ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24—in a move that was either months overdue or dangerously premature, depending on whom you ask—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry. In the weeks since, public polling has continued to climb in its favor, but that doesn’t mean the Democrats are about to smoothly “impeach the motherfucker,” as Representative Rashida Tlaib declared the night she was sworn into Congress. The impeachment proceedings of the past were divisive national theater, and that was before Twitter and Facebook and a conspiracy-theorist president superpowered the country’s partisanship. Are we headed for a full-fledged constitutional crisis by Christmas? A survey of this high-stakes moment, from the Democrats’ war room to the Republicans’ bunker (and what it has felt like for the rest of us).
1. Her Game by GABRIEL DEBENEDETTI
Nancy Pelosi has not had a simple job since the Democrats won back the House last year, having to, most prominently, swat away an ill-fated attempt to replace her as Speaker, navigate uncharted political waters with the emergence of the progressive “Squad,” and try to negotiate with Donald Trump. But on no single issue has she faced a more persistent drumbeat from assorted members of her caucus than the impeachment of the president, whom her