Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Time Has Come

Donald Trump will be impeached within the next eighteen months.

Possibly by the end of this year.

It is by now indelibly clear that he has engaged in a broad pattern of abuse and illegality, of high crimes and misdemeanors, and has brought upon himself and this nation a Constitutional crisis that can only be resolved by removing him from office and prosecuting him to the fullest extent of the law.

The list of these crimes, this abuse, this flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution has been well documented elsewhere and there is no particular need to rehash it here.  The recent firing of FBI Head James Comey is a tipping point, however.

Every independent agent investigating Trump has now been fired by Trump.

We have reached our Watergate moment.

Of course, you may argue that this assumes that the Republican-led Congress actually gives a rat’s ass about the law, the Constitution, or anything other than their grip on absolute power. 

And you would be correct to note that there is precious little evidence of this.

Again, there is no particular need to rehash what has been well documented here and elsewhere.  It gets tiresome, to be honest.

Oh, there are a few Republicans who understand that there is a time to put patriotism above partisanship, and three cheers for them, I say.  They may well be instrumental in bringing about what really needs to happen, just as they were for Nixon.  People forget that Nixon only resigned when it became clear that he had lost the support of his own party – that his crimes were so blatant, so beyond the pale, that even partisanship wouldn’t save him.

Do we have enough Republicans who care about this country more than they care about their party? 

Maybe.  I’m not going to argue the point.

My point is that we don’t need to rely on them.  Even pure unadulterated power-hungry partisanship will make the GOP get rid of Trump.

Trump is the gift that keeps on giving to Democrats.  He is a one-man sideshow, a festival of stupidity, criminality, subversion, and moral failure, incapable of reform, education, or productive labor.  His first 100 days in office were among the least effective of any president in American history, up to and including William Henry Harrison, and this is especially notable in light of the fact that his party controls both houses of Congress.  He’s managed to piss off the Navy, the FBI, and the CIA, as well as almost every other federal agency under his control.  His public approval ratings are historically bad, which tells you that even many Republicans don’t like him.  His unpredictability is borderline psychotic and undermines everything that the GOP would like to do.  His ability to energize progressive voters and candidates is unparalleled, as several unfathomably close mid-cycle elections in what had been safe GOP areas have already shown.  He is the focal point of rage for the thinking American, and it is that rage that is translating thinking into doing.

He is, in other words, an obstacle to everything the GOP wants to achieve.  The Faustian bargain that the GOP made with Trump is that they would tolerate – even celebrate – his venality, criminality, and subversion as long as they got to impose their will on the majority of Americans who actively reject it.  And this bargain is now in question.

As of right now, Trump’s presidency and the divisions within the GOP that he encourages and abets are so damning that the GOP is in serious danger of losing the House of Representatives in 2018. 

That fact is shocking.  The House is so effectively gerrymandered that the GOP has controlled it despite losing the overall popular vote for Representatives more often than not of late, and with their control over state legislatures this gerrymandering is not likely to change.  The fact that the House is even in play at all is a testament to the colossal moral and political failure of the modern GOP.

The GOP knows this.

They also know that if Trump goes, it is entirely likely that Pence will go with him.  Pence has already implicated himself in a number of the scandals of this administration – notably the Russian collusion to subvert the 2016 election – and his position is only slightly less precarious than Trump’s.

Third in line is the Speaker of the House.

At the moment, that’s Paul Ryan, the wunderkind of the Ayn Rand right wing and as pliable an extremist water-carrier as you could hope for.  This is the guy who shepherded the moral abomination of Republicare through the House of Representatives, after all.  The GOP could live happily under President Ryan.

But if they lose the House, two things happen.

First, their ability to quash probes, investigations, and ultimately impeachment itself is lost with it.  They know very well that a Democratic House would bring the charges that the GOP House has so far been unwilling even to investigate as a threat to their own power.  They also know that if there is enough of a progressive wave to win the House it will likely turn the Senate as well, which means that when you add in what Republicans are willing to be patriots instead of partisans conviction on those impeachment charges becomes all but certain.

And second, once Trump and Pence go in that scenario, the new Speaker of the House will be a Democrat.

Under the Constitution, that incoming President would still be eligible for two full terms, which means that he or she could be president for a full decade.  Given that the only thing that got Jimmy Carter elected in 1976 was the disgust and rejection that voters felt for the party of Nixon, it is entirely likely that the former Speaker of the House would get at least one full term as president, and if the GOP continues to tear itself apart (as any attempt to get rid of Trump likely will, given the vast gulf between the GOP elite and its Trump-voting base) possibly both terms.

The partisanship of the GOP won’t have that.

They’ll get rid of Trump while they can still replace him with someone of their own party, and they’ll spin it as patriotism, rule of law, and respect for the Constitution.  And for all I know some of them will be sincere.

But Trump’s time is limited either way.

He will be gone.  For the survival of the American republic, he needs to be gone.  Even if it’s just partisanship, he has to be gone.

Interesting times indeed.


Janiece said...

I sincerely hope you are correct. Right now I'd give my left arm for a Republican with the courage of their convictions or even a passing familiarity with their duty to the Constitution. So far it appears I'm in no danger of losing any limbs.

David said...

No, no you're not. And that right there is the root of this nation's problems.

LucyInDisguise said...

I ...

We ...

You ...


I kinda gotta go with Janiece on this one. I sincerely hope and all that.

Your logic is very nearly impeccable. The one fault that I perceive is that it relies much to heavily on republicans actually thinking and having the capability to recognize the precariousness of their present situation - then having both the intelligence to see the possible solution you have presented here*, and the will to act in some vain effort to preserve the power they now hold.

(Frankly, though, I believe your crystal ball should join mine in the repair shop, where mine has languished since days of yore.)


*which, btw, is positively brilliant - glad you are not chief high strategist for the GOP!

David said...

Well, to be honest I've made money betting against my own predictions, so I wouldn't be surprised if this one didn't turn out either. But my guess is that there are a number of highly ranked GOP leaders who have already run my scenario through their minds with an eye to the future and who may well follow through on it. While they have conclusively proven that they cannot be trusted with political power, you do have to admit that the GOP is very, very good at figuring out how to obtain and keep that power even when it is not merited by laws or ethics.

They know how precarious Trump is. They know how precarious Pence might be, because of that. They know how to read the polls and election results regarding Congress next year, probably better than I do. I'd be shocked if they're not already making backup plans along these lines.

LucyInDisguise said...

Your faith in the GOP leadership is ...

less than reassuring.

Quite to the contrary, 'annoying' is probably a much better word choice.

In these circumstances.


David said...

If Trump goes, I can put up with a whole lot. I won't be happy and I'll continue to protest what I regard as the subversion of the republic by a cadre of right-wing extremists.

But most of those extremists play a long game. They want to use me to enrich themselves, and if they end up nuking the planet out of incompetence and/or incoherent rage, they lose too. With Trump and his supporters, you just know they'd burn the place down and piss on the ashes just out of spite.

LucyInDisguise said...

Okay, I think we’re pretty much on the same page here.

You’re referencing the “Party” of Republicans - the money grubbing, power hungry organization all us progressives think of when the subject is discussed in such settings - and the wealthy individuals who try to remain, if not in the shadows, at least out of the spotlights at center stage.

I, on the other hand, am referring to the current herd of elected individuals wearing the “label” of “republican” who bear no resemblance to the traditional party, are presenting themselves as a shipload of loose cannons, whom the ‘Party’ (to all outward appearances) has almost no control.

I’m speculating that the current herd of imbeciles will blow themselves to hell, and will, unfortunately, take the ‘Party’ and the entire hand basket with them. I’m not at all certain how much of a disaster that will be for the Republic - your prior posts regarding the founding of the Republic and the need for two strong political parties weigh heavily on my mind here - but I am certain it won’t be pretty. Someone recently said, “… you just know they’d burn the place down and piss on the ashes just out of spite.”

I think those extremists that you refer to who are playing the long game have, perhaps, overplayed their hand this time.

Just sayin’.


David said...

Yes, I think we're pretty much on the same page in these particulars.

I don't mind if the current herd of imbeciles (great phrase, by the way) destroys themselves and the party they have taken over. This country needs a functional, grown-up conservative party and it hasn't had one since the mid-90s. Once the current GOP goes under, something else will take its place as has happened every time a major party has gone under in American history.

The republic will survive the destruction of the GOP far better than the continued existence of the GOP.

LucyInDisguise said...

I believe the appropriate words, at this point, become:

Hear, Hear.

Or, this being the internet, Here, here.

Maybe heard, heard? Herd, oh, never mind.

[Inserts winking smiling emoji here]