The morning after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Robert Reich, via Facebook, recounted a recent conversation he’d had with a former Republican congressman.
Reich’s anonymous Republican friend was quite candid, if not a profile in political courage:
Him: Trump is no Republican. He’s just a big fat ego.
[Reich]: Then why didn’t you speak out against him during the campaign?
Him: You kidding? I was surrounded by Trump voters. I’d have been shot.
[Reich]: So what now? What are your former Republican colleagues going to do?
Him (smirking): They’ll play along for a while.
[Reich]: A while?
Him: They’ll get as much as they want – tax cuts galore, deregulation, military buildup, slash all those poverty programs, and then get to work on Social Security and Medicare – and blame him. And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything.
Like I said, the fella was candid.
Interestingly, as he rattled off a list of the GOP’s policy goals under Trump (which align completely with any boilerplate listing of the GOP platform), he characterized them as eventually needing to be foisted upon Trump.
(Now, that’s pride in your own brand.)
And Trump, of course, the “fool,” is predicted to gladly “take credit for everything.”
Hard to find flaws in the guy’s reasoning.
But Reich continues:
[Reich]: And then what?
Him (laughing): They like Pence.
[Reich]: What do you mean?
Him: Pence is their guy. They all think Trump is out of his mind.
[Reich]: So what?
Him: So the moment Trump does something really dumb – steps over the line – violates the law in a big stupid clumsy way … and you know he will …
[Reich]: They impeach him?
Him: You bet. They pull the trigger.
“And you know he will.”
(Yep, we do — as assuredly as we know a bear’s business in the woods.)
Hearing confirmation of the GOP’s willingness to “pull the trigger” is cold comfort; though not surprising.
I suspected as much the day after the election:
I don't doubt the House GOP is already preparing impeachment contingencies for Trump's legal outcomes. Plus, they'd rather have Pence. https://t.co/k2Emu8Y4Zb
— Douglas Barricklow (@DeepCoffee) November 9, 2016
I say cold comfort, because you really have to partake in some world class mental gymnastics to justify advocating an end game that results in President Mike Pence.
But that’s where we are.
I just wonder if the GOP has the spine to impeachment Trump in the House — and to convict him in the Senate — while he retains unwavering support from this country’s depressingly large population of white nationalists and prosperity gospel evangelicals.
Even with his overall approval ratings finding a comfy home in the sub-40’s, Trump’s base is what fills the coffers of FOX News — and where primary challenges gain their teeth.
There will be
blood blowback from the base.
If the GOP waits too long to act, it may find nothing to grab but a tiger’s tail.