Don't call my bluff

I didn't see this tactic coming:
Senate Democrats are quietly talking about asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to hold articles of impeachment in the House until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agrees to a fair rules package for a Senate trial.
Senate Democrats explained that this is their only chance to exert leverage over Mitch McConnell, who has his caucus completely lined up and won't need to get the consent of any intransigent Dems to whatever trial procedure he chooses to jam through on short notice.

Senate Dems to McConnell:  "Why, if you don't promise to make the Senate impeachment trial procedure less of a kangaroo court than we just inflicted on the country in the House, we'll . . . we'll . . . we'll get our House Dem colleagues to refuse to approve the articles of impeachment in the full House vote, that's what we'll do. Then where will you be?"

Situations like this make me think of the old joke about the missionaries being fattened up for the cannibal pot.  Told that their skins will be used to make canoes, one of them grabs a fork, pierces his arms and legs repeatedly, and yells "I'll fix your darn canoe!"

On the other hand, if Pelosi were looking for an excuse for a mercy killing for the articles of impeachment . . . .  But nah.  For all the talk about not whipping the vote, she must know what a disaster a down-vote in the full House would be.  They'd be lining up to use that new 988 number.  At least if this absurd business goes to trial, they can blame their loss on the Republican trial procedure, and in that light, the more rushed and unfair the better.  After all, the Dems' holding the initial investigation in a darkened dungeon did immeasurable good for the President.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

This is weird and seems suicidal. Yet I also know that these are creatures of DC who know how things work there far, far, better than I do. They swim in these waters - we only fish there.

E Hines said...

McConnell has no need to talk to Schumer or any other Senate Progressive-Democrat, individually or as a group, much less treat with him or them, over rules for a Senate trial.

Pelosi is in no position to delay a vote on the Articles of Impeachment, much less delay their delivery to the Senate. Anything short of full-throated, all-in impeachment move finale would be a disaster for the Progressive-Democratic Party. After three years of Evil Trump Must Go, and after these last months of Evil Trump Colluded With Russia/Extorted Ukraine/Bribed Ukraine/Didn't Listen To His Diplomatic Betters and of Zelenskiy is either a pants-staining coward or an outright liar, she can't now cry, "King's X, we didn't mean it." Which is what she'd be doing if she moved to delay the Articles or House action on them.

The Senate does need to pass a resolution announcing its readiness to receive the Articles for trial. Here, too, though, McConnell has no need of consultation with Schumer or any other Senate Progressive-Democrat, individually or as a group. The Senate should merely, promptly--preemptively, without waiting on a House vote--declare its readiness to receive the Articles.

Trump wants a trial. For the Congressional Progressive-Democrats to move to deny it to him would compound the disaster.

McConnell knows that. After three years of House Progressive-Democrats claiming they can walk and chew gum regarding legislation and impeachment, of which Governor Huckabee said, sure but all they're doing is stepping on their gum, the best response to an Articles delivery delay would be for McConnell to ignore Schumer, et al.; loudly proclaim the Pelosi delay, wondering just as loudly why they're blocking the trial; and continue legislating--especially judge confirmations, since the trial's delay would leave them with all that free time.

Regarding Progressive-Democrats swimming in the DC waters, WC Fields wasn't far wrong in his reason for disliking water.

Eric Hines

E Hines said...

'Course, the tactic is consistent with the program never having been about impeachment at all, but merely about a smear job and an attempt to poison the upcoming elections.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I still think they’d be fools to go to trial on this. But as AVI says, what do I know about being a Congressman?

“... that new 988 number.”

I’m not aware of that referent. What have I missed?

E Hines said...

988 number

I think that's a reference to the FCC's newly approved suicide prevention number, akin to 911 for a fire or cop-needed emergency.

Eric Hines

Aggie said...

Any attempts to peel the rug back on Ukrainian shenanigans has the potential to be an exploding cigar for Republicans. Especially for long-term career Republican Senators who have just as much trouble explaining their vast wealth as some of their colleagues across that gold-paved aisle. The Ukrainian system is well-known as a go-to place for channeling campaign funding from places that have clearly defined goals but don't have zip codes. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, are just the few that have been named 'frinstance'. The list is much longer, and hence the proceedings in the Senate will be as short as possible.

Texan99 said...

Washington Examiner: 'Unfortunately for [Pelosi] and the rest of the Democrats, the issue they picked for impeachment was stupid. It's also proving nearly impossible to explain to the average voter without a flowchart, timeline, and an intermission.

'The “Trump called for Ukraine to interfere in our election” slogan is ridiculous on a bumper sticker, and it also raises a million questions, none of which have answers that are good for Democrats.

'Why Ukraine? Because it appears Joe Biden and his adult son were involved in some corrupt business there. Anything else? Yeah, Ukraine also directly influenced the 2016 election for the purpose of hurting Trump’s campaign.'

Not to mention that it's hard to get anyone talking about putting pressure on Ukraine without evoking images of Biden's victory lap on video crowing about how he bullied Ukraine into firing its prosecutor (who just happened to be looking into BIden's son) by threatening to withhold $1BB in aid. But Trump threatened Ukraine with what, again, and why? Biden's threat is easy to understand. Trump's is murky no matter how often you try to explain it.

james said...

So perhaps Pelosi et al have been outmaneuvered by "Young Turks" looking to blow up a few of the entrenched establishment Democrats (and Republicans)? A trial that brought out Ukraine details might open up a few positions for the radicals.