The House Democratic leadership continues to smash flat any real talk of impeachment and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, I would expect. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has totally reversed himself in less than 24 hours after Nancy Pelosi collared him this afternoon.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn on Monday walked back remarks suggesting that Democrats will impeach President Donald Trump, reversing course to say he’s “farther” from backing impeachment than most of his caucus.
Clyburn’s comments came after a private leadership meeting Monday evening in which Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that she didn’t support launching impeachment proceedings right now despite a growing push within the caucus.
“I’m probably farther away from impeachment than anybody in our caucus,” Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters Monday night. “We will not get out in front of our committees. We’ll see what the committees come up with. I’ve said that forever.”
Asked by POLITICO whether he thought impeachment proceedings were inevitable, Clyburn simply said no.
The No. 3 Democrat’s comments stand in contrast to what he said Sunday, suggesting it was only a matter of time before House Democrats began impeachment proceedings against Trump.
“That’s exactly what I feel, I think we’ve already begun it,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper when asked whether House Democrats would try to remove the president from office.
Clyburn went on to say that his caucus was still pursuing a methodical series of steps — including several committee probes, a slew of subpoenas, upcoming contempt votes and multiple court cases — with no timeframe for when that might culminate in official impeachment proceedings.
How long can Nancy Pelosi keep up this Schrödinger's Impeachment Box routine? Undercover Blue at Digby's place weighs in:
Clyburn says moving forward on impeachment is about timing. Pelosi first wants to make a case to the American people. But as Trumpism soils America's image worldwide, how much time have they and the country got? If Democrats in leadership feel any urgency to perform that educational service, they are not showing it. They appear to be waiting for opinion polls to turn in their favor before moving aggressively to rein in an increasingly monarchical administration. Somehow, opinion will move on its own and allow them that freedom. Chicken and egg?
"Democrats rely on polling to take the temperature; Republicans use polling to change it," messaging specialist Anat Shenker-Osorio wrote in 2017. Leaders shape public opinion. They don't wait for it.
As I keep saying, we're going to have to save ourselves from Trump. Don't count on House Democrats to act. Make sure you're registered to vote. Make sure your friends and family are too. All of this is for nothing if Trump (or Pence) is elected in November 2020.