We are setting up for perhaps Pelosi’s greatest act of Trump manipulation of the past three years.
McConnell wants a sham trial. Dems want witnesses. Pelosi is refusing to send the articles of impeachment until they agree.
If Trump were not in the mix, McConnell would happily ‘pocket veto’ the whole impeachment by refusing Dems demands and blocking any trial at all.
He even arrogantly boasted that he’s just fine with not sending the articles of impeachment over at all because he doesn’t want them.
The rub: President Fragile McPorcelain.
Trump cannot handle impeachment hanging over his head. He pathologically *needs* the ego-healing of a sham exoneration.
He’s like a little boy with a scrape. It isn’t a big injury but he won’t stop crying until he gets a Band-aid.
Pelosi knows that, of course.
While other people (including McConnell) are saying that she has no leverage to force negotiation on impeachment rules, she has the perfect leverage: Trump’s own dysfunctional impulses.
Pelosi doesn’t have to force McConnell to negotiate.
Trump will – backhandedly.
As impeachment hangs over Trump’s head, he’ll wail and gnash and complain about the Senate not protecting him…
…and force them into breaking the impasse.
McConnell is in a vise.
On one side is Nancy Pelosi, ice in her veins, sharpened steel in her heels, calmly turning the screws.
On the other is an impertinent toddler flinging his toys around his playpen.
Pelosi has the upper hand… all she need do is wait.
I was critical of the pace of moving on impeachment this summer and public narrative from Pelosi and House Dems but as I’ve said consistently, there is perhaps no Speaker better at this work right here… legislating, negotiating, navigating.
She does not blink.
It was another late December when Trump tried to grandstand by shutting down the government.
He and McConnell haughtily insisted they had no reason to budge.
Then Pelosi let the pressure mount until Trump’s fragile ego couldn’t handle it.
We’re about to see the sequel.
And one postscript on this:
Pelosi just sent Trump an invitation to hold his State of the Union on February 4th.
During the shutdown, she withheld the SOTU knowing Trump covets the big stage to sing his own praises.
So, why schedule it unnecessarily early this time?
Struck me as clearly a strategic decision but what the strategy was, I wasn’t sure…
Now, I think it is revealing itself.
Trump now has a date in his head when he will be standing before Congress as either a president exonerated or a president under impeachment.
Trump pathologically covets little in the world more than a repair to the ego-injury of his impeachment.
That date will loom and weigh. It’ll turn Trump’s pathological need for ego service up to 11.
He wants this over before February 4th.
And the only way to get that… is by McConnell buckling on the rules and structure of the trial.
Pelosi put the frog in a pot.
Trump will turn up the heat all on his own.
Originally posted on Twitter. Re-posted with permission.
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