There are wonders if Pelosi really had 218 votes for impeachment – my guess is that she does; but that would probably entail about a dozen House Democrats walking the plank; ie, almost ensuring their defeat for re-election next year.
This whole thing is a set up, of course. Seems that someone in the Deep State altered the whistleblower rules about a month back to allow hearsay to be reported – used to be you had to have some direct knowledge of the event. If I were Trump, I’d order that no rule changes are valid unless he, personally, signs off on them. That aside, this is a crafted plan…but, to do what? I mean, of course the Democrats would love it if Trump’s support collapses and the GOP committed suicide by voting to remove him. But, so far there has been no drop in Trump’s support (even Nate Silver is saying that Trump is as popular as Obama at this point in his Presidency – and this, keep in mind, with relentlessly negative coverage rather than the daily MSM tongue bath that Obama got). The GOP is raking in money off the impeachment issue (last I checked, $15 million in the 72 hours after Pelosi’s announcement). Mitt is being Mitt, of course, and a few other wets in the GOP are making their high-minded statements, but there doesn’t appear to be any real crack in the ranks…so, what does this accomplish? Not sure.
And that’s before we get to some really cold, hard facts. From what I’ve read, I guess that a very large portion of Democrat voters – perhaps a majority – believe that if the House impeaches, Trump is removed. They are unaware of the whole Senate trial aspect of it. But that is what has to keep Democrat leaders up at night – a trial in the Senate means a trial conducted under whatever rules McConnell decides upon (and the Senate could just vote to dismiss the charges without a trial, guys). Anything that Trump and McConnell would like to be revealed would be – sure, the Chief Justice presides and, in theory (no one really knows), could make rulings from the bench on what is admissible…but the Senate can override the Justice by simple majority vote. In short, an actual trial would be a nightmare for the Democrats and while operating under McConnell’s rules, they’ll have the task of talking 23 Republican Senators into removing Trump – and that’s if all the Democrats stay on board (Manchin would be a likely “no”, absent rock-solid evidence, I think). It’s an insurmountable obstacle – and only real criminal activity and Trump dropping to an average of 30% in the polls would make it possible.
It could be, of course, that they are just toying with this – willing to move if things go their way, but mostly just placating their base while hoping that something turns up to separate Trump from his supporters (that is what all of this has been about since Day One, by the way: the Democrats know that to win in 2020, they have to convince three or four million of Trump’s 2016 voters to abandon him…doesn’t matter how much they run up the score in CA and NY, if they can’t get back PA and MI, they’re toast…and they know it).
As for our side: don’t know about you guys, but I coldly furious about the whole thing. It is, now, only incidentally about Trump: this is a very large portion of people – including many in leadership – who are saying that I’m not allowed to participate in my own governance: that I’m not allowed to vote for someone disapproved of by the Ruling Class. I’ve come across some rather ardently anti-Trump people over the past three days who are now determined to vote Trump just on that principle: that we get to decide and what we decide is what will happen until we decide differently.