by Lucas Humel
Many leaders in the Democratic party have entertained the possibility of a Trump impeachment. Each player keeps a tally in their head of what votes would swing in which direction if the proverbial excrement hits the metaphorical fan. They make these judgements based on the assumption that the other side of the aisle and the public at large will accept substantiated proof of a high crime or misdemeanor committed by the President. What many analysts acknowledge but fail to view the full scope of is that Donald Trump is no longer a guest in the Republican party. He no longer acts as an instrument of the institutions that support and carry out the agenda of the presidency; he is the institution.
The game has been changed, the goal lines have moved, and the train has left the station. When Richard Nixon engulfed himself in bipartisan reproach because of a cover-up surrounding Watergate, his downfall was guaranteed because of national trust in the entities that broke the news. Donald Trump has undermined those same institutions. The two news companies that led the charge in the public investigation of Nixon are now the failing New York Times and the Amazon Washington Post. The FBI and Congress are extensions of the deep state. These are notions that take away America’s failsafes. It no longer matters whether or not Donald Trump committed any impeachable offences or what his re-election bid achieves. If he is impeached or even if he is voted out of office a substantial portion of the population would believe that it is fraudulent.
An impeachment would play directly into the hands of the far right. The entire ideology is predicated on the existence of an enemy. As long as there is a fight to be had there will be no short in Trump’s base. He has already laid a narrative that democrats are trying to steal the presidency. No matter how buttoned up articles of impeachment may be it can never be enough. This is not a product of a moral deterioration in the Republican party alone but rather a symptom of political horse racing. The end goal of a campaign is now to win at any cost. This strategy is not only detrimental to policy; more pragmatically it simply is not sustainable. In July of 2016 primary voters gave the GOP an unelectable candidate; they did the impossible in November. But in the process they drove their base so far to the fringe that the only hope for re-election is an unconditional endorsement of any and all actions of Donald Trump. Depending on the Democrat running in 2020 Donald could very well lose a re-election bid, and depending on Robert Mueller’s final report he could be impeached. The only impossibility is a peaceful transfer of power.