January 15, 2020
Opponents have worked themselves into a frenzy after the House speaker used dozens of ballpoints to sign articles of impeachmentRepublicans have found a new reason to be furious with Nancy Pelosi: she uses too many pens.The House speaker sparked the opposing party’s ire on Wednesday when she used a remarkable number of writing implements – more than three trays littered with them – to sign her name on the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.The pens, engraved with her signature, were intended as souvenirs for Pelosi’s allies. She carefully signed the documents, apparently stroke by stroke, using different pens for each portion of her signature. Then she distributed them to impeachment managers and committee members.“The truth comes out. This isn’t ‘somber’ or ‘serious’ for @HouseDemocrats,” the House Republicans tweeted, referring to Democrats’ description of the impeachment process. “This has been partisan since day one.”Individual Republicans piled on: “They claim it’s a somber, serious occasion they’re heartbroken over ... and then they pass out impeachment-signing pens with special cases. Folks. You can’t make it up,” wrote the North Carolina Republican representative Mark Meadows. The House Republican whip, Steve Scalise, called the moment “unbelievable”. And Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, sarcastically suggested Pelosi “was so somber as she gave them away to people like prizes”.But, as many commentators pointed out, Pelosi was only doing what many politicians before her have done – including one Donald J Trump:> Here's @greggutfeld losing his mind over Pelosi giving away pens she used to sign impeachment articles, followed by footage of Trump giving away dozens of pens like candy mere hours ago following his China deal signing ceremony pic.twitter.com/91R27O5nim> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 15, 2020Barack Obama used 22 pens to sign his landmark healthcare law. Lyndon Johnson is said to have used 75 to sign the Civil Rights Act. The tradition goes back to at least Franklin Roosevelt, as Time explained in 2010: “The pen used to sign legislation itself becomes a historical artifact. The more pens a president uses, the more thank-you gifts he can offer to those who helped create that piece of history.”In fact, as Guardian political reporter Lauren Gambino pointed out, commemorative pens were used in a very analogous situation in the late 1990s: the impeachment of Bill Clinton. In that case, senators who signed a pledge to be impartial received pens that accidentally dubbed them “Untied States senators”.Alongside Republican anger, Wednesday’s episode of Too-Many-Pens-gate sparked much amusement on Twitter:> As it turns out the delay in sending over the Articles of Impeachment wasn't politically motivated.@SpeakerPelosi had to wait for her monogrammed pens from Etsy. https://t.co/J1Jy3sgSFK> > — Kevin Dalton (@NextLAMayor) January 15, 2020> I have never seen so many adults triggered by a photo of some ballpoint pens.
Pen-t up anger: Republicans pounce on Pelosi over ceremonial writing tools
> > But thank you for speaking out about the horrors of commemorative stationery, Stephanie.
> > I mean, just remember what happened in the GOP senate during Clinton's impeachment...https://t.co/siCo8kBWFO pic.twitter.com/mmDEC7HrMu> > — Old Rant Dump (@TrumpinTheShark) January 15, 2020To be fair to Republicans, however, it really was quite a lot of pens. And it took a long time to close them.> The closing of the ceremonial impeachment pens. pic.twitter.com/8GZmgbKnhP> > — Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) January 15, 2020
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