A Day Later, Impeachment Fervor Seems to Cool
Despite widespread Wednesday punditry that Mueller’s announcement would begin a stampede for a formal House probe of Trump, signs point the other way.
My take: Reading this New York Times headline “Trump Accuses Mueller of a Personal Vendetta as Calls for Impeachment Grow,” would lead one to believe that Mueller’s words had indeed put pressure on Nancy Pelosi to bend to the pro-impeachment voices in her caucus.
In fact, the article itself does almost nothing to back up the headline’s use of the word “grow.”
Even Bernie Sanders Thursday stayed in line with the Pelosi position: continue investigating Trump, but be cautious of impeachment, since the Republican Senate will not convict him, leaving voters to wonder why the House effort was made. There have been only a trickle of new Democrats who have called for impeachment since Mueller spoke, hardly enough to shake Pelosi from her anti-impeachment stance.
Trump’s renewed attacks on Mueller Thursday and these must-read columns by David Von Drehle in the Washington Post and Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal all point to the status quo ante Mueller: Pelosi thinks impeachment is a political loser and wants to focus on getting Trump out of office by beating him in 2020.
It is difficult now — maybe impossible — to see what would cause the Speaker to change her political calculation.
Even by Normal Trump Standards, This One Is Hard to Explain
Tariff threat against Mexico just as administration tees up trade pact mystifies members of Congress of both parties.
My take: The president’s Thursday one-two punch on trade with Mexico baffled almost everyone. A procedural move to start the process of seeking approval for the NAFTA replacement deal from the Pelosi-controlled House drew a rebuke from the Speaker, who used harsh language to say the move was premature.
Then Trump unsettled border watchers by threatening an escalating series of new tariffs on Mexico over immigration.
Trump could back off on both moves, but many are vexed, the Hill is up in arms, and the Mexicans are panicked.
Trump usually plays checkers on trade, reserving the right to leave his finger on the piece and withdraw the move. That’s probably what’s going on here.
Or the president might be worried that the trade pact is going down to defeat and he wants to try to create a pair of ginned up goblins — the Mexican government and Nancy Pelosi — to blame for the failure to replace NAFTA.
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