The Pelosi Stillborn Impeachment

It was very subtle. Few picked up on its deeper ramification, not in the Left media, not in the pro-Trump media. Maybe it took a combination rabbi-attorney to detect the nuance in three words spoken out of turn, a sinful hate. As Nancy Pelosi lost her standoff with Mitch McConnell, bowing to the collapse of support even within her own Democrat caucus, she finally bit the bullet and conceded that she would have to submit her impeachment articles without having won a single face-saving concession from her Senate opponents after a fortnight of dangling the articles in her hallucination that she was dangling candy before a child or water before a soul desperately thirsting for it in the desert.

No one really gave a hoot. Yes, we commentators commented. Cable television consumed hours daily debating it. But it did not matter a whit. The Pelosi Stillborn Impeachment already had been delivered as stillborn as a child of Catherine of Aragon. It had no life. The Constitution explicitly states that the only grounds for impeachment are bribery, treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors in the way the term was understood in 18th-century England. Even if the president had abused power, well — all presidents abuse power. That is what executives do. The historically and heroically significant John Adams had opponents labeled seditionists. Abraham Lincoln had journalists locked up. Woodrow Wilson, the progressive, imposed anti-Black racist rules and had journalists locked up and had opponents labeled seditionists and had kids tattling on their parents to the government. Obama had a phone and a pen. As for "obstructing Congress," that is what we pay the president to do. It is called "checks and balances." If Congress goes wild, the president needs to obstruct it. The House needs to obstruct a Senate gone wild, the Senate a House gone wild, the Courts a Congress or executive gone wild, and Congress and the president a judiciary gone wild.

In the end, the only people who abused power during the Silly Season of Ukraine were Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi. And once the House passed the Stillborn Impeachment, it devolved on Pelosi to submit it to the Senate for a quick and merciful funeral and interment. But she would not do it, obstructing the unilateral will of the Democrat House and obstructing the work of the Senate. In other words, the Honorable Dowager who represents a district composed almost exclusively of The Billionaires and The Homeless is the one who obstructed Congress. But we cannot speak of impeaching Pelosi for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — because those are not grounds for impeachment.

So Pelosi lost. Really bad. The foundation cracked all around her. It was as though Sen. Dorothy Gale of Kansas had tossed a bucket of water on her. One by one, Democrat senators went on TV talk shows to tell Pelosi to send over the danged articles already. Even her own mirror image — 86-year-old San Franciscan Dianne Feinstein — said it was time to give up the ghost. As Pelosi doddered forward, finally reflecting utter defeat while denying her public humiliation, she struck one more childish blow, an angry tantrum, giving voice to that sinful hatefulness that she had told us she does not bear "as a Catholic." She petulantly said that, no matter what, no matter her defeat and trampling, she had won one small cardiac victory for her hateful heart: at least President Trump is "impeached for life."

In paraphrase: "There, Donald, take that and stuff it: History will record that, no matter how badly I have been defeated and humiliated in the twilight of my own miserable journey, at least I have tarnished you forever. You will be remembered alongside Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon (who escaped impeachment by jumping first), and Bill Clinton as one of only four presidents impeached among our first 45. In your orange face!"

Fascinating. Pelosi really is that small. That petulant. That hateful. At least he is "impeached for life."

Well, even as she overlooked the inconsequential status she has been trying pathetically to leverage when trying to stare down the United States Senate, Pelosi overlooked another even greater failure she charted. How indeed, for example, has history actually judged Andrew Johnson's impeachment? Unless one is a real student of American history, the vast majority of university-educated Americans have absolutely no idea, not even who he is. Wasn't Johnson that guy who got us mired in Vietnam? Oh, wait — this wasn't Lyndon but Andrew? Was he the Andrew who got involved with Jeffrey Epstein? Ask the next hundred people you meet what they think of Andrew Johnson. Go ahead.

Who indeed was he, and who cares? To the degree that anyone cares, he was the victim of a post-Civil War Congress that was furious, in the immediate aftermath of having just won the horribly bloody Civil War, that an assassin's bullet instantly had removed Abraham Lincoln of Illinois (and Kentucky) and replaced him with a man from Dixie, Andrew Johnson the running mate from Greeneville, Tennessee, who had been put on the ticket for regional balance. Go and visit Johnson's birthplace, as I have done, and you will find a monument in his memory that shows him clutching and protecting the Constitution. The grounds for which he was impeached and not convicted ultimately were deemed so flimsy that the U.S. Supreme Court eventually agreed with him that the Act was unconstitutional from the get-go. To be sure, many scholars deem Johnson to have been a poor president, but that discussion fascinates less than 1 percent of the population and is unrelated to the unwarranted impeachment. In a country whose future generation thinks we fought Vietnam in the Revolutionary War and ISIS in the Civil War, while allying with Iraq to fight Canada in World War II, Trump may take some comfort in contemplating what Johnson is remembered for.

But the real legacy that Pelosi's Stillborn Impeachment has laid out for Donald Trump is something else. Never in all of American history has the American electorate voted back into office a president who had been impeached. With many indicators suggesting that Trump stands a very decent prospect of being reelected this November, he would become the only American president in history whose popularity was so great that the American people rose up in defiance of their own elected House representatives to send him back to the White House after impeachment. Now that is a historic achievement. No one will remember why he was impeached, only that the American people rose up in revolt and presented themselves as The Resistance to a Swamp of Democrats and reelected their chosen leader barely half a year after his impeachment.

President Trump will be remembered for many wonderful things if he conducts the next five years of his presidency as he has conducted the first three, but that may be his greatest legacy of all: the president so loved that he was reelected for another four years by an electorate that rose up to defend him from an impeaching Congress they threw out only months later.

And how will Nancy Pelosi be remembered in history? Has any other Speaker of the House ever before lost the House majority and the Speakership twice? Nope. Just stay out of the way as the shards from the glass ceiling rain down upon her when she gets ousted again from the Speakership — this time for life.

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About the Author

Rabbi Dov Fischer, an attorney, adjunct professor of law, and contributing editor of The American Spectator, is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and holds prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He has been Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings have appeared in the American Spectator, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Jerusalem Post, American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, and Israel National News.