Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post reports:
To everyone dreaming of a quick and easy impeachment: What do you imagine happens the day after?
Passions subside. President Mike Pence begins his orderly reign. Donald Trump retreats to Mar-a-Lago. Normalcy returns.
That’s about what you have in mind, right? Dream on.
Here’s a likelier scenario: Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago to regroup, not retreat. Early in the morning, he tweets: “Join me on Day One of our campaign to reverse the most corrupt theft in political history and reclaim the White House in 2020.” His supporters vow to reverse the coup d’etat.
And they may not restrict themselves to political protest. Unless there was clear and undeniable proof of wrong-doing, his supporters would think there was no way to change the system from within.
Trump was legitimately elected by Americans who knew they were voting for an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting businessman. If Trump turns out to be an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting president, that should not come as a surprise. Nor is it grounds for impeachment.
Even if Trump turns out to be worse than feared, a failure, a disappointment even to his voters, someone who would, say, boorishly disparage America’s FBI chief as a “nut job” while speaking to America’s adversaries – even that would not be grounds for impeachment. The remedy for poor performance is not to re-elect. It is a decision for the voters.
Yep. Unless you have proof of criminal behaviour, lying under oath etc.
Would Trump, if convicted by the Senate, stage a run for redemption in 2020, fuelling and feeding on that kind of paranoia? That would depend on many factors, including whether Congress chose to bar him from future service, which it is allowed but not required to do in an impeachment trial.
But certainly many among the 46 per cent of the electorate who rallied to Trump’s side in order to “drain the swamp” of Washington elitism would not subside quietly if the swamp, as they saw it, swallowed him. Maybe their candidate would be Donald Jr or Eric Trump, who last week tweeted, “This entire thing is a witch hunt propagated by a failed political campaign.” Maybe they would find another champion.