The decision to take down Ms. Pelosi’s words was historic, as well. However, a vote to strike her comments from the record failed along party lines. The last speaker who had his words taken down is believed to be Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democrat from Massachusetts. (A 1990 analysis of such episodes by the Congressional Research Service does not appear to have been updated.) That happened in 1984, when Representative Newt Gingrich, the firebrand Georgia Republican (and future speaker), baited Mr. O’Neill into attacking him.
The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend
Before the fracas over Mr. Trump’s tweets, the four Democratic congresswomen — Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts — were on the outs with Ms. Pelosi. (It should be noted that three of the four, who are known collectively as the Squad, were born in this country.)
After they crossed Ms. Pelosi by voting against a border aid package, she put the Squad in its place, telling the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd that despite “their public whatever and their Twitter world,” they “didn’t have any following” where it mattered: on the House floor. “They’re four people,” Ms. Pelosi said, “and that’s how many votes they got.”
That created a predictable furor, prompting a spate of “Democrats in disarray” coverage about liberals who defended the women, and centrists defending Ms. Pelosi. But Mr. Trump’s Twitter attacks have united Democrats against a common enemy: the president.
No, This Will Not Quell the Liberals’ Thirst For Impeachment
Tuesday’s debate gave liberal Democrats, who are itching to move ahead with impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, an opportunity to blow off some steam. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who oversees the House Progressive Caucus and was born in India, was particularly animated. “Yes, I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot,” she thundered on the House floor. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘go back to your country,’ but it’s the first time I heard it from the White House!”
But the condemnation resolution is unlikely to serve as a substitute for impeachment. As soon as the vote was over, the Democrats’ leading advocate of impeachment — Representative Al Green of Texas — took to the House floor to call, once again, for Mr. Trump to be impeached.
But It May Not Be Great for Moderates, Either
One reason Ms. Pelosi does not want to push ahead with impeachment proceedings is that doing so could jeopardize the so-called majority makers — centrist Democrats who are running for re-election in districts carried by Mr. Trump in 2016. While Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the condemnation resolution, it will be worth watching how the vote goes over in these Democrats’ home districts.
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