OR, WHY PROGRESSIVES SHOULD NOT PANIC AT THE PROSPECT OF PREMATURE IMPEACHMENT
On the Friday PBS Evening News, Gerson and Capehart replaced Brooks and Shields. Gerson raised the possibility of an impeachment effort based on evidence that all Democrats would support and all Republicans would oppose—and pretty much had a caniption fit over the prospect. I feared for his health.
I hear much the same thing from some of my friends.
Well, I write this post to convey some bad news and some good news.
The bad news is that 2018 was a terrible year, and 2019 will be much, much worse.
The good news, I wish to argue, is that Nancy Pelosi will not unleash impeachment in the House unless and until the time becomes ripe.
Let us reflect on what will happen in the meantime.
The Shutdown Showdown
Trump has created a crisis without the slightest notion about how to exit. Mitch McConnell has given up on him. Trump’s solution to every problem is to throw bullshit at it. This crisis cannot be ended by throwing bullshit. I don’t know how the shutdown showdown will end, but I’m pretty sure it won’t end with something that will allow Trump plausibly to claim victory.
The Syria Crisis
As our troops withdraw, I assume we will be treated to the televised massacre of our Kurdish allies.
Other Foreign Crises
With the U.S. defense and foreign policy apparatus in disarray, this would be an excellent time for enemies to make moves adverse to our interests. One has to assume they will probably do that very thing.
The Cabinet Appointments Conundra
One assumes that Trump will be in the market for a new Secretary of Defense, but it’s likely that he will reject any qualified candidates. If he does ask a qualified candidate to take the job, it’s likely that that person would reject the offer. If he chooses an unqualified person, he or she probably won’t be confirmed.
Meanwhile, we do have a prospective Attorney General. And what a hoot those confirmation hearings will be.
The Mueller Report
It’s coming soon. And it’s going to be made public, one way or the other, as sure as God made little green apples.
Indictments and Threats of Indictment
Trump has made his career as a professional white collar criminal.
Career choices have consequences.
Lots of investigations. Lots of bad headlines for Trump. Day after day after day.
No Effective Assistance of Counsel
Trump badly needs a large team of the most competent and aggressive counsel in the land. Instead, he has a few clowns. And that will not change, because he is an uncontrollable, disastrous client. Anyone who represents him is soon going to be in need of his own lawyer. And the folks who best understand that problem are the very people Trump would need for his defense.
Trade Wars, Threats to the Fed, Stock Market Upheaval, Possible Recession Coming
Not exactly popular with the country club set.
Every week it gets worse. Probably, at this point, there is early dementia, on top of everything else.
Loss of Support
It’s hazardous to predict how low the Republican toadies in Congress will go: their cowardice has exceeded our expectations on just about every occasion.
But there is actual data on public support. In the 2016 popular vote, Clinton beat Trump by 2.1 percent. At last count, in the 2018 midterm elections for the House of Representatives, Democrats beat Republicans by 8.6 percent.
As of this morning, the average of polls of “all adults” shows Trump opposers outnumbering Trump supporters by 12.2 percent. For all polls attempting to measure the views of “likely or registered voters,” the corresponding difference is 10.5 percent.
It’s like watching a glacier melt. It takes a long time for the process to finish. But in the meantime, it’s a hell of a show, as the big chucks break off, one after the other, and come crashing into the sea.
The Faux News Crowd
Lastly, there is the question of what Rush Limbaugh and Fox News will do. They make their money by cultivating stupidity, but that does not mean that they, themselves, are stupid. I don’t know how they will react to all of the above, so I make no prediction. But logic tells me there will come a time when they have a choice between continuing to support Trump or jumping off the sinking ship. Logic tells me they will jump.
No, ladies and germs, there will be no premature impeachment. Nancy Pelosi will just let nature take its course.
This holiday weekend, you have many things to worry about, but premature impeachment is not one of them. So please enjoy the Rose Bowl parade. Dr. Aardvark and I will be watching along with you.