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House Democrats: Please Don't Think Too Hard About Our Confusing Impeachment Stunt

As Cortney wrote earlier, the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee voted this morning to set parameters for an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.  What does that mean, exactly?  Not much.  Chairman Jerry Nadler muttered confusingly about "nomenclature" and legal technicalities when asked whether this move constitutes pursuing impeachment.  This strange smoke and mirrors show isn't just ridiculous to people who aren't hardcore Democratic partisans.  It's irksome and frustrating to some elected Democrats, too:

Dissonant messages over the probe have prompted frustration among rank-and-file members, particularly those in competitive races wary of impeachment, and it even led to the House’s No. 2 Democrat walking back his statement on the committee’s investigation on Wednesday. …“This Committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump. Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature,” the New York Democrat said. “But let me clear up any remaining doubt: The conduct under investigation poses a threat to our democracy. We have an obligation to respond to this threat. And we are doing so.”

As Democratic strategists and MSNBC reporters express their bafflement at...whatever the hell this impeachment/non-impeachment investigation/inquiry is, it is becoming increasingly clear that it's not just the rank-and-file who are peeved by this pointless stunt: Leadership is annoyed and scrambling to get on the same page.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi practically begged reporters to stop asking her about the issue, demanding that they go bother Mitch McConnell about gun control instead.  Are his party leaders on board for all of this, Jerry?  Er, no comment:  

They don't want to talk about it because they know what the truth is.  This is a clumsy kabuki dance for their impeachment-minded base, which does not actually entail any concrete steps in pursuit of the 'i-word,' in light of broader public opinion.  As has been the case for months, Democrats want to signal to their most fervent, angriest constituents that they're going to nail Trump, while simultaneously giving cover to members who represent swing districts.  It's transparent, stupid, and boring, as I said on Fox News this morning:

Somebody was watching, and evidently agreed:

How long will we have to endure this absurdity?  I'll leave you with Allahpundit's convincing timetable and explanation:

Chances are that the base won’t fully abandon impeachment until primary voting begins next year, at which point rolling a political grenade into America’s electoral tent would be too risky to justify. That means five more months of her having to lamely dodge questions like these from reporters and aggravating lefties in the process. If only she could just tell the truth — the “impeachment inquiry” is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded oppo research operation, with the fruits of Nadler’s investigation to be weaponized not in an impeachment proceeding but by the Democratic nominee next fall.

Sounds about right.

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