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The Associated Press / Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has decided to cash in her chips with members of her party who want to impeach President Donald Trump.

Democrats may be unable to stop themselves from impeachment. It could cost them dearly.

Since President Donald Trump's election in 2016, the party of surprise loser Hillary Clinton has been beside itself in believing it lost the race. The polls couldn't have been that far wrong. The pundits couldn't have handicapped it that badly. Somebody had to have done something illegal.

Since the result of the race was announced, Democrats have done everything they could to delegitimize the president and schemed to find ways to oust him.

To date, the two-year Russia collusion investigation was a flop. The obstruction of justice charge connected with the Russia investigation didn't hold water. His misunderstood words after racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, weren't enough. The mistress payoff scandal was a no-go. The withheld income tax returns still could have promise.

But they believe a whistleblower's secondhand report of a telephone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine will do it for them. Somehow, Trump mentioning the dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden's son in some oil business in the country is a high crime or misdemeanor. Or something.

So they're heading for impeachment charges. With the president just a little over a year away from a re-election try, time is running out. It's the best thing they've got right now, so, facts or no facts, it will have to do.

Forget for a moment, though, whether there are reasons to impeach Trump. All the U.S. House needs to pass a resolution of impeachment is a simple majority of votes of those members present and voting. And Democrats currently hold a 38-seat majority in the House.

So, they'll pass one or two or more resolutions, facts or no facts, probably in early 2020. Any investigations between now and then are just a sham, an excuse to offer voters that there is something — anything — behind the charges. But resolutions are going to happen, no matter what.

In the end, we just can't see 20 or so members bucking their party. What would it look like if they're not still part of the resistance? The party is, truth be told, are much better about holding its majority together than are Republicans.

Impeachment, then, almost surely will occur.

For Democrats, it will energize their base. The now far left base of the party has been demanding this since the election. Find something. It doesn't matter what. Just impeach him.

With the mainstream media behind them, they believe they can swing skeptical voters in their party to their side, and maybe some of their flock who voted for Trump.

Even with a likely far left candidate as their nominee in 2020 — Biden will have to be sacrificed on the altar of the investigations — Democrats are counting on impeachment as their ticket.

But the same eventuality they are counting on is also an energizer for Trump and Republican voters. The president, as he did in swing state Minnesota Thursday night, will continue to rally his base on the threat of impeachment and how Democrats have tried to thwart him throughout his term.

Trump voters and many non-Trump voters, as the Russia investigation dragged on and on and charges were made left and right, grew tired of accusations without facts. Despite Trump's ability to allow his tweets and his mouth to get him into constant trouble, they felt sorry for him. No one, they understood, likes to be blamed for something they didn't do.

Impeaching him, if nothing more devastating is learned than is already public knowledge, is likely to do the same thing in drawing sympathy toward him. And if, in fact, nothing more is found than what is currently on the table, the U.S. Senate will come nowhere close to convicting him on the articles of impeachment that eventually will be voted on.

That occurrence is likely to not only assure his re-election but perhaps re-elect a majority Republican House. Unlike the current secret House investigations, votes on the articles of impeachment by House members will be very public. And since those Democrats who won narrowly in 2018 will be unlikely to vote against the articles, their constituents may well reverse their votes in 2020.

With Trump, though, one never knows. As unpresidential as he has been throughout his term, anything can happen. We wouldn't be surprised if he were completely innocent and had just inelegantly spoken about a potential 2020 rival to the Ukraine president or if he and his administration were more deeply involved.

On the other hand, the Ukraine president has said the president in no way coerced him into investigating Biden's son's interests, and the initial whistleblower was previously involved with a 2020 candidate, rumored to be Biden.

Either way, we don't believe Democrats can resist trying their luck at impeachment. But it could backfire bigly, as Trump might say.

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