Is Nancy Pelosi tossing aside her legacy thanks to impeachment?

Is Nancy Pelosi tossing aside her legacy thanks to impeachment?
© Greg Nash

The legacy of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiLiz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party 19 House Democrats call on Capitol physician to mandate vaccines Ohio special election: A good day for Democrats MORE is now defined by impeachment, and she does not seem terribly thrilled about it. When she finally announced her decision to begin drafting articles of impeachment, she was visibly on edge, launching into a rant at the podium and snapping at a reporter who questioned the partisan nature of her crusade against President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is 'deeply troubled' about the state of the Republican Party MORE. Her lack of poise and uneasiness showed how tenuous her position is.

Let us be clear. Democrats fully own this impeachment charade and will be held responsible by the American people in the weeks and years to come. For months, Pelosi had appeared reticent to launch impeachment proceedings. She held off the more progressive members of her caucus, making speeches about areas of common ground Democrats shared with the White House, and declaring that she would not pursue impeachment unless there was clearly “overwhelming and bipartisan” support for it.

However, Pelosi is instead pursuing a deeply partisan effort to remove the president from office. As she no doubt expected, progressive Democrats on the left are delighted, but ordinary voters are not buying the case for impeachment. This is not the first time she has made a decision that may cost her the House majority. During her first tenure as speaker, she chose to ram ObamaCare through the House of Representatives without any Republican backing in 2009, arrogantly stating that Congress must pass the legislation before the American people could find out what was in it.

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That led to a shellacking for Democrats in the 2010 midterms, ending her first stint as speaker. Pelosi knows her decision to force the impeachment issue carries similar political risks. She herself used to openly tell voters and her members that impeachment was political poison for Democrats. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan I do not think we should go down that path because it divides the country,” she said this spring.

Yet here we are months into an impeachment inquiry more fitting for the theater than the halls of Congress. Not only will the impeachment circus harm Democrats in the 2020 general election, it will define the political legacy of Pelosi. When history reflects on her storied career in Congress, this will signify the defining moment. Pelosi will forever be remembered as the House speaker who pushed through bogus impeachment charges in a biased manner that was designed to rig the process in favor of her party.

Deep down, Pelosi probably knows that a different path was open to her, but she opted for the more divisive course of action by moving forward with impeachment. She has gone too far to turn back now, and it is clear that she is none too happy with the position she has boxed herself into. History will likely not judge her decision on this monumental act kindly.

Madison Gesiotto is an attorney who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. You can follow her on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.