Impeach Trump: Why it’s not a Pipe Dream
For starters there is already a website committed to just this.
An interesting article in the Washington Post compares Trump to Andrew Johnson. But at the end Charles Lane argues that Trump’s position is much stronger than Johnson’s.
“But this is where the Trump analogy starts to break down. The Republicans of the 1860s turned on Johnson from a strong position, in both moral and political terms.”
“Made president through tragic happenstance, Johnson not only lacked legitimacy among the wider public, he also had little or no leverage in Congress, even before he started alienating it.”
“Among the many facts this scenario overlooks are that Trump won election in his own right, legitimately, despite the electoral-popular vote anomaly, and that a large minority of the country — including a majority of Republican voters — still supports him.”
“Similar though his conduct may be to that of Andrew Johnson, a man widely considered the worst of his predecessors, Trump is far stronger, politically, than Johnson ever was.”
Yes, but that can change.
“These circumstances fuel a persistent hope that the GOP will rid itself of Trump, just as the very different Republicans of Johnson’s time rose up against him. “Given the sheer danger to the Republic as well as to the Republicans, Trump’s impeachment will happen,” predicts liberal journalist Robert Kuttner in an American Prospect article wishfully subtitled “The Inevitability of Trump’s Removal.”
Ok, it’s certainly not inevitable-it’s far from inevitable. It seems to me the nightmare scenario is some sort of terrorist attack that Trump parlays into imposing martial law. In this scenario maybe Trump becomes more popular among those independents scared into thinking that Trump is the only one who can save them. This is literally what Trump said at the RNC convention last July: ‘Only I can save you.’
Trump has said so many chilling things but none more than this.
But there is a nontrivial, significant chance of impeachment. Let’s be clear, it’s much more likely if the Dems take back the House in 2018-which is itself certainly no pipe dream as they need 24 seats and there are 23 GOPers who are in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton.
If the Dems take over Congress, things get serious very quickly. And I don’t think the GOP impeaching Trump is impossible, though the odds are much less, of course, than if the Dems take over.
Why would the GOP impeach Trump? Basically, he’s not their guy. He’s causing them all kinds of problems. They-with Grover Norquist-had wanted a Republican with ‘working digits and a pen.’ On balance Trump is considerably less than that.
He doesn’t take direction from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. He keeps them in the dark as to what he is doing. The GOP is having a hard enough figuring out this ACA repeal and replace thing. But they had thought Trump was going to be signing all these great GOP bills. It hasn’t started that way. Trump has sucked a lot of oxygen out of the room with his executive orders-especially the Muslim ban.
They have to explain or defend his wild tweets. His own SJC pick has found it necessary to call his words ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing.’
And then there is his really worrisome propensity to praise Putin all the time-with the backdrop of Putins’ work on his behalf during the election. Marco Rubio made a Senate speech yesterday where he argued that the Senate should not just codify Obama’s sanctions but make them conditional on puling out of Chechnya.
Point is Trump is causing them all kinds of trouble. Yes, they’d rather have him than Hillary Clinton. But who would they want much more than Trump? Mike Pence.
“They are the only ones with the power to impeach Trump at this point (which requires a majority vote in the House to impeach and a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict and remove from office). The reason they should is not to advance liberal political goals — if anything Vice President Mike Pence would be a more effective policymaker and a more formidable candidate in 2020 — but because of Trump’s actual danger to American society.”
I’m actually not so sure that Pence would be a more formidable candidate. I don’t see how Pence could have won the nomination much less the Presidency in his own right.
But no question he’d be a much more effective policymaker. Trump is not terribly effective. At least at advancing the agenda the GOP in Congress would like.
In all this keep an eye on Trump’s popularity numbers. He’s already at a historic low in the low 40s. This is where George W. Bush was post Katrina and post trying and failing to privatize Social Security.
If Trump in the next few years takes a step down to W’s numbers in 2007 and 2008-ie, if he gets under 30%-then the GOP might start to consider how much happier they’d be with President Pence.
P.S. If you enjoy my blog and my support of #TheResistance-I’m also considering a 2018 run against GOP Congressmen Peter King of the NY 2nd district-then please consider a donation.