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As we are about to ring in the New Year, I’m in a sour mood. What is there to celebrate? The end of a horrible 2018 about to be replaced by an even lousier 2019?
Yes, I know, the Dems have retaken the House and are sure to investigate Trump up the wazoo. Yes, I know we may soon get Mueller’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation exposing all sorts of Trumpian crimes and misdeeds. Yes, I know even some Trump voters are beginning to see the light and moving away from their support for 45.
But something keeps sticking in my craw … what if none of this matters? What if we are stuck with another year of Trump sinking to new lows? What if Trump is around to run for reelection in 2020? What if he is reelected?
Yes the House, by a simple majority, has the power to start impeachment proceedings against Trump. But would enough Republican senators vote to remove him from office? If all Senate Democrats voted to convict Trump, they would still need the support of 20 Republicans, for a total of 67, in order to send him packing.
I am not sure that will ever happen as most Republicans have so tied their political fortunes to Trump that his demise will be seen as their demise. Trump still remains wildly popular with the Republican base. Unless Mueller reveals something truly earth-shattering, I don’t expect Trump will be made to walk the plank.
But what about Mueller indicting Trump for his crimes?
This is also unlikely. The Department of Justice has a long-standing legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. While this is only a policy, and not settled law, Mueller is the type of straight arrow to follow such a policy.
The thought of one (or two) more year of Trump sitting behind that desk in the Oval Office makes me want to lose my lunch. Just how much more mayhem will he be allowed to inflict on our nation by those feckless, enabling Republicans? Just how much more damage can our democracy withstand before the harm done is irreparable?
So go ahead with all your New Year’s celebrating. Rattle those noisemakers. Bow those horns. Go ahead and open that other bottle of champagne. For me I’ll stick to the non-alcoholic eggnog.
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