Surprise: When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in South Carolina, she was greeted with calls for impeachment
Less surprising: Those calls were for her impeachment.
According to the Washington Examiner, “Pelosi was met with scores of President Trump’s supporters as she arrived to speak at a South Carolina Democratic Party fundraising event in Greenville on Friday”
“Impeach Pelosi!” was one of the common chants. So was “Trump, Trump, Trump” and — in case you thought they’d forgot it — “Make America Great Again.”
“Impeach Pelosi,” of course, is easier said than done — in fact, it’s not even clear it can be done.
As a matter of constitutional law, Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution is generally held to allow for impeachment of the executive branch and the federal judiciary, not the legsislative branch. (“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”)
Only one member of Congress has ever been impeached, Sen. William Blount of Tennessee back in 1797. But the outcome of that case didn’t settle the question of whether members of Congress could be impeached, according to Smithsonian.com.
Meanwhile, 15 federal judges have been impeached, with eight have been convicted and removed from office, according to the Federal Judicial Center. Two presidents have been impeached — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — and neither was convicted in the Senate. (Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached).
There’s also not much that Pelosi can be impeached over at the moment. Then again, one could argue there’s roughly the same amount of material to impeach President Donald Trump over.
“She’s not doing anything for the American people,” Joan Boyce, one of the protesters, told The State, a local newspaper.
“And this impeachment that she’s trying to push, it’s ridiculous. The country doesn’t want impeachment. All it’s doing is make people fight against each other, and that’s all she’s accomplishing.”
The protests were organized by the local Republican Party.
“As Senator Lindsey Graham says, a whole lot of a big nothing burger,” Greenville County GOP chairman Nate Leupp told The State.
“I think in the end, it’s going to backfire on the Democrats.”
These weren’t just a few scattered demonstrators, either. Reports said that several hundred protesters showed up to greet Pelosi as she prepared to give her speech at the Hyatt in Greenville.
— Shale Remien (@ShaleRemien) October 4, 2019
Thank you to Nancy Pelosi for coming to South Carolina to remind everyone how extreme the Democrats (@scdp) are. Everyone here can’t wait to get to the ballot box and re-elect President @realDonaldTrump in 2020. #scpol pic.twitter.com/gQlcTArMuI
— SC Republican Party (@SCGOP) October 4, 2019
Pelosi’s speech, according to The State, said that it was a “sad time for our country;” she added (apparently with a straight face) that the Democrats didn’t run on impeaching President Trump — despite the fact that they’ve been looking toward that end since he was inaugurated.
“We have been legislating,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also had to be investigating.”
“Unfortunately.” There aren’t air quotes dramatic enough for that.
“When we have more facts, we will be ready” to talk about impeachment, she said, to which a Democrat responded, “We’re ready.”
Greenville is arguably in the most conservative part of one of America’s more conservative states, but the reception still shows that Pelosi is going to have a long way to go to convince Trump’s supporters that impeachment is called for.
Instead of taking a hit, the president’s approval rating actually ticked up to 49 percent in a Hill/HarrisX survey that was released earlier in the week.
“The figure marks a 2-point increase from a Sept. 11-12 poll, but a 2-point decrease from its previous peak of 51 percent in August 2018,” The Hill reported.
“Trump’s disapproval rating, meanwhile, dropped to 51 percent, which marks his lowest level so far this year.
“The nationwide survey was conducted on Sept. 28 and 29, less than a week after House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over concerns raised in a whistleblower’s complaint about the president’s communications with Ukraine.”
According to CNN, an average of polls has seen the president’s approval rating dip to 42 percent from 44 percent and disapproval rise from 53 percent to 54 percent. Amazingly, this was seen as a victory for Democrats by CNN, since there was no impeachment backlash.
Of course, actual impeachment proceedings haven’t begun in earnest and if the biggest hit that Trump is going to take is 2 percentage points in a polling average from the opening salvos of the Ukraine scandal, I think the White House would take it.
But the Democrats seem determined to impeach, which is fine. Don’t expect those numbers to keep dropping, at least if the Democrats don’t gather much more evidence than they have now and the Republicans have subpoena power.
I suppose one should give Pelosi kudos for traveling to one of the reddest areas of the country for a fundraiser — and very little else. If her party is hell-bent on impeachment, she should expect this kind of reaction more frequently — and not just in the reddest parts of America, either.
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