The groundswell of disgust and disbelief that has been sloshing around the White House since Inauguration Day is building into a tsunami that many media savants opine will drown the Donald Trump presidency. Some House Democrats have already brought forth a bill of impeachment, but party leaders have lent only tepid rhetorical support to the idea, knowing full well that it will get little traction with Republicans in control of both Congressional houses. And that, I suspect, is just fine with the Dems for the moment. They want Trump right where he is, for at least another year. Let me explain.
First let me state that I’m not a Trump supporter and never have been. He is proving to be a worse Chief Executive than anyone imagined. I would love to see him out of office, the sooner the better. However, I strongly believe that the process of removing him from office must be legitimate and unassailable, maybe more so than the election that put him there. Right now, hard evidence to support that scenario does not exist and Schumer and Pelosi know it. Rank and file Democrats are getting their Trump therapy by conflating Russian attempted interference with actual interference. They then further muddy the water by claiming that Trump or his cabal solicited Russian intervention and are now trying to cover their tracks. They claim that Trump wants to torpedo the investigations because he has something to hide. This conspiratorial construct is not based on any verifiable facts, but on their analysis of his behavior, which I believe is incorrect. Here’s my analysis:
Donald Trump is such a monumentally narcissistic egomaniac that he views any slight as a declaration of war and any question of his motives or actions as treasonous. He is fighting the investigations because he sees them as unwarranted attacks to be repulsed. I expect he is innocent of any collusion because he believes that he didn’t need the Russians or anyone else to help him win the election, and he takes it as a personal insult that his opponents believe it. Members of his campaign may have met with Putin cronies and may have lusted after whatever dirt on Hillary the Russkies promised to provide. Trump himself may have been in that loop somewhere. Hard to prove. But Trump’s most likely response to any offer of foreign assistance would have been, “Sure, whatever. We don’t need them. I’m gonna win bigly anyway”. And should Jr. and Kushner be found to have committed any act beyond criminal stupidity, Trump will shed it like he has everything else. He not only doesn’t remember what he said or who he said it to last month, he doesn’t care. He lives in the moment and will say whatever suits his purpose today. He is immune to embarrassment or shame, and attempts to impugn him will make his behavior worse, not better. He is also immune to impeachment for any crimes committed by underlings of which he had no knowledge or part. His removal by this route is possible only if a lot more solid evidence comes to light, and then only if this craven Congress has the integrity to undertake it. I’m sure Ryan and McConnell will not lean in. Trump may be a colossal ass, but for better or worse he’s their colossal ass.
If Democrats were focused only on actual governing, they might start stroking his ego and playing to his insatiable need for adulation rather than continuing to goad him. They might even get him to switch parties if they could swallow their post-election angst for a few months. Trump was a Democrat not that long ago, remember? But I’m not expecting that. I expect that they will keep doing what they’re doing, swamping him and Congress with leaks, attacks and innuendo to keep the Republican agenda stalled, but letting him Tweet on so that every Dem candidate for office, from Senator to dog catcher, can run against Donald Trump in 2018. Good luck with that, as he is likely to be more vulnerable and will almost assuredly be more unhinged by then. Why would Progressives want him impeached right away? That would leave them with three years of President Pence, who is even more hostile to their ideology than Trump, and as an incumbent (and a decent human being) might be a serious threat in 2020. No, The Donald is of more use to the Democrat Party as an abhorrent adversary than as an ex-President. Unless he is on the verge of starting WWIII or letting the Russians annex Alaska, Democrats will be content to let him blunder on. What’s a few international crises and a couple more years of gridlock when control of Congress is in play?
When it comes to President Donald Trump, both Republicans and Democrats have a lot to be ashamed about. From my vantage point, neither party in this soap opera really cares about anything other than gaining a political advantage from it, and both will use Trump as best they can to do so. Meanwhile, the country and the world will just have to stand nervously by and watch.