D.C. is in its third full day of full-swing impeachment fever, and the media has been caterwauling about both the great wisdom and terrific miscalculation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Tuesday decision to push on with an inquiry in an election season.
In competing opinion pieces today, just as an example, the New York Times Editorial Board suggests that the impeachment inquiry was "the only option" when faced with Trump's flagrant disregard for the Constitution, and columnist David Brooks argues that the Democrats might as well be handing Trump a victory in 2020. "Of course the president has has committed previous offenses that many critics argued justified an impeachment inquiry months if not years ago," the board writes. "But an impeachment inquiry was not necessary to deal previously with those transgressions, because the system was working" with things like the Mueller investigation. "The House now has a duty not to use an impeachment inquiry to seek political advantage but to protect the integrity of the next election by using its powers to conduct a methodical and fair investigation of impeachable behavior," they write.
"The Democrats are having a pretty exciting and substantive presidential primary season," writes Brooks. "This is what democracy is supposed to look like. Why they would want to distract from that is beyond reason. Trump vs. Nadler is exactly the contrast Trump wants to elevate."
Pelosi seems to understand, as well she should, that the longer and more tedious this impeachment inquiry gets, the more potentially damaging it will be — and the more time Trump will have to scream "Witch Hunt!" on Twitter and at rallies. She went on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning to discuss what she hopes will be an inquiry that moves "with purpose and expeditiously, but not hastily." And she's being careful not to seem gleeful in the eyes of independent voters especially, saying, "This is no cause for any joy," she said. "This is a very sad time for our country... We have to be very prayerful, and we always have to put country before party."
Interestingly, she also hinted at a new Russia connection in all this?
Per the Chronicle, she said, "And by the way, I think Russia has a hand in this." Pelosi didn't elaborate, and it's unclear if she was referring to the President's push to curry favor with the new leader of Ukraine, or to investigate Joe Biden and his son, or what.
In related news, as Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough reported on Morning Joe, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll showed a 13-point swing on the topic of impeachment among registered voters in just a few days' time.