Thursday, December 19, 2019

Impeachment? What About My Meme?

I have been tweeting out the same meme for quite some time:

Today, the day after Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives by more votes than any other President (thanks, Jacob, for pointing that out), does this mean this meme is dead?  Only sort of.

I did write here last January arguing that the meme is about not counting on impeachment to solve the Trump problem--that the House might vote to impeach Trump, but there is no way the Senate will vote to convict him and remove him from office.  Hence, stop counting on the impeachment process to get rid of Trump.

The big question right now is not whether impeachment will remove Trump, but whether the process will play out fully as the Founders intended.  Will there be a trial with witnesses and evidence or will Mitch McConnell get a summary judgment and end the process before it really starts?

To do the latter requires two things:
a) McConnell has to have no shame about undermining American institutions.  No problemo there.
b) McConnell deters, inhibits, persuades, bullies nearly all of the GOP Senators to go along.  To have a real trial (still with a fore-ordained outcome) would require a handful of Republican Senators to vote with the Democrats on the rules and various arguments.  Can the Dems get four or so GOP Senators to split?

This latter question is more of a mystery.  Why?  Because there are more than four GOP Senators who are running for re-election in 2020 in purple or even blue states: Cory Gardner of Colorado and Susan Collins of Maine are in blue states; Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Martha McSally of Arizona are in purple states along with David Perdue of Georgia.  Joni Ernst of Iowa, the formerly soybean state, may be vulnerable as well.  Given Collins's conduct on Kavanaugh, don't expect much from her.  One could imagine Lisa Murkowski, who is not up for re-election, mavericking along...

Anyhow, no one knows how this is going to play out, but since I have argued that the GOP is the Party of Bad Faith™, I think the best bet is on a very short trial.  So, yeah, the President will have been impeached, but it will not change who governs, so folks should not have been counting on it.  

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