Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's Behind Nadler's Impeachment Posturing? to Put It Bluntly, Nadler Is in a Tough Spot

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

What's Behind Nadler's Impeachment Posturing? to Put It Bluntly, Nadler Is in a Tough Spot

Article excerpt

First elected to Congress in 1992, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York is a well-established member of the Democratic establishment and a loyal follower and supporter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. So, what's behind Mr. Nadler's pointed determination to pursue President Donald Trump's impeachment? Mr. Nadler appears to be ignoring the speaker's wishes. Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye.

It has been underreported that Mr. Nadler faces a credible challenger in New York's Democratic primary in 2020. Specifically, Mr. Nadler's opponent is the capable-appearing Lindsey Boylan. Ms. Boylan - who is 35 years old, a recent deputy secretary for economic development for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a daughter of a Marine - has several things going for her. She has raised more than $250,000, which might not sound like a lot but is already more than triple what Mr. Nadler's Republican challenger raised in 2018. With nine months to go until the primary, this energetic young progressive may just be getting started.

Ms. Boylan has staked out a committed position to impeach Mr. Trump, and she accuses Mr. Nadler of being soft and ineffective as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "We need a leader, not a follower," she told Politico this month, adding that Mr. Nadler is "trying to place the blame on someone else, Nancy Pelosi. I don't think that is a way to lead."

To state the obvious, Nadler looks a lot more like Joseph Crowley, the longtime incumbent whom Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., defeated in a 2018 primary, than he does a recruit for "the Squad." Conversely, Ms. Boylan seems a more experienced version of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

To put it bluntly, Mr. Nadler is in a tough spot. You have to assume Ms. Pelosi has given him a pass to appear to be outside her control. The Judiciary Committee chair can look like he is proceeding with impeachment without going too far. This means Mr. Nadler must maintain some sort of political Brownian motion, always appearing to be on the move but never really going anywhere. …

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