Issues & Insights
Paul Sableman

Pelosi Tries To Play Hamlet On Impeachment

I&I Editorial

Nancy Pelosi is between impeach and a hard place.

“You want to believe that there’s all this unease in our caucus,” an irritated House Speaker told the press on Thursday, a day when the barbs were flying between herself and President Trump, and when many House Democrats expressed impatience or even dissatisfaction with her leadership to her face.

“That simply isn’t the truth … and I say to the caucus, ‘our diversity is our strength. Our unity is our power,’” she said, adding an assurance that House Democrats were “not on a path to impeachment.”

The claimed co-existence of unity and diversity is a tad removed from Ben Franklin’s call to all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. At any rate, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) wasn’t buying it. “She’s either delusional or misrepresenting where her caucus really is,” he told reporters. “Speaker Pelosi is trying to hide what I think is obvious: that the Democratic Party is hellbent on impeaching President Trump no matter what the evidence is and no matter what he does.”

This week opened a new chapter in relations between the White House and Pelosi and the Democrats’ Senate leader Chuck Schumer — with the eyes of all three on November 2020 before the arrival of even Memorial Day 2019.

Trump, during a long-winded appearance with farmers Thursday afternoon, suggested some Democrats don’t believe they can prevent his re-election next year unless they impose the blemish of impeachment upon his presidency. This in spite of the likely impossibility of getting enough Republican senators in an impeachment trial to reach the two-thirds majority necessary for Trump’s removal from office.

He had already tweeted Wednesday, “You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously — it just doesn’t work that way. You can’t go down two tracks at the same time. Let Chuck, Nancy, Jerry, Adam and all of the rest finish playing their games….” House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler of New York and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California were the other Democrats referenced.

“He made very clear that their two-track strategy is nonsense,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Thursday morning. “They can choose whether they want to investigate or legislate and what’s more important to them. I know — we all know — Speaker Pelosi is under enormous pressure from some folks in the rank and file who are demanding that she get the caucus together and start impeachment proceedings.”

Conway added: “she can’t control her caucus and she can’t control her temper about the president and we saw it yesterday,” a reference to Pelosi’s accusation that Trump’s refusal to allow former White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides testify to Congress was part of a cover-up. Pelosi made the remark shortly before she and Schumer set off for the White House to discuss with Trump how to work together on legislation — or as Conway put it, she said it “an hour before that with her car running, waiting for her.”

Feigned Schizophrenia

Stay tuned in the coming months for Hamlet to be enacted by Pelosi and other congressional Democratic leaders as regards impeachment. The establishment media’s talking points in the wake of the friction are that Trump has been flummoxed by Pelosi’s harshness. Her comments had included an implicit accusation that the President is mentally or emotionally unstable and in need of an “intervention” from family or White House staff, plus Pelosi repeatedly relating that she has been praying for Trump — for which Trump sarcastically thanked the Speaker in a tweet on Wednesday.

But the indications are it is Pelosi, almost always a deft political tactician, who has been thrown off balance. Democratic congressional aides told NBC News that Pelosi told House Democrats on Thursday that Trump was guilty of “villainous” acts. Her tack in preventing her caucus from impeaching him is to insist they would be giving him what he wants, so he can be vindicated in a Senate trial that goes nowhere.

Pelosi would go forward on the trappings of impeachment absent impeachment itself. It would be a continuation of the never-ending soap opera of the last two years of investigation, and media coverage of it, except re-located to Capitol Hill. Though all the while teasing that impeachment may be around the corner if we dig hard enough.

“Get the facts to the American people in our investigation” and “it may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment, but we’re not at that place,” as the Speaker put it.

In other words, months and months of “to impeach or not to impeach.”

But what facts are there that special counsel Robert Mueller and his $35 million and 22 months of investigation by 18 prosecutors didn’t already scrutinize? Pelosi is obviously banking on the 35 House Democrats who support formally embarking on impeachment, plus the multitudes within the Democrats’ base who want Trump’s head, transferring their anger and energy to helping their party’s nominee replace Trump at the ballot box next year. Plus a winning showing for Democrats in the House and Senate.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a member of the Judiciary panel, is representative of Democrats tired of their congressional leadership’s feigned schizophrenia. Earlier this week, in a meeting with Pelosi on impeachment, as Cohen told CNN, “I asked basically, ‘Why not?’ … For whatever reason, she doesn’t want to do it. And I think it’s our duty to do it.”

Then there is the angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin distinction offered by some Democrats who claim they don’t want to impeach Trump, but do want to hold an “impeachment inquiry.”

Trump Vs. Socialism in 2020

The trouble for Democrats is that without Trump in the guise of criminal, the focus shifts to the booming economy, destruction of ISIS, withdrawal from the lopsided Iran nuclear deal, engagement with North Korea’s nuclear-armed Kim Jong-un, and scores of appointments to the federal bench. Their task is to stop re-election of a President with an unusually impressive record. What, exactly, do they offer as an alternative? Socialized medicine and converting to a neo-agrarian economy by 2031 to prevent the end of the world, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez demands?

Democrats have actually faced comparable electoral dilemmas in the past, and some of their older hands remember. A tax cut-driven economic expansion plus the glow of hitting back against the Sept. 11th attacks made John Kerry’s 2004 campaign against President George W. Bush a long shot from the start. And Fritz Mondale’s announcement from the 1984 Democratic Convention stage in San Francisco that “Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did” was no match for the Reagan Recovery, also tax cut-driven.

And so Pelosi and Schumer seek the best way to impeach without impeaching. Anything to avoid seeking votes the honest way: defending the Big Government solutions they’re so intent on imposing.

— Written by Thomas McArdle

Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be adding new features as time permits. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

Be sure to tell all your friends! And if you’d like to make a contribution to support our effort, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right.

We Could Use Your Help

Issues & Insights was founded by seasoned journalists of the IBD Editorials page. Our mission is to provide timely, fact-based reporting and deeply informed analysis on the news of the day -- without fear or favor.

We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe in a free press, and because we aren't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being targeted by the left. Revenue from ads on the site help, but your support will truly make a difference in keeping our mission going. If you like what you see, feel free to visit our Donations Page by clicking here. And be sure to tell your friends!

You can also subscribe to I&I: It's free!

Just enter your email address below to get started.


I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Let’s all hope that Nancy takes the Hamlet role SERIOUSLY—-and plays the part of Ophelia!

  • Diversity has never improved anything, Congress is a great example.

  • Poor Pelosi! Get thee to a nunnery!
    Elected to a House majority because of the Russian lies paid for by the Clinton campaign.
    Her credibility shattered along with CNN’s , MSNBC’s, NYT’s, WP’s and many others as they banked their reputations on the official misconduct by Obama administration collaboration who with the Clinton campaign and foreign operatives (including Russians, diplomats, and covert agents) conducted an espionage/spying operation against Trump associates and disseminated that Russian sourced, Clinton campaign financed Steele dossier.
    Mueller and his kangaroos weren’t able to prove a false claim.
    Not one Democratic candidate has denounced the Obama administration corruption concerning the investigations into Hillary’s national security violations/”pay to play” diplomacy (run through her private communications network) and their attempts to frame the Trump campaign for acts the Clinton campaign committed.
    Nancy is stuck in denial of the truth and has a legislative agenda built in lawlessness. She and Schumer were probably briefed on the misconduct when Democrats thought they could get away with a corrupt conspiracy to undermine Trump. Whoops – were they ever wrong!

    • To a nunnery go! Imagine if Sister Nancy were told the Mother Superior’s name was Kellyanne!

  • This idea of Impeachment is absurd. The President didn’t break any laws & the Democrats know it. Period!

  • Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress continue to cram “Impeachment” down our throats in order to distract us from President Trump’s accomplishments!

    They refuse to do what they were elected to do!

    We need term limits!

    America First!

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

We Could Use Your Help

Help us fight for honesty in journalism and against the tyranny of the left. Issues & Insights is published by the editors of what once was Investor's Business Daily's award-winning opinion pages. If you like what you see, leave a donation by clicking on donate button above. You can also set up regular donations if you like. Ad revenue helps, but your support will truly make a difference. (Please note that we are not set up as a charitable organization, so donations aren't tax deductible.) Thank you!