Rich Galen

  • Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), is the minority leader in the US House. As guest on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday, part of the discussion centered on what would happen if the Democrats were to take control of the House after November's elections.

  • For one thing, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

  • The House Judiciary Committee, for those who slept through the late-90s, is where impeachment proceedings are born. If the Democrats win control of the House, John Conyers would have the power to decide the whether a process to impeach President Bush would begin.

  • Rep. Pelosi is pretty smart. She doesn't want to give the GOP ammunition to begin to excite its base so she denied that Rep. Conyers would be able to being impeachment proceedings.

  • But if the Democrats win control of the House, Mr. Conyers will certainly lead the House Judiciary Committee to being hearings with a view toward the I-word and Mrs. Pelosi may wring her hands in agony but will have to admit she can do nothing to stop it.

  • November's election is going to come down to this:

  • If the Democrats take control of the US House and/or the Senate they will issue subpoenas to anyone who ever worked at, attended a meeting in, or knew anyone who walked in front of, the White House in a concerted effort to mount impeachment charges against President Bush, Vice President Cheney, or both.

  • It is unlikely that most Republicans will, even in the face of Iraq or Abramoff or gas prices or immigration, vote for a Democrat for the US House - especially if a Republican is the incumbent.

  • It is, however, possible that Republicans will, whether out of disappointment, or anger or simple exhaustion, simply stay home. Republicans deciding not to vote would have the effect of giving their votes to the Democrat in the race by default.

  • That, happily, is not a probable outcome.

  • Turnout in mid-term elections is generally far lower than in Presidential years. It is a common error in Congressional campaigns to look at the most recent election to determine turnout patterns.

  • Rich Galen

    Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at