FiveThirtyEight: are there enough Democrats to impeach Individual-1

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beppesabatini / Flickr Make America Great Again Impeach Donald...
beppesabatini / Flickr

Some might be buoyed by the latest FiveThirtyEight article, The House Probably Has A Pro-Impeachment Majority Right Now, but the real critical mass could be whether a significant number of GOP House members will sign onto the effort.

This might be one of the main impeachment signals that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is awaiting: “rule of law” Republicans and/or covert anti-Trumpists, among others like libertarian Justin Amash. They might be the tipping point for an official impeachment inquiry or actual hearings.

This as yet unpolled GOP defector population is beyond the conundrum posed by FiveThirtyEight: “The pro-impeachment group probably has the votes, if there is a vote. But Pelosi can probably stop a vote from ever taking place — particularly if the silent majority of House members never really pushes for one.”

This may represent the fluid state of hand wringing by Democrats. It’s not so much bipartisanship as it is something like the public opinion shift when Nixon was under threat of impeachment. It’s still about constituents.

But the relatively small number of Democrats calling for impeachment doesn’t mean the vast majority of House Democrats oppose impeachment — or, more precisely, that they would vote “no” on impeachment. In fact, it’s likely the overwhelming majority of House Democrats would vote to both the launch of an impeachment inquiry and for impeachment itself if either or both came up for a vote.

That’s why the dynamics of impeachment are so interesting and complicated. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems reluctant to allow Democrats to really even start the impeachment process. That may be because she understands that once it gets going, Democrats wary of impeachment, even Pelosi herself, are going to feel a lot of pressure to take pro-impeachment votes.

So it’s worth thinking about House Democrats and impeachment by basically dividing the party’s members into four blocks, rather than simple “for” and “against”:

1. Publicly in favor of starting the impeachment process now (About 40 members)

2. Generally known to oppose starting the impeachment process but likely to support it in a formal vote (five to 10 members)

3. Not publicly for impeachment but likely to vote for it (about 150 House members)

4. Conservative and swing-seat Democrats who might actually vote “no” (30 to 50 members)

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David Bishop
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David Bishop

Only 40?!?! That means the rest of these Democrat ‘representatives’ are on Trump’s side or are chickenshit. They won’t have my support in 2020.