The contempt citation served up by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and his Democratic colleagues on Attorney General William Barr is stupid almost beyond belief. Professor Jonathan Turley exposes its complete and utter asininity without breaking a sweat.
That is not the hardest of the questions raised by Nadler’s shenanigans. What’s it all about, Jerry? That is a somewhat more difficult question to answer. Kim Strassel takes up the deep meaning of Nadler’s handiwork in her weekly Wall Street Journal Potomac Watch column headlined “What Nadler really wants.” She concludes:
Mr. Nadler’s contempt resolution…immediately begins a protracted court fight—guaranteeing he gets nothing for months, even years.
What does Mr. Nadler want, if not information? He wants the fight; he wants a show. Mrs. Pelosi prefers to avoid impeachment, for fear of public blowback. But she and her team need desperately to feed the angry progressive masses, to demonstrate that they are taking it to the Trump team. That’s what’s behind the shouts of obstruction and lawlessness and the dramatic show votes. Mr. Nadler chose to explain this purportedly serious contempt vote on that most unserious TV destination of Democratic base voters—MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” There Mr. Nadler railed that Mr. Trump is acting like a “king” or “dictator.”
The rage-on strategy holds electoral risks for the Democrats. Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Nadler and other committee chairmen come from safe districts and don’t have to worry about re-election. But the more red meat they throw, the more the base will demand impeachment—and the more swing voters will wonder what, if anything, Democrats have to offer beyond this fraudulent show.
Do Democrats really want a show starring Jerry Nadler? I wonder if they have thought this thing through. It is hard to imagine a less appealing figure. Even after surgical intervention, he seems to embody their limitless appetite for money and power. If that is a bad thing, it is far from the worst thing about him.