As John discussed below, Nancy Pelosi finally gave up her futile attempt to use the threat of not sending impeachment articles to the Senate as a means of forcing Mitch McConnell to give her a say in how the Senate will conduct the trial. Since McConnell isn’t exactly dying to hold a trial of President Trump, Pelosi’s gambit wasn’t just empty, it was ridiculous. She comes off looking silly.
Why did Pelosi make such a dumb play? I suspect she deluded herself into thinking it might work because, being obsessively power hungry, she failed to distinguish between her actual power and the power she covets.
Pelosi has never been popularly elected to any office more significant than representative of a congressional district entirely within the friendly (for her) confines of San Francisco. Nor has she ever served in the U.S. executive branch. Yet, as I argued here, she behaves as if she’s the shadow Secretary of State.
It’s not surprising, then, that Pelosi also sees herself as shadow Senate Majority Leader. If her delusions of grandeur impel her to ignore the State Department and negotiate with foreign leaders, why wouldn’t they also lead her to try to impose rules on the Senate?
When Newt Gingrich was dueling with President Clinton in the mid to late 1990s, it was common for the media to attack and/or ridicule the then-Speaker for deceiving himself into thinking he was Clinton’s constitutional equal. No one ever hears such attacks on, or ridicule of, Pelosi from the mainstream media.
Yet, Pelosi is at least as self-aggrandizing as Gingrich ever was — more so, I would argue. Indeed, she is on the record as claiming that “the Constitution” considers her to be President Trump’s equal. To my knowledge, Gingrich never said this.
The claim is delusional, as I argued here (the president runs the executive branch; the Speaker of the House does not run the legislative branch). But it explains, I think, why Pelosi deluded herself into believing that she could help Mitch McConnell formulate the rules for Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.