"We have to strike while the iron is hot," Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her fellow Democrats as she launched an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's ill-advised phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
And so, in a spasm of revenge, she calls her Democrats to political war to invalidate the 2016 election they lost to Trump.
It's also obvious that Democrats are desperate, breathlessly so, to discredit Attorney General William Barr and career federal prosecutor John Durham before they report out what they've learned about the origins of the failed Trump-Russia collusion investigation, which was initially directed by Obama administration spymasters.
I won't prejudge what Barr and Durham may or may not find. But Democrats are worried that Barr and Durham will muddy the waters and reveal what happened in Ukraine, where it all started.
Democrats can't afford that, and the shrieking increases.
But if Americans find Democratic tactics to herd voters like livestock familiar, there is a reason.
Americans have seen this before, at the hands of the Republicans.
They should easily be able to imagine President George W. Bush of a few years ago, saying the same kind of thing to his Republicans about Iraq and a hot iron in his hands.
Or perhaps they see Bush sitting by as his Rasputin, then Vice President Dick Cheney, exhorted the pro-war neocons to support Bush and his ill-advised war in Iraq.
Bush's Iraq war was supposed to grow democracy in a land of barbarous dictators. It ended in disaster, with American soldiers and their families paying a terrible cost in blood.
War is not politics. War is war. And politics is men and women in suits flapping their mouths for power and money.
But the tactics to arouse voters are painfully familiar in either pursuit: urgent shouting to drown out opposition, desperate breathlessness and the use of friendly media to ridicule and scorch opponents and shame or encourage the people to fall in line.
With Bush and Iraq, a largely compliant media helped herd America to war — and to my lasting shame I was part of that. Protesters were marginalized, the threat of the weapons of mass destruction (that ultimately weren't there) was reason enough, or so we were told.
And Americans were also told that democracy would bloom in the desert and take root in a place that knew only the rule of brutal strongmen and dictators.
We were stampeded.
And I promised myself I'd never join another stampede.
What we didn't see then, but see clearly now, were the consequences of Bush and his hot iron after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including the slaughter in Iraq and the ethnic cleansing of Christians who had been in the region since St. Paul was on his road to Tarsus.
We also didn't see the resulting collapse of the Republican political establishment.
Hot. Iron. Strike.
Does the Democratic Party see the consequences of how impeachment affects the 62 million or so Americans who voted for Trump in 2016?
I've never been much concerned about Trump and his brutal rhetoric. His political survival involves nominating conservative Supreme Court justices, and many Americans will endure vulgarity to accomplish that. But the relentless and juvenile "Orange Man Bad" critiques in the media serve only to humiliate 62 million people.
Many of them had been marginalized and dismissed by bipartisan establishment elites for years, in rural and suburban America. Their silent desperation and pain were ignored, as was their loss of jobs, place and culture, and many died young from stress or embraced opiates to dull their pain.
They played by the rules. They knew they'd been betrayed.
They also knew who Trump was when they voted for him. They wanted revenge on the Washington that had abandoned them. Trump was their blunt instrument, and he brought blunt-force fear with him to the palaces of Versailles on the D.C. Beltway.
In recent days, Democrats have been urgently trying to herd Americans toward embracing impeachment because the president asked Ukrainian President Zelensky to help find information about Democrat Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Was the phone call ham-handed? Yes.
Is it grounds for impeachment? No.
Democrats insisted there was a quid pro quo, U.S. military aid was withheld and traded for the Biden scalps. But there was no quid pro quo.
Trump opened by asking Zelensky to assist in the investigation of how the Trump/Russia collusion business began in Ukraine.
American presidents are within their rights to investigate possible crimes overseas. The American people deserve to know exactly how the Trump/Russia collusion investigation began.
The Bidens are collateral damage. Would Hunter Biden have had his $50,000-a-month gig with the Ukrainian natural gas company if his dad weren't vice president and his name had been Hunter Krapnick?
Any child from Chicago could explain it to you.
Joe Biden publicly bragged that he forced Ukraine to rid itself of a prosecutor and threatened to kill a billion dollars in U.S. aid if his demands weren't met. Just being in Ukraine as vice president, with his son cashing in, was a conflict of interest.
But Democrats don't want to hear about Ukraine. And now with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recovering from heart surgery, Elizabeth Warren's chances for the Democratic nomination increase. And supporters of Biden's center-left presidential candidacy will panic.
Striking while the iron is hot isn't always the best policy. It helps herd voters through fear, but the consequences are often unknown.
And sometimes disastrous.