If, after the November elections, the Democrats maintain control of the House of Representatives, who will actually be in charge in the House come January 2021? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or “The Squad?” Bet on The Squad—and get ready for another impeachment effort.
The “Squad” is the nickname for four progressive Democrat Congresswomen. The most prominent of them is “AOC”—Alexandria Occasio-Cortez of New York. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Jamie Pressley of Massachusetts round out The Squad. When the Democrats won control of the House in 2018, The Squad quickly proved it could force Speaker Pelosi and establishment Democrats to accommodate their demands. It was The Squad that pushed the House Democrats to impeach President Trump earlier this year. “The power and the influence of The Squad has been in and of itself a pretty spectacular phenomenon, and it’s something that Speaker Pelosi is not accustomed to,” Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, a Republican member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas.
Since that failed impeachment effort, The Squad has only grown stronger. Eliot Engel, a longtime New York Congressman who chaired the House Foreign Affairs committee, was beaten in his primary election by Jamaal Bowman, a progressive candidate aligned with The Squad. Another Squad adherent, Cori Bush, defeated William Lacy Clay of Missouri, a high-profile member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “The upset of the veteran congressman from St. Louis sent tremors through the Democratic establishment in Missouri and Washington, D.C,” said the New York Times. “’If you don’t know, now you know: The Squad is here to stay, and it’s growing,’ said Alexandra Rojas, the group’s executive director.” The Squad didn’t listen in early 2020, when Nancy Pelosi tried to deflect its calls for impeaching President Trump. Pelosi backed down, and America was treated to a months-long impeachment circus that went nowhere for the Democrats. (Notice that the Biden/Harris campaign says almost nothing about it). The Squad, and progressive Democrats aligned with it, are much stronger now. Does anyone really think that Nancy Pelosi would—or could—-beat back the radicals in her party if they try to impeach President Trump again?
Why would The Squad take a second bite of the impeachment apple? It made the Democrats look bad last time, and they certainly won’t get a conviction of President Trump in the Senate. Here are three reasons for them to do it. The first is revenge. We all know the progressives will freak out if Trump is reelected. The Democrats’ base will be furious. They will want some way, any way to strike back at the Bad Orange Man. If they can’t defeat him at the polls, they can try to make him look bad and complicate his life as much as possible after his reelection. Impeachments make for great show trials, and the progressives would love another show trial. The progressives and radicals will grasp for any weapon they can wield against Donald Trump; impeachment is just such a weapon. It’s easy to imagine AOC in the role of Eric “Otter” Stratton from “Animal House,” telling her House colleagues that Trump’s reelection “absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.” The Squad, and their followers, are just the ones to do it.
The second reason is self-preservation. The Democrats on Capitol Hill will need some way to channel their base’s anger away from them and onto another target. Donald Trump will be that target. Expect a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to impeach President Trump, out of fear. The House Democrats have to suspect that, if they don’t impeach him, their base will be very unhappy, even furious with them. For any House Democrat brave enough to argue that the House needs to work with the newly-reelected president in a bipartisan manner, expect the members of The Squad to respond with a bout of loud coughing: “Cough cough Eliot Engel cough cough.” The Squad, and the progressive Democrats who support it, don’t seem like the types of people who want to work across the aisle.
The third reason: it would be a good tactical move. The best window of opportunity for a new (or reelected) president to achieve policy goals is the year right after the election. This is especially true for a lame-duck President, as Trump will be if he’s reelected. Controversial policies are very hard to enact in election years. Politicians running for reelection shy away from taking tough votes when they have to face angry voters in a few months. If Donald Trump wants to see specific legislation passed, his best chance to do it is the year 2021. Progressive Democrats know this. Another impeachment could tie up the House for months. Even though the Senate would undoubtedly not convict President Trump, enough Senators would most likely feel duty bound to hold a trial if the House sent them impeachment articles. An impeachment—even one doomed to failure—-could consume much (or all) of 2021, the best time for President Trump to realistically achieve his policy goals.
So, the threat of a second impeachment clusterfark isn’t farfetched. If you don’t want to go through that circus again, do what you can to help prevent it. Vote for the Republican candidate in your House district. Tiffany Shedd in CD1, Brandon Martin in CD2 and Daniel Wood in CD3.