from beginning to end, should be a lesson for all future Speakers. In my lifetime, I don’t know that there’s ever been a Speaker with her skills. Some describe her as being like a conductor of a symphony. Considering the whole process took less than three months, the speed and precision of her rule certainly deserves high praise for such a virtuoso performance.
But it’s not just the speed that’s been so impressive. It’s the fact that she was able to keep her Democratic caucus together, with barely a blip of dissent. The media mantra was that freshman members elected in Trump districts had to make a tough call on impeachment. But none of those members said they were pressured by Pelosi to do anything other than vote their consciences. In the end, that’s what they did. They chose country over party. How’s that for a novel concept?
So now the big question is, what will Pelosi do with those just approved articles? Will she ship them over to the Senate so they can begin the trial early next year? Or, will she hold off on sending them until assured that the Senate will conduct a fair trial? It appears that the latter will be her course of action, based on her press conference last night and another one from earlier this morning.
Again, the Speaker took control of the narrative this morning when she refused to take any questions on the matter. She stated her desire for the Senate to come up with the proper rules so that she could appoint the House managers who will present the case. Then, and only then, would she send the articles to the Senate. End of discussion.
There’s much debate about this. We’ve heard many scholars say there’s nothing in the Constitution that mandates she sends the articles to the Senate. And with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell already stating that he would not be impartial, and that he was in lock-step with the President, why should she?
We’ll see how it all plays out. Supposedly, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and McConnell will meet today to discuss the way forward. Unless they can come up with an adequate solution that will show the American people that this thing will be something other than a sham trial designed to acquit the president, Pelosi can wait it out. Bottom line? She’s got leverage and is using it.
But beyond her steely resolve and abilities as Speaker, it’s her ability to get under the president’s skin and go toe to toe with him that’s even more impressive. Who can forget her and Schumer during last year’s budget fight? Trump’s decision to let the cameras in on their discussion backfired. He came across as the ranting lunatic he is, while Schumer and Pelosi looked like two adults dealing with a bratty child.
There was also the famous photo of her standing in a room full of mostly white men, pointing her finger at the president—the other men in the room looking like they’d rather be anywhere else on the planet.
Even today, at her press conference, she had to put the president in his place again. At his cult rally last night, Trump managed to insult the recently deceased former Congressman John Dingell Jr., a World War 11 veteran who served 59 years in the House of Representatives. Trump, in the middle of one of his mindless rants, inferred that perhaps Mr. Dingell went to hell upon his death, instead of the alternative.
Pelosi fired back, “The president clearly is insecure when it comes to state-persons—whether it was John McCain… now John Dingell. What the president misunderstands is that cruelty is not wit. Just because he gets a laugh from the cruel things he says, doesn’t mean he’s funny. It’s not funny, and it’s very sad.” She went on to say that she prays for the president, a familiar refrain. She’s the 79-year-old matriarch—he’s the 73-year-old immature and out of control petulant little child.
Look, I realize Nancy Pelosi isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I, myself, haven’t always agreed with her. She’s angered liberals, moderates, and conservatives at various times during her two stints as Speaker. I can’t think of a more hated person when it comes to the right-wing. They ridicule her as being old. They even tried to doctor a video making it look like she was drunk.
It’s always tougher for women in power. There’s certainly a double standard. People love to point to wardrobe choices, hair-style, or overall demeanor. When a woman in power shows anger or raises her voice, she must be ’emotional.’ Men rarely receive the same ridicule.
Yet, Pelosi rises above it all, speaks truth to power, and holds the president accountable for his conduct. We know Trump is the most misogynistic president in modern history. He seems to keep some of his most vile ridicule for women, the Speaker being a frequent target. It doesn’t matter. She rules the roost in the House, and he can’t take it.
We do not know how 2020 will play out. So much can happen, and we have to remind ourselves that this president could win again. Not only is he the first president impeached in his first term, but he could also become the only impeached president to win reelection. God help us.
But at least we know one of the most formidable politicians in our history will be there holding him accountable. The fact she happens to be a woman should make it even more special because we all know it drives him crazy. Enough said.