Sunday, November 24, 2019
You know the impeachment inquiries aren't going very well when Washington Post Congressional Reporter Rachael Bade is admitting on CNN that Democrats are having cold feet pursuing impeachment after the end of public testimony.
"I think what we're starting to see, you know, is when the impeachment inquiry was first announced and [Democrats] started to do these depositions, a lot of people were asking, 'Can Nancy Pelosi peel off any Republicans?'" Bade asked "But I increasingly think the question is becoming does [Pelosi] lose more Democrats? Because Republicans have really unified behind the president, and although two Democrats voted against the impeachment inquiry rules that they voted on a couple of weeks ago, we are hearing behind-the-scenes there are moderates getting cold feet."
Pelosi only needs 218 votes to approve articles of impeachment but anything less than 231 would be a disaster for the Democrats.
The Democrats might not have a lot more than 218, which would itself be horribly humiliating for Dems. There are 233 Democrats in the House right now; only two voted against opening the impeachment inquiry. If more than two vote against impeachment, the inescapable conclusion for many Americans will be that Schiff's two weeks of hearings were so unpersuasive that he actually *lost* support for impeachment within his own party.
Successfully impeaching Trump with fewer votes than the 231 which Dems had to open the impeachment inquiry would itself be embarrassing so the magic number in Pelosi's mind has to be the same 231. In order to "prove" that the public hearings were successful and that this process wasn't a political mistake, she may demand that every member of her caucus who voted to proceed initially also vote to impeach.
A censure vote would be the obvious fallback option if Pelosi couldn't bribe or threaten her way to 218 votes, but even censure would be such a humiliating climbdown for the party that there'd be pressure from the Left on her to resign as Speaker and Schiff to step down as Chairman of Intelligence.
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