Just days after the House voted to pass two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (but refused to send them to the Senate where he would be acquitted), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued an invitation to Trump to give the State of the Union address to Congress on February 4, 2020.
After invoking the Constitution and its doctrine of three co-equal branches of government with a separation of powers, Pelosi wrote, “In the spirit of respecting our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”
Despite calling impeachment a sham and blasting Pelosi for continuing it when there wasn’t any evidence Trump did something wrong, he has accepted her invitation to give the address, according to a spokesman.
The delay in sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate means that nothing will be known about a Senate trial until after the holiday recess, which will last into the New Year.
The inconsistency of Pelosi’s behavior is yet another manifestation of the political nature of this impeachment, which was accomplished purely through a Democrat majority without a single Republican vote of support.
If Trump was so bad that he had to be impeached and, ostensibly, removed from office in Pelosi’s eyes, why would she then give him just about every legislative and spending priority he has been asking for in recent months?
She rammed impeachment through the House saying it was so urgent that it couldn’t wait for the outcome of court action over whether some called witnesses needed to testify, but now she may delay sending the articles indefinitely to avoid giving Trump the vindication of acquittal before the 2020 election cycle revs up.
The mixed messages Pelosi has been sending only serve to make impeachment look more unfair, more partisan, and more like the “witch hunt” Trump keeps saying it is.
Polls continue to shift
No wonder the polls now show that many Americans are tired of impeachment and that they don’t think it’s warranted. Trump’s support has actually grown since the impeachment inquiry began, and he now leads most polls in hypothetical matchups against Democrat 2020 candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Impeachment has become a tiresome subject for those who have had to hear about it relentlessly from the media over the last 12 weeks or more. Interest in further hearings has dropped rapidly, and people have made up their minds and moved on.
Pelosi likes to say, correctly, that impeachment can’t be run according to the polls. But the current polls are a reflection that all of her rhetoric and all the public hearings where Republicans weren’t allowed the same rights to call and question witnesses as Democrats only served to show the public that impeachment is an unfair partisan process.
And the American people really don’t like things that seem unfair to them.