by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In her Dear Colleague letter pushing back against Republican anti-impeachment talking points, Nancy Pelosi wrote this: “The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because the President is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections.” Is he?
If a Republican had suggested that a presidential election was a “dangerous” notion, he would have triggered around-the-clock panic-stricken coverage on CNN and a series of deep dives in the Atlantic lamenting the conservative turn against our sacred democratic ideals.
What Pelosi has done is even more cynical. She’s arguing that if Democrats fail in their efforts to impeach Trump — and, I assume, remove him from office — then the very legitimacy of the 2020 election will be in question before any votes are cast.
Though most liberals have long declared the 2016 contest contaminated, as far as we know, absolutely nothing — not even the most successful foreign efforts in “interference” or “meddling” — damaged the integrity of the election results. Notwithstanding the belief of over 60 percent of Democrats, precipitated by breathless and often misleading media coverage, not one vote was altered by Putin, nor was a single person’s free will purloined by a Russian Twitter bot or Facebook ad.
And, contra Pelosi’s implication, whatever you make of Trump’s request from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s shady son, not one voter will be restricted from casting a ballot for whomever they please in 2020. In truth, voters will know more about the inner workings of Trump’s presidency than they have about any other administration in memory. Maybe they care, maybe they don’t, but that’s not up to Pelosi.