When moving boxes started showing up in about 20 Democrats' offices yesterday, it was supposed to be a joke. But after Thursday’s impeachment resolution, some House members might want to hang on to the supplies. "Get packing!" the label told vulnerable Democrats, who voted to make the sham probe official. "Since day one, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Washington Democrats have sought to remove this president from office," Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) argued. But based on the latest battleground polling, the real question isn’t whether Donald Trump will lose his job - but how many Pelosi "moderates" will lose theirs.
After weeks of speculation, the only bipartisan vote on impeachment, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pointed out, “was against it.” With the help of two Democrats, Reps. Colin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, House Republicans sent a resounding message that the case against Donald Trump is rooted in nothing but politics. “They said they wanted to impeach him before he was even president of the United States…” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” “This isn’t about violations or crimes—which, by the way, is what the founders warned against.”
“If you look at where we are at right now,” Scalise went on, “we’re at an important point in history. Clearly, there are people that we serve with that don’t like the results of the 2016 election—that’s their prerogative—but [next year], the country… will be deciding who our president is going to be. It should not be Nancy Pelosi and a small group of people that she selects that get to determine who’s going to be our president.”
What this is, at its core, is a vote to deny Americans theirs. Democrats “don’t trust the people” to elect a president, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued. Why? Because they’re scared out of their minds about who the country would pick if they have the chance. Even Democrat Al Green (Texas) was blunt about the motivation behind this circus: “If they don’t impeach the president, he will get reelected.” But that’s not why we have impeachment. “Only in extraordinary and extreme instances should it be applied,” Congressman Darin LaHood insisted, “and as a former federal prosecutor, nothing in the facts or evidence presented so far supports [it].”
And everything leading up to this point proves it. “The Clinton and the Nixon impeachment were televised live,” Scalise reminded everyone. “Both sides had the same set of rules—fair rules. Republicans and Democrats could both call witnesses. The president was able to have legal counsel in the room. That’s not the case today. And in fact, we’ve seen what’s gone on in [Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) little secret chamber, where he’s hiding—literally having meetings in secret—and that’s [not justice]…” This is the very thing Alexander Hamilton warned about in Federalist Paper #65, Steve went on, that “he was concerned the power of impeachment could one day be abused for political purposes as opposed to for criminal acts. And unfortunately, today on the House floor… Democrats [did] just that.”
It’s easy to understand why Pelosi and her party are threatened. This is a president who was elected by promising to do very specific things—and he’s doing them. In the history of this country, the Left has never experienced the kind of resolve of a Republican president like Donald Trump. Unlike his predecessors, he isn’t yielding to the pressure of the Left—but moving forward, changing the way American politics operate. He’s in touch with the people and following through on an agenda that’s a slap in the face to the socialists in the House. And that’s what’s driving the Left crazy—not these phantom crimes and misdemeanors.
At the end of the day, Scalise knows, “They can’t beat him at the ballot box,” so “they’re trying to throw everything at him today.” And even that’s not slowing him down. While they’re wasting their entire majority on a political vendetta, the White House is hunting down terrorists, destroying ISIS, nominating judges, making trade deals, boosting the economy, and protecting innocent Americans. If they want to impeach the president, fine. But impeaching his conservative agenda will be next to impossible.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.