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Timing is everything.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Insane Clown Posse stood in front of the cameras and announced their spurious articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Before too long, Pelosi was back in front of the cameras, this time at a news conference to announce that House Democrats are supporting one of the biggest trade priorities of the Trump administration: The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
At the 9 a.m. media conference, the air was filled with jokers like Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, intoning how it is an “impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest.”
That would be the “national interest” as defined by Jerrold Nadler, of course, or the rabid Democratic base, or the easily alarmed “whistleblower” who kicked off the whole impeachment drive.
But the news conference announcing the USMCA deal was a different ball game. Pelosi said the new agreement — a Trump signature issue — “is much better than NAFTA,” according to U.S. News.
NAFTA, it’s worth remembering, was one of the principal legacies of the Bill Clinton presidency — a legacy Trump is on the cusp of replacing completely and, if Trump’s predictions are correct, benefiting the American economy enormously in the process.
America’s great USMCA Trade Bill is looking good. It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
And while the announcement came the same day U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer was in Mexico to sign a final version of the agreement, according to The Hill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Pelosi’s dual announcements Tuesday were a sign that she knows just how weak of hand impeachment is for her party.
“If you need any more evidence of how unpopular impeachment is, watch the two press conferences today,” he said at a news conference, according to The Hill.
“After announcing impeachment within less than an hour, the speaker finally relented and said she would bring USMCA up. She has held it for more than a year making America weaker in our negotiations with China, our No. 1 and No. 2 traders, with Mexico and Canada was being held up within our own agreement.”
“At no time when she would bring this bill up was there ever fear of it not passing, but the only reason she finally relented was because of the unpopularity of impeachment itself,” he added.
Pelosi’s first trip in front of the cameras was pure political theater aimed at appeasing her radical liberal base. Her second, essentially delivering one of Trump’s major goals in the White House, was real-life government — and likely an acknowledgment that Trump was winning where it mattered.
According to Bloomberg, Pelosi said the House could vote on the new deal “before the end of the session,” which means before Dec. 20.
The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to approve the deal after that.
The fact that House Democrats are acceding to such a key part of the Trump program shows that even they understand Trump’s policies are benefitting the country — which is why they need to play the impeachment card to have a chance of defeating his bid for re-election.
One Twitter user put it nicely:
It has never been more obvious that impeachment is solely about winning in 2020
They can't even pretend that things are going bad in the US to convince voters
Pelosi actually praised USMCA but sat on it for over a year
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) December 10, 2019
“In what may be the stupidest moment in US history Democrats announce articles of impeachment one hour before announcing the USMCA, handing a major victory to Trump, days after a report showing massive job and economic growth, and growing opposition to impeachment in swing states,” he wrote.
“It has never been more obvious that impeachment is solely about winning in 2020.”
Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, were crowing.
“Another promise made & promise kept by Pres Trump,” Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa wrote on Twitter.
Renegotiating NAFTA was a central campaign promise of Pres Trump and 2day he delivered a historic win for the American ppl The USMCA will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs+protect American workers+raise wages Another promise made & promise kept by Pres Trump
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) December 10, 2019
New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin called it “great news.”
Huge win for President Trump getting USMCA over the finish line, but most importantly, it's a huge win for the American worker with all of the new US jobs that will be created, the US GDP that will increase, and the new US investment that will be coming in. Great news!
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) December 10, 2019
There’s no doubt Democrats will want American voters to remember this day as a black mark on the Trump presidency, but the USMCA announcement makes that impossible.
Basically, on a day when Democrats claimed to be trying to rid the country of a president they’re trying to portray as a menace to all that’s good and true in America, they backed an objective Trump has been striving for since he first announced his run for the presidency. (In a 2015 “60 Minutes” interview, he called NAFTA a “disaster.”)
But Pelosi couldn’t admit that, of course.
Pelosi and her Democrats are claiming they improved the new deal with environmental and labor protections, but the bottom line is, USMCA is a Trump initiative, and its passage is going to be a Trump victory.
The deal won’t have as flashy a place in the history books as impeachment, and it’s not something that late-night comedians are going to be making their viewers laugh with.
But if it helps solidify the already booming economy and benefits the nation’s stock market, which benefits millions of Americans’ retirement accounts, it’s going to be nothing but good for Trump’s re-election bid.
For Trump, the timing of Tuesday’s announcements could hardly have been better.