ChrisWeigant.com

Pelosi Trolls The Media On Their Impeachment Obsession

[ Posted Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 – 16:28 UTC ]

I try to not write about the same (or similar) subjects two days running as a general rule, but every so often I must break this rule to address late-breaking developments which happen after the first article is put to bed and published. This is one of those times, because after writing yesterday about the House Democrats' impressive unity (no matter what the pundits tell you), another kerfluffle erupted when the Washington Post released an interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi which it had conducted last week. And the inside-the-Beltway crowd immediately went hog wild, because one of their very own pundits had successfully won the game entitled: "Get a Democrat to use the word 'impeachment'."

Sigh. So here we are again, as I feel the need to absolutely and positively debunk all the hoopla over the non-story of Nancy Pelosi saying she isn't currently a fan of impeaching the president. In fact, I think she's gotten so tired of getting the question that she's now just outright trolling the media on their own obsession over the issue.

To me, Pelosi is pretty obviously now just toying with the entire premise of the "Get a Democrat to say 'impeachment'" game. For the record here is the Post question and Pelosi's answer that spurred all the media hyperventilation:

Q: There have been increasing calls, including from some of your members, for impeachment of the president.

A: I'm not for impeachment. This is news. I'm going to give you some news right now because I haven't said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I've been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it.

Pelosi's first three sentences are, to my mind, nothing short of her trolling the entire Beltway media establishment. Notice how she uses language she might use to address a small child: "This is news. I'm going to give you some news right now...." That should be as much an indicator of Pelosi's sarcasm as her fake-clap to President Trump during his State Of The Union speech, if read right.

So let's strip out the sarcasm, and concentrate on Pelosi's real answer:

I'm not for impeachment.... Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don't think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it.

Now, that last bit about Trump just not being worth it was also pretty downright snarky, because Pelosi could even be attempting to troll Trump here ("I wonder what it would take to get Trump to beg me on Twitter to impeach him? Hmmm... maybe I'll say he's not worthy of it -- that might just do it!"). So let's put that aside, too, and concentrate on the key sentence instead.

Pelosi is essentially saying that she's too smart to put the cart before the horse. That's it. That's all she's saying. This isn't news, because she's said it before. A less-succinct but more-accurate answer (cobbled together from all her various responses to the question) might have been:

"Look, I was here when Bill Clinton was impeached and then not convicted by the Senate, and I saw what it did to the Republican Party. Clinton finished his term, his approval ratings went up, and Republicans paid the price for an overtly partisan impeachment effort. They thought his crimes deserved impeachment. The country obviously did not agree. That's why we have to be cautious now. Impeachment is not a legal proceeding, it is a political exercise. As the Supreme Court said so long ago about recognizing pornography, the vast majority of America will know an impeachable offense when they see it. So far, they have not seen it. When the Mueller report comes out, perhaps it will include clearly impeachable conduct. Perhaps one of the House investigations or one of the federal criminal investigations into Trump and his businesses and his family will provide a clearly-impeachable offense. And by 'clearly-impeachable offense,' I mean something that might get 20 Republican senators to vote to remove Donald Trump from office, because that is what it is going to take. But we're just not there yet, period. When that time arrives -- if it does -- then you can come back to me and I'll seriously discuss the subject of impeachment with you. Until it does, though, I'm just going to give you the same answer over and over again: I refuse to put the cart before the horse."

As I said, wordier, but crystal-clear. This is Nancy Pelosi's position, and it has not changed one iota. The key word is "unless" in her original answer, and the key phrase is the clause that follows it: "...unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan...." Her phrasing may be new, but her basic position isn't.

In actual fact, there simply was no "news" to her answer, no matter how she trolled the reporter. She has said this to reporters before. Many times, in fact, because the "Get a Democrat to say 'impeachment'" game has been going strong for over a year now. It was a favorite pastime for reporters who were ignoring what was actually happening on the midterm campaign trail for all of 2018.

Pelosi was asked about impeachment over and over again throughout the midterm campaign. Her answer didn't materially change at all. Her final answer to the question was actually delivered on the same day the midterm voting took place. PBS reporter Judy Woodruff interviewed Pelosi and asked her whether Democrats would become unified around impeaching Trump, should they take back control of the House. Here is Pelosi's response:

It depends on what happens in the [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller investigation, but that is not unifying and I get criticized in my own party for not being in support of it. But I'm not. If that happens, it would have to be bipartisan, and the evidence would have to be so conclusive.

How is this any different than what the Post reported? The only answer is that it is not. It is exactly the same (although Pelosi did successfully avoid "the I-word" in her answer). Pelosi's position has not changed, which is why her answer has not changed at all. She is still saying exactly what she's been saying for over a year now. She has -- her snarky claim to the contrary notwithstanding -- said this to plenty of reporters over that period of time, and her answer has been reported on again and again without any material change.

Which only goes to prove that Pelosi's: "This is news. I'm going to give you some news right now because I haven't said this to any press person before" was nothing short of her trolling the media.

And they fell for it, once again. Because in the media's game of "Get a Democrat to say 'impeachment'," it just does not matter to them what the actual answer is, as long as the key word passes between Democratic lips. When you achieve this goal, the reaction is always the same: Fire up the keyboards! Democrats in disarray! Get that clickbait article up on the website now!

Sigh.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

27 Comments on “Pelosi Trolls The Media On Their Impeachment Obsession”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    ultimately, i agree with nancy's position. donald is least harmful when he's least effective. and regardless of which way an impeachment trial went, at the end there would be a stronger republican president in the white house.

  2. [2] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I am still holding out hope that the Southern District of NY will actually indict Trump while he is in office.

    Side note: Did anyone else see Rachel Maddow’s special report on how the policy the DOJ points to for saying that a sitting president cannot be indicted actually was focused on whether a sitting VP could be indicted. The line about the president was simply a lead in statement that was not offered as part of the paper’s findings. Maddow interviewed one of the men who was there when the paper was being written who stated that it amazes him that the matter has not been fully addressed on its own merits.

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    [2] Listen: I DID see that and some other, similar covering of the history elsewhere. Yes, the idea that a sitting POTUS can't be indicted isn't LAW or in the Constitution. It became a DOJ "opinion" as a result of Spiro Agnew needing to be removed.

  4. [4] 
    Paula wrote:

    Re: impeachment - I'd like to see it start, but am willing to wait until more investigations happen and the larger public starts to grasp the breadth and depth of Blotus' criminality.

    I am also not wedded to impeachment as the means to get Blotus out - there's more than one avenue. At the same time there IS some validity to the need to take action when a POTUS is so flagrantly and obviously criminal and unfit. It really should be beyond politics although since Repubs are party-before-country that's not where we are. But right now most Repubs are simply in hiding, hoping Blotus goes down without their obvious fingerprints so they can survive to grift another day. They should be forced onto the record, one way or another.

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And if Trump does not get impeached, just imagine how much the next Dem president can get away with without getting impeached.

    It's a WIN-WIN!

    (for the Dem and Republican establishments- not the rest of us.)

  6. [6] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula [4],

    I agree. Impeachment is necessary for our country to get back to holding truth and decency in high regard. It is also one way for Republicans to wash away some of the stain that Trump’s presidency has brought to the GOP — a chance for them to show that they will put what is best for our country before the party’s goals.

    Also,did you catch South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s town hall on CNN this past weekend? I was extremely impressed by his answers to questions on automation, experience in government, health care, infrastructure, and his thoughts on Mike Pence. Not only did he give very direct responses that had a lot of substance (instead of generalized talking points), he remembered if questions had multiple questions within them and he addressed them all. The Austin crowd loved him. Definitely worth watching if you get the chance!

  7. [7] 
    Bclancy wrote:

    I have to side with Nancy Pelosi on this. Do I think Trump has all but certainly done things worthy of impeachment? Yes. And I am sympathetic to liberal’s desire for justice. We have watched this incredibly stupid, morally despicable person who has likely never worked an honest day in his life be given accolades and attention, be given endless priveledge and power, and seemingly never have to deal with the consequences of his actions ever. It’s like watching Joffrey from Game of Thrones sit in the Oval Office. So the longing to make him face consequences I get. Totally.

    But the fact is that right now, the Democrats could possibly impeach Trump, but they do not have the Senate votes to actually remove him from office. Which means that impeachment would merely be a symbolic condemnation of Trump. It wouldn’t actually do anything. So a pragmatic cost-benefit analysis has to weigh all the potential downsides against a merely symbolic censure. Frankly, I don’t think that symbolic condemnation is worth potentially pissing off voters in purple districts, I don’t think it’s worth risking a public perception that the Democrats jumped the gun, and I don’t think it’s worth risking a public backlash in favor of Trump. Some things are worth potentially pissing off centrists. Passing single payer health care for instance. But an impeachment wouldn’t have any practical effect.

    I doubt it would even have a beneficial effect on public opinion. People who already hate Trump would take it as confirmation of Trump’s crimes. People who already like Trump would take it as confirmation of liberal bias.

    As Pelosi implied, the political situation may change so that removing Trump from office is a viable possibility. But right now we don’t have the votes. Demanding that Democratic Congresspeople support impeachment doesn’t change that fact. From where I stand, there’s little to be gained but the satisfaction of formally condemning Trump.

    Then there’s the fact that even if we successfully removed Trump from office we would just end up with President Pence. From a pragmatic(and admittedly partisan) perspective, that’s hardly an improvement. But even that consideration is irrelevant until we actually have the votes to remove Trump.

  8. [8] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Belancy [7] has pretty well summed up my views on this. Impeachment that failed in the Senate would make only things worse, so Pelosi and others have to know enough Republican senators would vote to convict before beginning proceedings. Removing individual one from office, as much as I would like to see that, would leave us with President Pence.

    Better to concentrate on legislation and exposing the current executive for what it is. Of course it's currently implausible, but perhaps then 2020 would see not only individual one but most of his enablers swept from office.

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @bclancy,

    exactly.

    impeachment and acquittal would make things worse.

    impeachment and conviction would STILL make things worse.

    better to just get all the facts out there and let the voters decide.

    JL

  10. [10] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    It's a foregone conclusion that there will be no 'legal' grounds for impeachment (conspiracy, etc.) from Mueller, as I've pointed out regularly for over two yrs.

    Unfortunately, being a world-class asshole likely does not qualify either. What's left? Stupid, incompetent, immoral?? Prabably ain't gonna suffice. We're just stuck with him.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    this link is for liz:

    it is joe biden's time - 10 reasons
    by peter fenn

    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/433594-it-is-joe-bidens-time-10-reasons

  12. [12] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    I've heard that Joe is just 'biden' his time, waiting for the other two dozen to self-destruct.

  13. [13] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    I've said before: the only way to get rid of him is to vote him out of office. Period.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Thanks, Joshua.

    Indeed, those are 10 reasons why this should be Biden's time.

    But, I believe that the media/punditocracy/blogosphere, who collectively know very little about Senator Biden, will ensure that this is decidedly NOT Biden's time. The perpetual and "asinine media story on Biden", as confirmed to me by a Boston Globe columnist and outlier, may very well prevent another Biden run for president.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong - for the sake of your country and the rest of the world.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    In fact, I think she's gotten so tired of getting the question that she's now just outright trolling the media on their own obsession over the issue.

    This is exactly what Senator Biden resorted to after finally hearing enough ill-informed questions from the media about his "partition" plan for Iraq. Full stop. Of course, it was not about "partition". Full stop.

    I think it will be mistake for Pelosi, as it was for Biden, to stop explaining to the media what she is talking about. Which is the best way forward.

  16. [16] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    1

    Exactly. Donald Trump could be discovered on the White House lawn at 3:00 a.m. with dripping fangs after having sucked the life out of a newborn baby, and the spineless GOP would claim the baby was bitten by a poisonous snake and POTUS was simply trying to save it by sucking out the venom.

    Trump, the Trump spawn, and the various assorted grifters he's surrounded himself with over multiple decades have committed multiple crimes for which they've already been indicted. Many of them will die in prison. As many of us have discussed multiple times on many days, and in multiple ways: There has never been a POTUS that was removed from office, and we are truly living history. Buckle up.

    So maybe after the events of today, this excerpt from a post made a year and a half ago... circa August 2017... will make more sense.

    If ya'all would stop worshiping Benedict Donald and sucking on the orange goop and take a breath and a glance every now and then at the moving goalposts of the Red team, perhaps you won't have goop all over your face when the game nears the 2-minute warning... because when people think the game is nearly over, it'll just be getting started... and in the end, some of the Red team is going to jail.

    These little town blues are melting away
    I'm gonna make a brand new start of it in old New York
    A-a-a-nd if I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere
    It's up to you, New York, New York. :)

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/08/04/ftp448/#comment-107388

    Start spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today
    I want to be a part of it... ;)

  17. [17] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    2

    This! Exactly right… Spiro Agnew.

  18. [18] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    4

    You and JL are dead on about this. Facts don't matter to the GOP; the lawmakers have been bullied, and the minions have been suckered by the con and bought "all in." So think like NPDP (Nancy Pelosi) who said the same thing about George W. Bush eons ago: "Impeachment is off the table." Nixon wasn't impeached. He was removed by the GOP. Nancy isn't playing into Trump's hand, she is playing to win. Impeachment is a colossal waste of time, and Trump isn't worth the effort. How long before Trump tweets out that he is worth impeaching!? ;)

    Best course of action is to investigate Trump, educate the public, and let the facts come forth. If America wishes to see Trump brought to justice, they need only vote him out of office to start that ball rolling.

    Democrats should run on that. You want that lying, cheating, conniving, and grifting Benedict Donald out of office? Swamp the drain and flush him out! Vote like your democracy depends on it... because it does. :)

  19. [19] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    10

    It's a foregone conclusion that there will be no 'legal' grounds for impeachment (conspiracy, etc.) from Mueller, as I've pointed out regularly for over two yrs.

    You must really enjoy appearing ignorant. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that impeachment requires "legal grounds." *laughs* Regardless of that ridiculous assertion, how many indictments of the grifters surrounding Trump that have already been handed down by Mueller's grand juries will it take to convince you? Flynn, Manafort, Stone, etc., etc., etc. not being enough for you, perhaps the unsealed indictments of the Trump spawn would do the trick. :)

    Unfortunately, being a world-class asshole likely does not qualify either.

    Wrong again. There have been several presidents who have already been impeached for something akin to that very thing.

    Stupid, incompetent, immoral??

    All "grounds" for impeachment... which I can assure you doesn't require "legal" grounds. :)

  20. [20] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Those "several presidents who have already been impeached" are a grand total of two, are they not?

    And, BTW, I have never specified criteria for impeachment, 'legal' or otherwise. I have pointed out (with some regularity) that getting dirt on your political opponent, even from Russians, is NOT illegal, and you have claimed (with equal regularity) that it IS. I'm still betting on not. How about you?

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    20

    Those "several presidents who have already been impeached" are a grand total of two, are they not?

    That is an obvious and well-known fact, CRS, and I concede that I royally goobed up that sentence. Allow me to rephrase to clarify:

    REPHRASE: There have been several persons who have already been impeached for something akin to that very thing.

    The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    ~ U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4

    You don't have to be president to be impeached; the House of Representatives is full of equal opportunity impeachers.

    IMPEACHED

    William Blount -- Conspiracy with Great Britain
    John Pickering -- Intoxication on the bench
    Samuel Chase -- Charges of arbitrary and oppressive conduct
    James H. Peck -- Charges of abuse and contempt of power
    West H. Humphreys -- Waging war against the U.S. government
    Andrew Johnson -- Violating the Tenure of Office Act for firing the Secretary of War
    Mark H. Delahay -- Intoxication on the bench
    William W. Belknap -- Charges of criminal disregard for his office/bribery
    Charles Swayne -- Abuse of contempt power
    Robert W. Archbald -- Improper business relationship with litigants
    George W. English -- Abuse of power
    Harold Louderback -- Favoritism in court appointments
    Halsted L. Ritter -- Favoritism in court appointments
    Harry E. Claiborne -- Income tax evasion
    Alcee L. Hastings -- Perjury and conspiracy to solicit bribe
    Walter L. Nixon -- Perjury before a federal grand jury
    William J. Clinton -- Charges of lying under oath and obstruction of justice
    Samuel B. Kent -- Charges of sexual assault, obstruction, false and misleading statements
    G. Thomas Porteous, Jr. -- Charges of accepting bribes and making false statements

    As far as presidents, I believe it is eight of them have actually faced impeachment charges, but only 2 of them were impeached by the House majority.

    And, BTW, I have never specified criteria for impeachment, 'legal' or otherwise. I have pointed out (with some regularity) that getting dirt on your political opponent, even from Russians, is NOT illegal, and you have claimed (with equal regularity) that it IS.

    Yes, I know. You're obviously the board fool who believes that conspiring with foreign adversaries isn't illegal despite being presented with all kinds of evidence to the contrary when it's actually demonstrably illegal under multiple statutes of the United States Code. "Getting dirt from Russia" or conspiring with any foreign nationals who "got dirt" via theft is not generally something that happens accidental-like and without planning to obtain said "dirt," which would indeed constitute a conspiracy that is illegal, whether or not it could be successfully proven in a court of law.

    I'm still betting on not. How about you?

    I'm still betting you're that same ignorant old fool who stated unequivocally that he had nothing whatsoever to do with Republicans while at the same time being a registered Republican in the State of Taters. :)

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    idaho?
    naw man,
    youdaho.

  23. [23] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    You seem to be under the erroneous impression that "registerings as a Rep. in Idaho" implies or equates "having to do with Republicans".

    That phrase would imply that I participate in Republican party doings, (conventions, fund-raising, nominating, etc.), which is definitely not the case.

    Leaders of the Idaho Repulican party have never heard of me, and likely do not even know (or care) that I am a "registered Republican". Maybe you should ask them if you have doubts.

  24. [24] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    Re: "Mark H Delahay, impeached for intoxication on the bench".

    Surely he must have been imbibing 'RUSSIAN Vodka', right? Otherwise, had it been American moonshine, it would not have been 'illegal'!

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    23

    You seem to be under the erroneous impression that "registerings as a Rep. in Idaho" implies or equates "having to do with Republicans".

    OMG... not this hairsplitting shit again!

    Must I link to the State of Taters Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form where people from Podunk and all over the State of Taters are free to declare the Party to which they are affiliated? Well, okay then:

    https://idahovotes.gov/media/party_affiliation.pdf

    So let's review your choices, shall we:

    * Democratic
    * Republican
    * Constitution
    * Libertarian
    * Unaffiliated (No party preference)

    A person who is free to declare any of the above Parties or "Unaffiliated" but is registered as a "Republican" meets the definition of having something to do with Republicans since they've declared they're affiliated.

    af·fil·i·ate
    verb

    1. officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization.
    synonyms:
    associate with, be in league with, unite with, combine with, join with, join up with, join forces with, ally with, form an alliance with, align with, amalgamate with, merge with, coalesce with, federate with, confederate with, form a federation with, form a confederation with, team up with, band together with, cooperate with; annex to, attach to, yoke to, incorporate into, integrate into

    In case you forgot because of your CRS disease, you've already admitted in a prior post to being a registered Republican... when I called you on it.

    That phrase would imply that I participate in Republican party doings, (conventions, fund-raising, nominating, etc.), which is definitely not the case.

    Only if you're assuming and flailing in the process. I'm simply pointing out the nonsensical ignorance of an old man who would claim to have nothing to do with the Republican Party while at the same time be a registered Republican who "mostly winds up supporting Reps" as you have also already admitted in a prior post.

    But please proceed in your flailing, Stucki; it's funny in a pathetic sort of way. :)

  26. [26] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    I confess to being a staunch conservative, with a libertarian bent. I freely admit that as such, I don't often support Democratics, and in 2016, I also didn't support the Republican.

    Hows that for even more "funny pathetic flailing"? Anyway, unlike you, and old and pathetic as I am, I naturally have trouble remembering "all those several presidents who have been impeached". You young folks simply have to make allowances.

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    26

    I confess to being a staunch conservative, with a libertarian bent. I freely admit that as such, I don't often support Democratics, and in 2016, I also didn't support the Republican.

    Good for you, Stucki. Neil explained this better than I ever could in his prior posts, but seriously, there's absolutely no need to keep claiming you have nothing to do with Republicans when you are a registered Republican who has already said he "mostly winds up supporting Reps." :)

    Anyway, unlike you, and old and pathetic as I am, I naturally have trouble remembering "all those several presidents who have been impeached".

    Oops, I did it again. I was talking about the multiple persons impeached for shitty conduct that wasn't illegal, and there are actually several presidents who have "faced impeachment" with only two that actually were "impeached." Not the first time I've done that and likely will not be the last. To this day, my crew and I will still reference Nixon "being impeached" when we obviously know the old SOB "faced impeachment" and chose to resign before actually "being impeached" by majority vote. It was nice of him to leave after screaming "witch hunt" for all those years of criminal activity, though, and it'd be nice to see the current Perp POTUS follow his lead and resign for his crimes... although not bloody likely.

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