By Larry Schweikart
Following the Great Chase in Congress (or Flight of the Squidpickles as I called it), the Democrats suffered utter and total humiliation. They ran for the basement; they clumped together with a COVID spreader. They cowered under chairs and desks in front of an extra from Central Casting in a Viking movie. It was not a good look. The American people saw them terrified of a handful of people, with the hysterical Senator Lindsey Graham squealing, “They could have killed us all.” With what, Senator, empty water bottles? Trump flags?
But as much as it bothered all the elites that day, the Democrats were particularly embarrassed. Mind you, and it’s impossible to embarrass a Democrat over any moral failing—quite the contrary revelation of an affair or some other serious ethical slide is merely resume enhancement for them. Rather, they were humiliated by the fact that a relative handful of people from the Gong Show put them all to flight without a shred of resistance from the members themselves. Oh, the courage.
These are the elites who are born to rule, those to whom the seats in the House have their names engraved on the back. As public images of them hiding and fleeing soon emerged, a powerful reaction built: rage. The Democrats were seething with anger that they had been forced from “their” house, that someone had the temerity to wield Nancy Pelosi’s divine gavel or to unceremoniously haul off her sacred podium from which she destroyed so many American lives. The protestors left feces in the hallways. (There is an uncorroborated story that someone did a #2 on Senator Chuck Schumer’s desk, hinted at here.)
If true, this was the ultimate disgrace for the Congressional leadership. And don’t forget, a YouTube star named “Mando already filmed himself evacuating his bowels in Nancy Pelosi’s driveway in a publicity stunt. Apparently, she takes no humor in this.
In short, they knew they had been had—big time.
It is mostly this humiliation that has driven the last few days’ worth of responses from the left, from trying to force President Donald Trump’s own cabinet to put the 25th Amendment into play to calls for a new impeachment. Both of these are lame at best and unhinged at worst. For example, because of the “group shaming” of Trump supporters, several cabinet officials, including Elaine Chao of Transportation and Betsy DeVos of Education, resigned. This makes it very difficult to find the requisite number of cabinet officials needed to turn Trump out.
Next, Pelosi floated a new effort at impeachment. Congress is in recess till the 18th, but even if Pelosi could get a committee to pass the necessary articles in 11 days (doubtful), it’s unlikely she could recall Congress in time for a vote. Even on a rushed agenda and even in total control of Congress, Pelosi would have trouble impeaching Trump again before January 20, when he’s slated to leave office. (He has already insulted them yet again by not sticking around for Joe Biden’s inauguration). Democrats are already wading it back (they are in so deep they can no longer walk), with James Clyburn saying that they may wait for 100 days into Biden’s administration before launching the impeachment.
Then there is the entire legitimacy of convicting a public official no longer even in office, since impeachment was clearly intended by the Founders as specific redress for a president or judges who are not subject to normal criminal charges.
But there is another element to Pelosi’s seething rage. Her first impeachment didn’t go well. Despite the fact that two articles of impeachment passed, neither got anywhere close to the Constitutional bar for removing Trump. Worse, impeachment became a great nothingburger, with virtually none of the Democrats running on impeachment in 2020 (where they lost all of the competitive House seats despite Biden’s supposed nine-million-vote edge). Impeachment was the great non-event of 2020.
Indeed, Trump had become the third of impeached presidents who were not removed, joining Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. The third in anything is never remembered, good, bad, or otherwise. Pelosi, in her stewing, wants to tag Trump somehow. What could be better than to be the first U.S. president twice impeached? That would give her some measure of revenge. Now that, my friends, would make history. Silly history, but history. This is what’s on her mind as she proceeds: humiliation and history.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: The American President, and founder of the Wild World of History, a history curriculum website with full curricula in U.S. and World History complete with teacher’s guide, student workbook, tests, maps, and video lessons accompanying every unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com)