So just when President Trump was out of the woods on impeachment, he gives Democrats another reason to bring it up. And I mean he didn’t wait long. Robert Mueller testified in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 24. That testimony basically quashed any hope of impeachment from the Democrats. Trump waited exactly one day to step in it again. On July 25, the president participated in the ill-fated phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Trump is alleged to have asked for Ukraine’s assistance in the prosecution of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
If you are interested in this story, then I am going to assume that by now you have likely made your mind up. If there is one lesson that the Trump presidency has taught me, it’s that Donald Trump is walking confirmation bias. If you love the president, you will see all criticism of him as a (Trump voice) “witch hunt.” You think that the conversation was, at most, a tad unethical, and it’s more likely that you use the straw man argument that all politicians do this. At the very least, you definitely don’t understand the difference between what Trump is accused of doing and what Trump accused Biden of doing. However, if you hate Trump, you probably didn’t even need the transcript or whistle-blower complaint to be made public before you already decided that the man was guilty of treason. And if you aren’t sure which side you fall on, I’m not going to be giving you any new information that isn’t already available. The point is that there is little for me to say here that will change your mind one way or another.
Instead, I would like to focus on the fallout. As of this writing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has opened an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct, conduct that, again needs to be stressed, took place one day after he was let off the hook of the last conduct! I believe this is the correct decision on her part. An inquiry should be opened. That doesn’t mean I would vote to impeach. It doesn’t mean I would vote to acquit. It means that I want all the information out in the open. I’d like to be able to make the most informed decision I can. In fact, I believe that Congress should open impeachment inquiries more often, and for less egregious behavior than this situation. The more the public is privy to, the better informed we can all be.
What absolutely puzzles me is that many on the Democratic side of the aisle are now being referred to as flip-floppers. This started with seven House freshmen who penned a letter that was printed in the Washington Post. These seven representatives had deemed the allegations in the Mueller Report leveled against Trump as insufficient for impeachment. The letter explains why these new set of allegations do warrant impeachment proceedings. These so-called flip-floppers were followed shortly by Nancy Pelosi, who, as we mentioned before, opened the impeachment inquiry last Tuesday. These actions prompted the media to label Pelosi as a flip-flopper on impeachment. And it’s not just the right-wing media either. Sure Fox News and the New York Post used the label, but so did Newsweek and many other reputable news organizations. Additionally, all over the late-night shows and social media, comedians, pundits, and regular people were all calling Pelosi late to the party. Seth Myers quipped, “Where have you been?” when discussing the fact that all of a sudden Pelosi thinks Trump deserves to be impeached.
Let’s be clear about this. There is no flip-flopping going on here. Nancy Pelosi didn’t change her mind. She didn’t just decide that Trump has to go. This is a new case. You are allowed to think there isn’t enough evidence in one case, and enough in a totally separate case. That’s like letting OJ Simpson off for the armed robbery crime in 2007 because he was found not guilty for murder in 1994. Labeling any of these politicians as flip-floppers on the basis of this case is totally inaccurate.
Now on to the second fallout of this case: the winner. The winner here is clearly Elizabeth Warren. As the clear number two in the Democratic race for the 2020 presidential nomination, Warren has everything to gain here. Firstly, Donald Trump really seems to have stepped in it now. Even if Trump gets by here, this kind of press will not just go away. This is tremendous fodder that can be used in a presidential campaign no matter who the nominee is. Secondly, Joe Biden, her primary challenge on the Democratic side, is now entangled in a messy international legal issue. Though most of the coverage right now is on Trump, don’t think Biden will escape this unscathed. Biden may well have been guilty of a similar crime to the one Trump is currently being accused of. Granted, Biden’s crime wasn’t against a political opponent, but he is still possibly going to be looked into for withholding funds from foreign entities in exchange for leniency with his son. Tough look for my guy, Joe.
All this time, with the press 85% trained on Trump and 15% looking into the Biden allegations, Warren is sitting there silently, letting this all play out. As she should. Remember back in July when Nancy Pelosi and The Squad were going at it? That was the time for President Trump to sit back and enjoy the fireworks. But no, he jumped in with his xenophobic comments of The Squad should be sent back home. Donald Trump needs to take notes on what Elizabeth Warren is doing right now. When two of your rivals are in the news for negative things, say nothing. At the time of writing, Warren hasn’t commented, and right she is for not doing so. Her poll numbers have increased since the news broke. She’s starting to take away some of the Biden votes, specifically on the “electability” side. Joe Biden doesn’t seem so electable if he has been alleged to have meddled in foreign affairs for personal gain.
If nothing else, this story has shown me that when it comes to political acumen, Warren gets it. Pelosi gets it. They see a larger playing field that the overzealous just miss. If Warren jumps into the discussion now, people will start talking negatively about her flaws. If Pelosi had opened impeachment talks for Russia collusion, it likely would have had negative consequences. By not playing their hands when they didn’t need to be played, both Warren and Pelosi are poised to get what they wanted. They just had to wait for it.
Izzo Zwiren is the host of The Jewish Living Podcast, where he and his guests delve into any and all areas of Orthodox Judaism.