Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Impeach Trump? You're kidding, right? Impeach him for what? Pervasive toxic jerkishness is not, alas, a high crime and misdemeanor, the standard set out in the Constitution.
Or do you think he can be impeached because his campaign colluded with the Russia during the election? Is that even a crime?
If it is, don't you imagine that there are a plenty of cringing underlings for Trump to casually kick into the ditch? While the Donald smirks his personal responsibility away and fires off a few dead-of-night tweets glorying in it all? Nothing has stuck to him yet. Why would this?
Besides, who would do the impeaching? Congress, right? The Republican Congress. The same trembling cowards who can't even utter a word criticizing the most unfit leader our nation has ever seen are somehow going to magically pivot and great rid of him? After they shelved all their supposed beliefs and principles to meekly shuffle wherever he decided to lurch today. It's like expecting a spinning weather vane to hop off the old barn and point your way through a forest.
Won't happen. It surprises me to hear people speculating it could happen. Magical thinking, on par with believe-in-fairies-or-Tinkerbell-will-die. And it's such a pathetically easy solution. Deus ex machina; let's just wish this away. A denial of hard realities not dissimilar from the kind of head-in-the-sand outlook that got Trump elected in the first place.
And like many fantasies, destructive in that it distracts us with daydreams from the hard work at hand. You don't need to harvest the crop if you are convinced gnomes will do it. And there is hard, right-now work beyond breathlessly awaiting what the Washington Post will dig up next.
Whenever the subject comes up, I shock the people taking a big lungful of the pipe dream by saying, "Impeach him? It's far more likely we'll re-elect him." They stand there, exhaling, the blissed out grin dying on their faces.
We should be talking about his reelection, not his impeachment. I can see reelection happening. Easily. It's the far more likely outcome — if somebody wants to put down his money on impeachment, and I can put and equal sum down on re-election, winner-take-all, I'll grab at that bet. But you'll lose.
His base is standing with him, more or less. The Democrats have nobody. And it's happened before. The pattern is already there. History is not a schematic for the future, but there are hints and lessons there. Since those spinning impeachment dreams drum up Richard Nixon, who resigned after the gears of impeachment began to grind him. So let's go with Nixon.
In 1968, he defeated Hubert Humphrey, an unloved political hack not unlike Hillary Clinton. While Nixon drifted to the center -- he created the EPA, went to China -- the Democrats tacked left, nominating George McGovern, who was so progressive he lost 49 states.
So sure, the impeachment process swung into action against Nixon. But he was also re-elected, after Watergate began to grab headlines.
The Bernie Sanders sideshow could convince the Democrats that a similarly radical candidate—though not Sanders himself, thank you God, for one because he'll be 79 in 2020—can have a chance in hell, which Sanders wouldn't have had once America took a good hard look at what was behind his slogans, which wasn't much. We're not a radical left nation. We can't even find our way to national health care, like every other nation on earth with indoor plumbing.
Don't get me wrong. Given the daily shocks that the Trump administration serve up when he isn't abroad, deeply humiliating the country, giving NATO a kick (I wish I could believe Putin pays him directly for this kind of thing; my gut tells me they just both think alike) and re-assuring the Europeans that their traditional tacit contempt for America is finally justified, no one can say when whatever smoking gun, tawdry tape, or grotesque cruelty or stupidity will finally pry his supporters' fingers off the door jamb. It's possible.
But don't hold your breath. There's no reason to consider it now. We just elected the guy last November. And in once sense, we got exactly what we paid for. Nobody can say they were deceived by Trump—sure, he made all these mendacious promises that he didn't even pretend to try to keep. But it was clear he'd do that, particularly since half of what he promised was patently impossible. If voters could screw their eyes tight and vote for him in November, what makes you think they won't stay that way for the next eight years? Opening your eyes to Trump now would be like opening your eyes under the ocean. It burns.
The only focus should be: elect Democratic Congressmen in 2018. Then we can talk impeachment, provided we're still allowed to talk at all. Until then, find a decent presidential candidate for 2020 who won't be so flawed she lets a notorious liar, bully and fraud get his tiny hands on the levers of power.