Nancy Pelosi, What Are You Even Doing?

Listen, I give Speaker Nancy Pelosi a lot of leeway, because she has shown herself on many occasions to be a savvy strategist, but I draw the line at trying to justify the decision to not impeach Donald Trump because he's "goading us to impeach him."

Clare Foran, Ashley Killough, and Sunlen Serfaty at CNN report:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued Tuesday that [Donald] Trump is trying to provoke Democrats into proceeding with impeachment, using some of her strongest language yet on the issue.

"Trump is goading us to impeach him," she said at an event in New York City hosted by the Cornell University Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. "That's what he's doing. Every single day, he's just like taunting, taunting, taunting because he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn't really care. He just wants to solidify his base."
This is fucking ridiculous.

Trump isn't going full fascist to goad the Democrats and solidify his base; he's going full fascist because that's the objective. He's the centerpiece around which the Republican Party is consolidating its power.

Animating his deplorable base and enraging anyone who still values our democracy and respects the rule of law are byproducts. They aren't the goals.

And talking about them like they are profoundly minimizes the threat we face as a nation.

Trump isn't doing anything he hasn't always done: Be as brazen as possible so that his opponents and the press can't believe he's actually as dangerous as he really is.

The response to that absolutely cannot be: "We'd better not try to check his power or he might get more powerful."

There's an inherent flaw in that approach. Can you spot it, Speaker Pelosi? IT'S THAT HE GETS MORE POWERFUL EITHER WAY.

I honestly don't know why Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are taking this absurd and impotent approach, but I don't believe that it is naivete, or cruelty, or concern about personal exposure for covert corruption, as many people have suggested.

I do wonder if there is some threat to the larger population being held over their heads — like, say, an attack on our infrastructure, which is hardly out of the question. I wonder if Pelosi and Schumer are trying to telegraph that threat to those of us paying attention by agreeing to work on infrastructure policy with Trump.

If something like that is driving their decision-making, it's not an insignificant consideration. But if the only way to avoid it is to allow Trump to go full fascist, then we've already lost either way. So they should name it. Expose the threat. Let us decide as a country what to do.

And if that's not what is happening, then they need to roll. Fast and hard and unrelenting.

Because — spoiler alert — Trump is going to do the worst thing whether Democrats "provoke" him by trying to hold him accountable or whether they try (futilely) to contain him.

We might as well try to stop him, or at least limit the scope of his harm.

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