I waffle a lot on Nancy Pelosi. I like her, but I get frustrated with some of her decisions. But I also applaud many of her decisions. I’ll say this, too: There’s probably not anyone in Congress right now better suited to her position as Speaker of the House. I think there are some Congresspeople who could be amazing Speakers in the future, but right now, it’s good to have someone with a lot of power, decades of experience, and someone who can mostly keep Democrats in line, despite our many differences.
And I think a lot of the criticism Pelosi receives comes from folks like ourselves who sometimes think we know better. We read the news. We stay on top of things on Twitter. We organize. We protest. We feel like we’re very well informed. But maybe — and I’m just spitballing here — but maybe the Speaker of the House has a better understanding of the lay of the land than those of us who shout into comments sections and Twitter do.
She’s good at her job. Hell, she got the Affordable Care Act passed, and she’s managed to keep it largely intact despite numerous attempts from Republicans to destroy it. Maybe we should trust what she’s doing. Maybe she’s got a grand plan. Maybe she knows the angles better than we do.
Maybe. I don’t know.
There are 44 Congresspeople who support impeachment right now. That’s not enough. It’s not even close. Maybe Pelosi is holding back, waiting for Trump to continue to hang himself, until there is no doubt remaining. Maybe she’s waiting until she gets more information from those subpoenas, or at least until Trump creates a Constitutional crisis by defying court orders to answer those subpoenas. Maybe she’s just being careful because she doesn’t want to upset the chances of Democrats in 2020.
Or maybe, as she explains to Jimmy Kimmel, she’s worried that being exonerated by the Senate will make it more difficult to criminally indict President Trump once he’s out of office. Ultimately, we’re stuck with Trump and/or Pence for another year and a half, and if Democrats can win without impeachment, wouldn’t it be satisfying to see Trump brought up on criminal charges and imprisoned in 2020? If Trump ever has to wear an orange jumpsuit, we can thank Pelosi in part for that.
Anyway, she shared some of this thinking with Jimmy Kimmel last night, and as always when it comes to Pelosi, I found myself both agreeing with her and still wanting her to do something now, because I am an anxious, impatient person.
On the one hand, do your job, Speaker Pelosi. On the other, maybe that’s exactly what she’s doing, and maybe she knows how to do it better than a bunch of armchair experts on their smartphones. We like to think we could do her job better, but if we could, maybe we’d be Speaker of the House.