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Nancy Pelosi called the GOP's impeachment bluff this week, and in doing so she completely undercut the “process” attacks they have been making about the House inquiry. Demanding that a formal House vote be held on impeachment, Republicans have insisted the lack of a vote represents a tell-tale sign that the inquiry is unfair. But now that vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday, robbing Republicans of a preferred talking point.

Suggesting it's everything from a coup to a “lynching” to the crucifixion of Christ, Republicans and the conservative media have been wallowing in impeachment hysteria mode for more than a month. During that time, we've seen very little hard-nosed defense of Trump's open collusion with Ukraine. Republicans clearly don't want to get into the weeds on this story, where revelation after revelation has pointed to Trump wrongdoing. Instead, we've seen incessant conservative attacks on the impeachment “process”: It's too secretive, it's too restricted, and there are no cross examinations allowed, etc. The attacks are comically thin and the press ought to be saying so and being upfront about it in the news coverage, instead of suggesting that ‘Both Sides’ differ on how the impeachment inquiry is unfolding.

Indeed, the Beltway press often prefers to focus on whatever is making Republicans angry, and reporters love pretending that's the real news. When Republicans recently broke House rules and staged a protest by pushing past Capitol Police officers in order to barge into secure rooms occupied by the House Intelligence Committee, where impeachment investigators have been conducting private interviews, the press took the bait, playing it up as a huge event.

From The New York Times: “This is a Soviet-style process,” Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, charged Wednesday of the closed-door deposition for a Pentagon official. “It should not be allowed in the United States of America. Every member of Congress ought to be allowed in that room.”

But heated rhetoric like that isn't the news. What is news is that Republicans are completely fabricating claims about how Democrats are handling impeachment. It's news that Republicans now routinely lie about everything—and that's how the story ought to be covered.

  • October 29, 2019