Washington, D.C. — It’s been an ugly fall in Washington. Wet, dreary and deeply stupid. In the season we’re supposed to be shopping for the perfect gift for our loved ones, instead, most of us are busily shopping for a reason to give America what they say she wants more than her two front teeth: impeachment.
But despite Wednesday’s long-expected vote and the media cheer group accompanying it, this is going terribly for the Democrats. There’s a willful suspension of belief at work in the capital city. Self-proclaimed defenders of the Constitution make excuses for sloppy spying on a major candidate for president. Men who compare themselves to those at Valley Forge shift seamlessly from allegations of urine-soaked escapades to collusion with the Kremlin, from the Kremlin to Ukraine, and finally from quid-quo-pro to bribery to obstruction, with stopovers on NFL anthem protests and insults to “The Squad.” The speaker quotes the deceased Elijah Cummings in wondering, “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019,” did we impeach Donald Trump?
Media commentators in Washington and New York read D.C. bedtime stories about a majority of Americans backing their efforts– a statistic you would have to spend nearly all your time in New York or D.C. to remotely believe. When polls don’t fit that worldview, they’re discarded. “I don’t believe that poll for one second,” CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin balked when CNN political director David Chalian showed declining enthusiasm for impeachment in a network poll. “David, that poll is wrong. Just because I said so.”
After the Robert Mueller Russia fiasco, it takes willful stupidity to think that a solid majority of Americans ever wanted to see this impeachment go through over a country some of them might recognize from a Risk game. But the delusions don’t end with the same polls that predicted President Hillary Clinton. From the nature of the impeachment to the lionization of its leader, media elites and their Democrat allies have misread this political situation more seriously than any since the eve of Trump’s election, when paragraphs of space were devoted to what catering reporters were eating as they awaited Her big win.
The New York Times served “an array of Greek food and Dallas BBQ” while giving Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning. Politico served chicken, shrimp, and salads.
Three years later, Republicans across the board have rejected the impeachment proceedings as unjust, unfair, and undemocratic. Since Justin Amash, a libertarian who loves to disagree and gives the strong impression he annoyed classmates in his youth, became an independent five months ago, the ranks have closed. According to Wednesday’s conventional wisdom, though, this marks a new chapter in “three years of unshakable and at times irrational support for Trump.”
Democrats, the same article follows, are falling “almost uniformly” in line. Except for Democrat Reps. Jared Golden and Collin Peterson, who Wednesday voted against impeachment. And Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who voted present. And of course, New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew, who is telling colleagues he’s becoming a Republican in protest.
Understand that to the political press corps, a GOP that unanimously backed the president and opposed Pelosi is “at times irrational,” and three Democrats voting against their speaker and one defecting from the entire party is “almost uniformly” in line. This “conventional wisdom” is accepted by nearly the entire corporate media and parroted to Americans forced to listen at airports and gyms across the country.
Amazingly, though, it is not nearly the greatest media distortion of even the day. For example, it is far surpassed by the worship, adoration, and glorification of Madam Speaker, the Democrats’ leader in the fight.
“Her command of legislation, her control over her caucus, her ability to confront a historically hostile president and GOP-run Senate on equal terms are unparalleled,” Politico crows in a hard-hitting piece about the how the 79-year old congresswoman in office since Ronald Reagan was president “has roared back.”
“She’s the one person in Washington who can beat Trump at his own game,” Politico continues, “though she never wanted to play it.”
And the pews in the speaker’s church are just overflowing.
“Nancy Pelosi: An Extremely Stable Genius,” the New Yorker cheers.
“Political Grandmaster,” Vanity Fair crowns.
“Nancy Pelosi Has Trump Right Where She Wants Him,” Politico Magazine pretends.
“She May Not Acknowledge It, But Nancy Pelosi Is A Fashion Icon,” The Washington Post blogs.
“She,” a Food And Wine profile assures, “can also locate Paris’s best croissant.”
Casual readers will be forgiven for not knowing that the speaker has never actually beaten the president. Even on Wednesday when the addled, shaky pillar of Democrat might led impeachment, she seemingly failed to win the national argument and likely strengthened the president’s re-election prospects.
Just before the impeachment vote, while not agreeing to the number the White House asked for, Congress sent another $1.4 billion to build the president’s wall. The day after impeachment, Pelosi appears ready to pass the president’s trade deal. And since impeachment began, the president’s party gained more than 600,000 new donors and raised more than $10 million.
Of course, the president won’t be leaving office despite all the drama on CNN. Then, Washington is a town where Melania Trump is unfashionable and Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a paragon of strength and health, so these things are to be expected.
It’s not hard to guess what my glorious city will be eating this Election Day.
Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice-chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald.