A Thought Experiment

We have to let go of the delusion that anyone with the power to lance the boil on the Presidency will do it. It’s not in the parochial interest of the GOP or the Democrats or the media to do it, and the wretched truth is that the cure may be worse than the disease.

The best-case scenario might be to leave Trump in place, go all out for center-left and center-right gains in the House and Senate in 2018, and hope for impeachment and removal of Trump and Pence, making the Speaker of the House the President.

It’s worth pointing out that the Speaker of the House need not be a member of the House. The House may choose anyone. We ought to consider, at least, the idea of a bipartisan decision to make John Kasich or someone like him Speaker to pave the way for a national unity government after Trump.

We’d need some mechanism to give the electorate confidence that the Speaker for the new Congress indeed would be a healer with the credentials to move into the Oval Office.

The Bipartisan Conspiracy of Silence

The Hill leadership on both sides of the aisle, their willful deafness to calls for impeachment quite palpable, must have concluded that the country is going to be okay until early 2019, when the outcome of the 2018 election either has extended the GOP stranglehold on power or has made Nancy Pelosi Speaker again and maybe handed the Democrats a Senate majority.

Between now and the election, Trump will continue to be Trump. The Hill GOP will be interested only in tax cuts. The Hill Democrats will moan about this or that, but do nothing, figuring Trump is destroying the electoral prospects of the GOP.

So, the betting is that the generals will keep Trump from doing anything really stupid internationally, and anything he does domestically can be fixed later.

And if Mueller and his Untouchables come up with something that can’t be ignored, so be it.

That’s the pathetic truth, my fellow Americans. There is no real prospect of salvation for quite awhile. Time to find a good therapist.

Really Sorry That I Keep Going on About the GOP

There are plenty of things that Republicans should do about Trump, including impeaching him for violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. We’ve grown so inured to Republican politicians’ persistent refusal to put the welfare of the country above their re-election prospects and lust for tax cuts that complaining about it feels banal and naïve.

— Michelle Goldberg, Corker Told the Truth About Trump. Now He Should Act on It., New York Times, October 10, 2017.