If you’re not glued to watching today’s impeachment vote proceedings, you really haven’t missed much. But the full vote is expected after 4 p.m., and we’ve got some links where you can livestream it for free.
The historic, third-ever impeachment of a United States President is currently in its sixth hour of House floor debate, and despite the extraordinary significance of the moment, the discussion is somehow simultaneously a snoozefest and a clown show. Democratic and Republican representatives are merely trading histrionic sixty-second sound-bite attempts, the vast majority falling flat, with the GOP reps being pretty much exclusively white elderly males with southern accents. With six hours of this pointless but obligatory grandstanding scheduled, the action is expected to climax with a vote no earlier than 4 p.m. Pacific Time, and probably after 4:30.
Thank you to the resisters who joined in a prayer for America tonight in San Francisco as we prepared for #Impeachment and the inevitable Trump backlash at the most vulnerable among us. We are here for each other and will #DefendOurDemocracy 💙 pic.twitter.com/9CZgJnjOBY— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) December 18, 2019
Last night, a set of pro-impeachment rallies and protests set the table, drawing an estimated 200,000 people to the combined rallies in New York, Chicago, and of course, San Francisco, among other cities. (That’s not Nancy Pelosi under the letter ‘A,’ it's her daughter Christine.)
It is tragic that the President's reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice. It is a matter of fact that the President is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy. #DefendOurDemocracy pic.twitter.com/fxTLr7I9x3— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 18, 2019
The New York Times takes this moment to discuss the fact that Nancy Pelosi will now have to live out her remaining days knowing that this impeachment episode will now be inextricably linked to her legacy as the first female Speaker of the House. She may be the most powerful woman in America right now, but this mess — and the potential stain it will leave on Democrats in swing districts — was not something she's been greedily salivating for since Trump took office as his batshit narrative would have it.
"She says she wants to be remembered not for impeachment, but for her legislative achievements — primarily a meticulous and politically complex push to pass the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law," the Times writes. "But for better or worse, people in both parties say, her legacy is now wrapped up with Mr. Trump’s."
Pelosi kicked off this morning’s debate with the eight-and-a-half minute speech above. “What we are discussing today is the established fact that the President again violated the Constitution,” she said. “It is a matter of fact that the President is again an ongoing threat to our national security.” She received a rather muted standing ovation from her Democratic colleagues, which you can see in this Washington Post video.
Reminiscent of when the Japanese bombed Jesus. https://t.co/KUxOimI0eV— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 18, 2019
But lo, the ridiculousness of the commentary from her Republican colleagues. GOP reps decried that this impeachment as a worse thing than the Pearl Harbor attack (2,335 American killed), worse than the Salem witch trials (20 innocent people killed), and worse than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (one alleged messiah killed after they kicked the shit out of him).
Check out this exchange I had with then private citizen @realDonaldTrump on Oct. 15, 2008. We spoke about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and he then offered his thoughts about impeachment. pic.twitter.com/mXlsG9SjbB— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) December 18, 2019
Among the day’s more interesting developments, though, was the discovery of above 2008 interview with then-citizen Trump where he says Pelosi is “a very impressive person, I like her a lot,” and notes the impeachment of President George W. Bush “would have been a wonderful thing.” And it would have been, but we do expect to get the impeachment of Donald Trump tonight — as Pelosi’s shrewd whip-counting indicates, she has 231 votes for impeachment, and she only needs 216.
Screenshot: @SpeakerPelosi via Twitter