Well, this was inevitable. Prior to whistleblower Eric Ciaramella running to tattle his tale to Adam Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other halfway-sane Democrats in Washington understood that trying to impeach President Donald Trump was a hopeless and dangerous path, politically.

To be sure, they wanted to do it. They wanted it with every fiber of their being. They loathe this president, and they know that their liberal base would treat them as American heroes if they managed to upend the 2016 election and throw him out on the streets. But Pelosi has been around too long to get caught up in every tempest-in-a-teapot that swirls through Capitol Hill. She knew impeachment was destined to die in the Senate, even if the Dems could concoct a reason for bringing articles against Trump that didn’t stink of rank partisanship.

What changed? Who can say. It certainly wasn’t the Ukraine thing, which is far flimsier than even the handful of sand Robert Mueller gave them to work with. Our best guess is that Pelosi took a long, hard look at the Democratic Party’s collection of bumblers running for president and decided that impeachment was their only hope. Or maybe she feared that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would lead a hardliner takeover of the House if she didn’t give in to the mob. Whatever her reasons, Pelosi turned her back on her best judgment.

And now it appears that the rotten fruit of this inquiry is beginning to split open.

In remarks this week, Washington Post Congressional reporter Rachael Bade revealed that moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill are beginning to have grave reservations about impeachment.

“I think what we’re starting to see, you know, is when the impeachment inquiry was first announced and Democrats started to do these depositions, a lot of people were asking, ‘Can Nancy Pelosi peel off any Republicans?'” Bade said.

“But I increasingly think the question is becoming does Pelosi lose more Democrats?” she continued. “Because Republicans have really unified behind the president, and although two Democrats voted against the impeachment inquiry rules that they voted on a couple of weeks ago, we are hearing behind-the-scenes there are moderates getting cold feet. And it comes back to these ads and people being afraid for being punished for voting to impeach the president.”

Bade is talking about the ads the RNC is running in districts where House Democrats won by a razor-thin margin, put into power by voters who had pulled the lever for Trump only two years earlier. Ads that say, Hey, you guys sent these Democrats to Washington to work with Trump, not to try and cancel your 2016 vote – what the hell? And with impeachment growing less popular by the day, those Dems know that their seats are in jeopardy. Especially with Trump back on the ballot next November.

Of course, their confidence is probably not buoyed by this joke of an inquiry and the complete lack of an impeachable offense at the heart of it.