Oh boy, do I ever get this one. If there's one thing that a lifelong Cubs fan knows, it's the surefire signs of lemonade making. Because, when your beloved team brings an 18 wheeler of them up from Arizona every April and puts them on the field, making lemonade out of them is the only way to avoid walking around looking like Devin Nunes aiming for Trump's ass all summer long.
So, when I saw the headline “If they take the House, he wins big”: Trump loyalists see upside in impeachment” on Politico today, I immediately knew that the Republicans are already kicking their lemonade brewery into overtime production, even before early voting starts for the 2018 midterm election. After all, when you're the guy who would turn to his buddy in the bleachers before the first pitch on opening day and say, “Well, there's always hext year,” You can smell this shit coming a mile off.
The Republicans finally seem to be coming to grips with the fact that they have a problem, and now they're actively working to correct the problem. But I'm not quite sure that they have this whole crisis resolution thingy down pat yet. This seems to be their reasoning. When your President is less popular than genital warts, there's an easy solution. Don't get rid of the genital warts, start an ad campaign extolling the virtues of the genital warts instead. This is like standing on the tilting deck of the Titanic, looking over the railing, and saying; “It's just as well, the pool was closed for repairs anyway.”
But this is exactly the kind of self delusion that the GOP actually seems to be engaging in as their team of bad news bears candidates becomes clearer, and they continue to get their asses handed to them in voter turnout during the primaries, which I believe last occurred around the time of King Tut's entombment. But, just like a 3 game winning streak in September when you're 17 games out of first place has you saying, “Yeah baby, we got a shot!”, the Republicans, at least some of them, are gulping the lemonade by the gallon;
The idea gaining currency on the right is that Trump can be Bill Clinton, not Richard Nixon. It depends on a delicate political calculation — that a Republican-held Senate would never follow a Democratic House and vote to remove Trump, and that voters tired of the long-running Russia scandal will, as they did in the late 1990s with Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal, want to move on.
This is adorable in the same way that it's so fucking cute when your puppy jumps right on up into the back seat of the car, not realizing that he's heading to the vets to get “fixed.” And because nothing spreads quicker than wishful thinking, the contagion is not contained in just a nice sterile test tube;
The notion has surfaced spontaneously among a diverse set of conservatives, including politicians with Trump’s ear and young ultraloyalists of the president whose institutional knowledge of the GOP begins with its new standard-bearer. They’re also the die-hards who aren’t afraid to align themselves with pro-Trump positions even before the president has warmed to them himself.
I love that part about the die hards aligning themselves with pro Trump positions even before Trump decided he likes them. It's perfectly consistent with the mentality, like Donnie Jr saying, “No, the meeting is cool, Dad loves the Russians!” But there's just one little problem with this perfect line of sweet, sweet logic. It's called reality.
For one thing, if the Democrats do indeed take over the House in the November elections, it isn't going to be because the GOP voted Democrats into the House majority so they could try to impeach Trump, thereby giving him a leg up for reelection in 2020, it'll be because the Democrats really want to fucking impeach Trump! And as for the Senate “firewall?” If the Democrats crush the GOP in November in the House, and basically hold serve in the Senate, there are something like 26 GOP Senators up for reelection in 2020, and not all of them in Trump walkover states. There's nothing quite like basic survival instincts to change your perspective on certain votes.
There is also a very basic fallacy in the GOP belief that, as in the '90s, the country will tire of the scandal and rally around the President. But there is one very real difference in the dynamic between the two. And no, I'm not talking about the difference between a President having sex with another consenting adult, and a President literally attempting to turn us into a vassal state of the Russian Republic. I'm talking about the mechanics of the scandals themselves.
In Clinton's Lewinsky scandal, the “crimes” were personal and salacious, and not of a national security issue nature. And in the Lewinsky scandal, the investigation was the worst kept secret in town. Confidential details of the investigation broke almost daily, and witnesses spoke freely. And much like the Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin several years ago, people decided that the punishment just didn't fir the crime.
By contrast, the Robert Mueller investigation is airtight, it is a black hole for leaks. Polls showing that Americans are tiring of the investigation are largely due to the fact that there are no concrete details coming out to give them a sense of urgency or purpose in the investigation. But that's about to change. While Mueller has only been working on this for a bit over a year, the investigation itself is over two years old. The day is looming nigh when Mueller's reports are going to be released, and that is when the rubber hits the road. And if the information that the prosecution displayed in the Manafort trial is any kind of a harbinger of what Mueller is going to show to the world in his reports on collusion and obstruction of justice, then once they hit, a very large portion of the country is going to start giving a very large shit, and very pronto.
But here's where this whole “Impeachment shall set Trump free” jalopy has all of the wheels come off, and right when they're hitting a mountaintop curve at 90 mph. While the majority of Democrats, especially those in leadership, such as Nancy Pelosi, are soft pedaling the talk of impending impeachment if the Democrats retake the House, Trump is not. He's already sounding the alarm, and fundraising off of the dire prospect. It's hard to not believe that this pitch is going to get more persistent as we approach November 6th, reaching a crescendo in late October. If the Democrats do in fact retake the House in November, in that environment, it doesn't bode well for that strategy going into 2020 for the GOP.
It all comes down to this November.If we win back the House, it sets the impeachment stage. And if a devastating Mueller report comes out in early to mid 2019, and the impeachment movement takes to the streets, those 20+ GOP incumbent Senators up for reelection will have a President at the top of the ticket that the majority of the country flipped the House in 2018 to get rid of. If the “Save Trump from impeachment” strategy didn't work then, without Mueller's damning reports, what are the chances it will work in 2020? And if those GOP Senators block impeachment, will that anger voters even more at them for defying their wishes, making their defeat even more inevitable than if they impeach him? Interesting times we live in, aren't they?
The wait is over! Volume two of the trilogy, President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange is now available. Amazon is whining about me crashing their site, but the hell with them, I ain't in this for their health. You can also find volume one, President Evil as well. And fear not, work on volume three is just beginning.
Cross posted on The Trump Impeachment.com