House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday, accusing him of abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress during its investigation into his dealings with Ukraine.
During a press conference, Chairman of House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler called the move a “solemn step,” one that emphasizes that “No one, not even the president, is above the law.” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff added that he was reluctant to move forward with impeachment, but that the president’s abuse of power has left them no choice. “To do nothing would make ourselves complicit,” he continued.
This is all very good and fine—a rightful acknowledgment of what’s at stake. But did anyone else notice that the lawmakers on that stage, which included Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters, looked... terrified? Unenthused? Like they just swallowed glue and had to pretend that everything was Fine.
A somber tone is certainly justified: House Democrats are mounting an impeachment proceeding against a sitting President who, despite alleged high crimes, bigotry, and overall buffoonery, is not nearly as unpopular as he should be. These proceedings come as election year quickly approaches without a clear candidate that a majority of Democrats feel enthusiastic about. So sure, swaggering bravado might not have been appropriate or at all realistic. But a little of that Rashida Tlaib “impeach the motherfucker” confidence—just a dash!—would have been preferable over whatever the hell is going on here.
Or maybe they were just a little embarrassed that this was all going down an hour before House Democrats announced that they’ve reached a deal with the White House in support of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
In the announcement, Pelosi made sure to mention that the work of Democrats helped make USMCA far better than what the Trump administration original proposed. But this will be seen as a political win for Trump regardless; one that could help him keep an even tighter hold on his base.
Cue “Sound of Silence.”