Why Pelosi Might Be Opposing an Impeachment Inquiry: Margolies-Mezvinsky

Many Democrats and their ‘Resistance’ allies* are puzzled as to why Speaker Pelosi is opposing an impeachment inquiry. Multiple thinky pieces argue that she has learned the wrong lesson from the Clinton impeachment. But the problem is that I don’t think the Clinton impeachment is her frame of reference. Instead, it’s the short-lived career of Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky**.


In 1992, Democrats did very well and won a number of swing seats with a large class of freshmen. Among these freshmen was Margolies-Mezvinsky. In 1993, President Bill Clinton wanted to pass a modest tax hike, which, in that era, was not popular. While the Democratic House leadership tried to protect as many of its vulnerable freshmen as they could, some freshmen were called on to take a tough vote. In Margolies-Mezvinsky’s case, she cast the deciding vote, and that vote probably cost her re-election.

I have no doubt Pelosi despises Il Trumpe. But she views her job as protecting seated House Democrats–all of them, even that shithead Lipinski. When Margolies-Mezvinsky fell on her sword, at least Democrats got something out it. But Pelosi doesn’t want to force Democrats in swing districts to take a tough vote when nothing will come of it (impeachment likely won’t pass two-thirds of the Senate). That’s what I think is motivating Pelosi. For obvious reasons, she can’t say this out loud (these sorts of statements have a knack of becoming reality through repetition).

That said, I think Pelosi’s calculus is wrong here. Even if she is right and an impeachment inquiry would ultimately lead to tough votes (an assumption I don’t buy at all), some House seats are worth harming Trump, demoralizing the Republican base, and forcing conservatives onto the defensive. In other words, ten House seats are worth a shot at the Senate, a better chance of winning the presidency, and helping down ballot candidates.

But Pelosi isn’t willing to take that risk, so instead, we are left with the risk of not impeaching Trump. And that’s a pretty high risk too.

*One of the… something things about the conservative Never-Trumpers is watching them finally realize just how gormless Congressional Democrats are.

**In 2007, she divorced her husband and now goes by Margolies. At the time, she went by Margolies-Mezvinsky.

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3 Responses to Why Pelosi Might Be Opposing an Impeachment Inquiry: Margolies-Mezvinsky

  1. Art says:

    IMHO the key to understand Pelosi’s stand is that she knows about timing. It is June. The election is in November. Any inquiry has a limited duration; I figure a month or two. It makes some sense to start in September and own the news with 24/7 coverage of Trump squirming as a nearly laundry list is read out in great detail. With every item being another drop of poison. Every day another where Trump loses the headlines and TV ratings in favor of another rock upturned with his staff, family, and lots and lots of Russians wiggling around, exposed to the light.

    In the mean time Pelosi needs to act as if she is strongly against an impeachment, even as it will take the form of an inquiry. If she appeared to be pushing for it she might become about her. Trump loves to crucify his accusers. Pelosi’s apparent reluctance also gives maximum play for Trump’s claim he wants to be impeached. Smart to keep her head down, for now.

    As I see it we have three months to lay in a supply of popcorn, maybe some chips and dip for early-mid September start of the inquiry.

    • Joe Shelby says:

      Or maybe she’s waiting for the off-season election now to run itself out, to see if the ‘blue wave’ has any legs to it?

      Thing is, the inquiry, even if it never comes to a vote, is incredibly valuable. What it does is put a “rush please” stamp on all the subpoenas. Right now, Trump is using every stalling tactic he has, knowing from 40 years of experience how long courts take and how much plaintiffs run out of patience and give up, often to settlements far less than they should be (case in point, Trump University which should have penalized him five times as much as it finally did – 25 million was just the cost of doing business on a scam that raked in far more than that).

      He’s going to appeal appeal appeal, stonewall after stonewall, every document and filing submitted on the date required and not a second sooner, because if he keeps it up, nothing has to come out before the election. It’ll just take too long for the appeals courts to process it all.

      Until the word “impeachment” is stamped on the request. THEN, the courts will prioritize and rush the decisions through because it is now part of an active criminal investigation with a known time limit.

      It doesn’t matter if the “investigation” or the inquiry ever goes to a vote. It matters that the public have the full facts to place judgement, either in the polling numbers that Pelosi is looking for (30% is my figure – below that and they’ll do it because then they’ll have flipped moderate Republicans who will lose if they don’t), or in the polls themselves.

      Legal stonewalling is the weapon Trump wields best. Take it away from him.

  2. Joe Shelby says:

    Also the wrong lessen because of the way the winds were blowing.

    While Margolies-Mezvinsky *might* have lost her seat over the vote, what became clear in the blue wave of 2018 is that moderate candidates flip first and flip fast, because they’re such easy targets in battleground districts. Comstock is relatively more moderate than the base, and flipped to Wexton, who is also showing herself to be a little more restrained when compared with AOC who is in a much safer district.

    Every moderate was going to be targeted with Newt’s attack strategy of ’94, whether they voted for or against the bill. Looking to M-M as justification for inaction, or the blue-dogs of 2010 who lost their seats in the Senate, is looking at specifics and missing the big picture of what an attack strategy looks like and how to mount the best defense.

    the Democrats in 1994 had no defense plan ready. They didn’t in 2010 either, nor 2014. Because the best defense is an offense – attacking with proof of success, which they didn’t do re: the ACA (they let the Republicans control the message), and they didn’t do with the infrastructure spending in that bill and how many jobs it preserved and created.

    Republicans make the same mistakes – they should have ran on the “success” of the tax bill, but didn’t, and it cost them their one and only non-Trump talking point. Now that it is clear the tax cut is a fiasco heavily hitting the middle class with *more* taxes, they have no strategy at all and are VERY vulnerable.

    If you want to keep the impeachment vote from being an issue in the election, then control the god damn message and hit them with everything else that is wrong with them.

    Why the hell is that so hard

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