Opinion | White House

The real reason Nancy Pelosi has backed away from impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is apparently trying to save her Democratic colleagues from embarrassing themselves when the report by special counsel Robert Mueller reveals no evidence of Russia collusion. There is no other reasonable explanation for her to say that it is "just not worth" pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Trump. This is no small change in strategy. This is a headlong retreat that repudiates more than two years of consistent Democratic Party campaign messaging.

Pelosi just pulled the rug out from under House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler much like he and Representative Adam Schiff were rolling out their plans to keep the Russia hoax alive for another two years. With impeachment off the table, all of the document requests look much less like constitutionally mandated oversight and more like what Nadler himself admitted it was after the 2018 midterms, which is a scheme to keep the president under investigation until the 2020 election.

But it is not just Nadler who knows that Pelosi just threw him under the bus. The whole left wing of the Democratic Party, led by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida "impeach the motherf-r" Tlaib, is up in arms over the announcement of Pelosi. Who can blame them? They walked way out on a ledge, staking their credibility on a hare brained impeachment plan based on a lie, and Pelosi just hung them out to dry.

Democrats have based their entire political strategy around convincing their core voters across the nation that it is "Mueller time" and that the special counsel is going to magically produce a smoking gun that will take down Trump once and for all. Even Pelosi herself has publicly bought into this fantasy, pushing conspiracy theories about Vladimir Putin controlling American foreign policy and teasing "cold hard evidence" of collusion.

Now all of a sudden Pelosi says she wants to drop the whole thing. The strongest defenders of the Russia collusion narrative seem to be moving between the "denial" and "anger" stages of grief. Malcolm Nance, an MSNBC "intelligence expert," said "what the hell is wrong" with Pelosi, calling her conduct "disgraceful," and asking whether her statement means that the president "can do and say like a dictator as he pleases."

They ought to be thanking her instead. Pelosi just saved all of them, from Democrats in Congress to liberal media commentators to the legions of duped Russia collusion believers, a whole lot of embarrassment. If they kept going along their trajectory, they would be in for a much harsher backlash when the much hyped special counsel reveal turns out to be a big nothing burger. At least now they can tone down their rhetoric and stop overselling the likelihood of impeachment to all their supporters.

For the rest of us, the more important takeaway is that Pelosi no longer believes in the Russia story if she ever did. There is simply no way she would subject herself to this level of rebellion from the liberal wing of her caucus and deliver this much disappointment to the Democratic Party base if she thought there was any chance that the special counsel would substantiate the assumptions they have all held so closely for so long.

Pelosi made a calculated choice to cut her losses to save herself and her party the embarrassment of trying to impeach the president for blatantly political reasons. The only question that remains is whether the unruly radicals in her caucus will accept her decision or futilely keep pursuing the false narratives against Trump in the hopes of changing her mind.

Mike Huckabee served as the 44th governor of Arkansas and ran as a 2016 Republican candidate for president. He is the host of "Huckabee" on Trinity Broadcasting Network. You can follow him on Twitter @GovMikeHuckabee.

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