I definitely agree that they don't have a moral high ground here. And there is no doubt Congress has become more about partisanship than the good of the people. However, there are some important things to consider here:

Pelosi did NOT WANT to impeach Trump. From the beginning she fought off any attempt by other Democrats to begin such a process. I do believe that Trump's actions crossed the line from doing what's good for the people (at least those that elected him) to doing what's good for his political re-election, and that should be a VERY clear line that is not permitted. Dershowitz' claim that "he believed he was doing the good for the country by helping his re-election" is just bizarre giving the types of actions that statement justifies. NO president should put themselves as being more important than the sanctity of the democratic institution. Terms are limited; the system must live on intact. I believe Pelosi made the right call here.

Remember also that she made this call even given two important facts: she KNEW that the impeachment would not succeed, and the failed attempt at impeaching Clinton only served to boost his support. This was a very risky endeavor. To claim that it's an attempt to "undo the will of the people" totally ignores the facts: it was never going to succeed, and trying this in an election year actually increases his chances for re-election.

In terms of precedent, I think the bigger harm is on the side of McConnell: openly declaring that he would work in lockstep with the White House, and not allowing any witnesses have removed the last vestiges of an impartial process for impeachment.

Founder of The Canonical Debate Lab

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