Saagar Enjeti claims Pelosi's impeachment strategy could hurt 2020 Democrats

Opinion by: Saagar Enjeti

I really hate talking about impeachment here on this show. AOC summed up my thoughts exactly last month when she said "I'm over it" and characterized impeachment as boring.

Yesterday however the mask slipped during the hearings when former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor testified before Congress that he was "alarmed" that Trump would make the extraordinary step of trying to leverage military assistance.

This, of course, is what this entire impeachment scandal is really all about. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE made the fatal error of almost messing with military aid to Ukraine, which members of the NSC, the establishment Republican party, and his own ambassador all decided were so important that it must be protected at all costs. In short, it is a foreign policy disagreement by members of the state department, the intelligence community, and others with the duly elected president of the United States.

Journalist Chris Hedges laid this out particularly well on our show yesterday. 

The truth is that military aid to Ukraine is not sacrosanct whatsoever. This was aid President Obama refused to provide because he thought it would unnecessarily provoke the Russian government into inflammatory action at the time.

As Aaron Mate from the nation pointed out, "The very fact that Ukrainegate now has democrats advocating a policy that Obama rejected should be enough to spark consideration of whether briefly not arming Ukraine is really the issue on which to pin removing a president from office."

The obvious counter to that, of course, is that Trump's actions had more to do with his personal interest in investigating corruption in Ukraine, not with the underlying policy. But as Mate notes during that Twitter exchange and hedges said earlier, the underlying policy and its merits have everything to do with impeachment. As he said, the policy impacts the merits of the all consuming impeachment scandal, its consequences, and colors witness testimony.

Further, there's a reason Trump isn't impeached for cancelling Palestinian aid or Central American aid. Mate couldn't have said that better. This has been a political canard since the day that Donald Trump entered the oval office and it is incredibly telling that they decide to impeach him for touching military aid to Ukraine, which best represents a policy item that the entire D.C. establishment and deep state has decided cannot be messed with.

Consider that the whistleblower himself is a member of the CIA, that the central witnesses in the inquiry, are all within the bureaucracy and took outrageous steps to circumvent the President of the United States because they were so concerned about making sure aid to Ukraine continued to flow. These people do not set U.S. Foreign policy, the president does. We are in a situation where they are openly trying to circumvent democratic norms. That is why liberals like Glenn Greenwald, Aaron, Michael Tracey, and others are speaking up.

That's just on the merits. Politically this is an incredibly stupid move.

Polling wise, 49% of the electorate support impeaching Trump and about 45% say they don’t. That is what we call, approximately the popular vote from the 2016 presidential election. Even better, CBS News polling indicates that 73% of the country has already made up their mind when it comes to the matter. That is before the public hearings have begun because this is a political question through and through.

Through that framework this is an abject disaster for the Democrats. The United States Senate is not going to convict Donald Trump in a trial. Worse for Democrats, the Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrGOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties North Carolina congressman says he won't seek reelection after redistricting Senate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges MORE has said that the trial will last 6-8 weeks and they're required by the rules to hold it 6 days a week. The vote in the house won't come till Christmas, so guess what. Every US Senator who is running for president is going to be holed up here in Washington 6 days a week during the most critical point in the 2020 presidential primary process.

Iowa begins voting on February 3rd. New Hampshire is February 11th. You don't think Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE and others are going to make damn sure that Warren, Bernie, Kamala and others won't be sitting here in DC when they'd be most well serve in Iowa and New Hampshire? And they wouldn't even be missing it for anything since it won't result in a conviction.

The long game of this plays out just 1 way. Donald Trump will walk free after once again being targeted by unelected bureaucrats within the intelligence community.