by Shelton Bumgarner
We’ve officially entered that strange twilight period in the Trump Era when on the face of it, we know Trump faces some existential threats to his administration, and yet the Democratic leadership of the House is sitting on its hands for various reasons.
The divide between what we know and what Democrats in the House are willing to do politically is beginning to grow so deep and large that whenever things snap back into place, it could be pretty astonishing.
What I mean by this is — while the House Democratic leadership is beginning to look into the vast amounts of crimes and abuses of power on the part of Trump, they continue to wait for the ostensibly “objective” Mueller Report to “force their hand” on the matter of impeachment. For various macro reasons, they feel as though only after the Mueller Report is released can they actively move to impeach Trump.
Alas, I fear that’s going to be quickly seen as quaint thinking soon enough. I have long believed that the moment the House begins to do its job, the political momentum for impeachment will race out the gate. The issue, of course, is about 37% of the electorate — the people who elect Republicans and vote for them in primaries — is so cult-like in their support for Trump that it would be some outside force, not anything that Trump may have done that would ultimately lead to his impeachment and potential conviction in the Senate.
Ultimately, it will be the economy. If No Deal Brexit happens and the consequences of it are as bad as we fear, then that, no anything Mueller may report to Congress, will be what drives Trump out of office.
And that doesn’t even begin to address the cold hard political fact that if Trump’s fate isn’t actively being decided in the Senate by August 2019, we’re going to have to wait for “the people to decide” in 2020. And, as we all know, America is now a corrupt autocratic plutocracy, not a democratic constitutional republic and as such, Trump is likely to cruise to a fairly easy re-election.
If Trump is re-elected in 2020 (which as of now looks like a political absolute certainty) he will likely go full autocrat and pardon everyone he needs to pardon and get his proxies on TV to say, “the people have spoken, they don’t care, let’s move on. Besides, shouldn’t we be at work with Iran by now?”
And, yet, there may come a point between now and August 2019 when a tipping point occurs and there simply is no escaping the absolute need to impeach Trump in the House. The worst case scenario in the Senate being, of course, that they will punt the whole thing and not even take up the articles of impeachment against Trump in the first place.
So there’s a very real possibility that the absolute worst case scenario for all involved is Trump eludes conviction in the Senate, he gets re-elected and then the economy tanks in a massive way…and even though his approval rates drop down to the flat earthers, Qanon believers and anti-Vaxxers, there simply will be no political will to do anything about it and the entire country will grind to a halt for about three years until we start fighting over Trump’s “legacy” in 2024.
What’s worse, should the good guys “win” and Trump be somehow miraculously convicted in the Senate, I believe Trump won’t physically leave the Oval Office without the “assistance” of Federal Marshals. In that case, it would be the most devastating domestic event in American history since 9/11.
I guess what I’m saying is I have no idea what the endgame to all of this is and there are a lot of real nasty ones you can think up. It could be that all things considered our best bet is some sort of extreme version of Iran-contra whereby we all know Trump should be impeached and convicted and somehow that is enough to maybe, just maybe allow a progressive liberal to be elected in 2024. (If we still have elections at that point.)
But if you literally use that as political history roadmap, it’s not exactly all that encouraging — Bush won in 1988 and Clinton only won because of the dead hand of history. Given that the youngest of the Baby Boomers won’t start to die for another 20 years, there’s a good chance it won’t be Trump who finally pushes until to a “managed democracy” like Russia, but his younger, more competent and indological successor.