How Many Democrats Support Impeachment Won’t Matter

In light of the recent Mueller testimony and comments made by Trump against Representative Elijah Cummings, four more Democrats have jumped on the impeachment bandwagon and voiced their support for an impeachment investigation, according to Politico.

The new additions to the measure include freshman lawmaker Kim Schrier, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Suzan DelBene. All four come from Washington state and are said to have been influenced by the Mueller proceedings that took place last week.

This brings the number of those in favor of the measure to 107, just 11 votes from the 118 needed for the “majority of the majority,” or more than half of the 235 Democrats in the caucus.

Since the Mueller testimony last Wednesday, about a dozen more have signed on, including Mike Levin of California and vice chairwoman of the caucus Katherine Clark from Massachusetts.

And nearly 20-30 more party members are labeled to be on the fence over the issue, leading many to believe that more will follow suit in the coming weeks, as lawmakers head home for a month-long recess.

And while it is likely that more will join the impeachment forces in the coming days or weeks, they are far from being able to do much about actually getting the measure anywhere.

Firstly, there is the matter of convincing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to join the fray. Just before leaving for the recess, Pelosi reiterated her intentions on the subject, saying, “No, I’m not trying to run out the clock.”

And she added, “We will proceed when we have what we need to proceed – not one day sooner.”

She and many other House Democrats, while not being wholeheartedly against the idea impeachment, want to go about it the right way.

If they decide to try for impeachment, she wants to make sure they have enough evidence to back of their claims and to get the measure through, all the way to the finish line.

She says, “Everybody has the liberty and the luxury to espouse their own position and to criticize me for trying to go down the path in the most determined, positive way.” And she added, “Again, their advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage.”

So as of right now, and even with the majority vote of 118, this is unlikely to make much of a difference to Pelosi and get her to change her opinion.

While the number of 118 may seem impressive the real number to strive for is 218, the majority of not just the Democrats but of the entire House. And even those in support of the measure agree that if this number isn’t reached, it was all for nothing.

They say the only number that really matters is 218 and therefore, they caution against reading too much into anything less than that.

Representative Cedric Richmond from Louisiana said on Monday, “There’s not much difference between 100 and 118. I don’t think half of the caucus represents a magic number.”

When he was asked what number was “magic,” he said, “two hundred eighteen. That’s the majority of the House. That’s the number it takes to pass a bill and get articles of impeachment out of the House and to the Senate.”

He says, “We still have steps to go.”

And that brings us to the next hurdle for the measure. Even if the House gets enough votes and is able to pass it on, there is no guarantee that the Republican-led Senate will be able to do the same.

As a Brown University political science professor, Wendy Schiller says, “Mueller’s lackluster testimony likely gave Speaker Pelosi the ammunition to withstand call for impeachment inquiries, or hearings, from the left flank of her party.”

She went on to say, “She has always maintained it is a losing political proposition even if the House voted to impeach Trump because the Senate will not vote to convict Trump and remove him from office.”

And she isn’t the only political observer who thinks this way.

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says, “I think the candidates on the stump are being politically realistic; the people back in Washington aren’t. Nancy Pelosi, who is a wintry eyed realist, is having none of it: she thinks impeachment is a fools’ errand and I have to say I agree with her.”