"There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader," is a remark attributed to a French politician during the turbulent times of 1848.

Joe Biden's Wednesday declaration that President Donald Trump should be impeached is in that tradition. Joe is scrambling to get out in front of the sentiment for impeachment in the party he professes to lead.

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The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party.

At issue is Trump's decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish Kurds of the PKK, which the U.S. and Turkey regard as a terrorist organization.

"A catastrophe in the making," says Lindsey Graham. "To abandon the Kurds" would be a "stain on America's honor."

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"Who Lost China?"

With the fall of the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek, the defeat of his armies and the flight to Formosa, that was the question of the hour in 1949. And no one demanded to know more insistently than the anti-Communist Congressman John F. Kennedy:

"Whatever share of the responsibility was Roosevelt's and whatever share was (General George) Marshall's, the vital interest of the United States in the independent integrity of China was sacrificed, and the foundation was laid for the present tragic situation in the Far East."

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"This is a very sad time for our country. There is no joy in this," said Nancy Pelosi Saturday. "We must be somber. We must be prayerful. ... I'm heartbroken about it."

Thus did the speaker profess her anguish -- just four days after announcing that her Democratic House would conduct an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

But is this how it really went down? Is this how Pelosi came to authorize an impeachment inquiry before she read the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky?

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Even before seeing the transcript of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Nancy Pelosi threw the door wide open to the impeachment of Donald Trump by the Democratic House.

Though the transcript did not remotely justify the advanced billing of a "quid pro quo," Pelosi set in motion a process that is already producing a sea change in the politics of 2020.

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Mike Scruggs