xml:space="preserve">

The great tragedy of Donald J. Trump is the squandered opportunity of turning an upset and potential good feeling story into a betrayal of the entire Republican Party into a bunch of folks who prefer staying in power to serving the nation’s interests. They have stood by while significant harm has been done to our country in a lot of ways.

As I’ve written before there are still “good Republicans” and I include Gov. Hogan in this category. If Trump were a business executive — indeed any other person than the president — he likely would be indicted of serious crimes, almost surely convicted of these, and would likely do significant jail time.

Advertisement

The Mueller Report alone — and it is incomplete in that key witnesses, e.g. Don McGahn (who federal court recently ruled must testify) were excluded — painted a picture of criminal behavior for which Trump was on the hook and almost certainly would have been indicted for except for his office. The Democrats chose not to go further.

Since then, the trail of misdeeds has expanded widely from the Ukranian (quid pro quo) situation. It is only the political strategy of the Democrats to go for a speedy Impeachment trial rather than focusing on criminal investigations that Mr. Trump is again — and so quickly following his Russian crimes —spared from actual criminal prosecutions.

The incredible story here is the depth and breadth of impeachable offenses, which is a rich treasure trove of information. This is the easy part, based on factual accounts of the multiple and credible witnesses who present a compelling and self-consistent narrative. A sixth grade civics group could now write the articles of impeachment.

It is hard to foresee what the Constitution had in mind when this impeachment process was included by Madison and Hamilton regarding actual implementation especially the two-thirds requirement in the Senate. The first test case, President Andrew Johnson, fell one vote shy in the Senate for removal from office after a time lapse of almost 100 years from the Constitution approval. It was almost 100 years later for the second case when it involved President Richard Nixon, who resigned prior to an impeachment vote. The third case in 1998 involved President Bill Clinton, and the vote went according to party lines.

I am struck by the heinousness and full extent of Trump’s betrayal to all facets of our government, now knowing that he had full disclosure of the whistleblower report, according to a recent New York Times article, and he agreed to allow the Ukranian military aid go forward with the proviso that Ukraine dig up dirt on Joe Biden, still knowing he already was in serious legal jeopardy.

He was already caught speeding on radar, by the whistleblower, and he thought he could brazen it out. But he was still determined to rob the bank.

Getting a two-thirds majority in the Senate in today’s hyper-partisan world is virtually impossible. I suppose Trump had little fear of repercussions, knew he could play the martyr role, and as president he was generally immune from criminal prosecutions.

The recent court decision regarding his former attorney, McGahn, that specified he has a requirement to obey a Congressional subpoena regarding testimony in the Mueller review or now to Congress, said in part that Trump is not a king. Well, I beg to differ. Certainly, this is not Trump’s perspective. He has actively — and seemingly in his comfort zone — been acting above the law for most of his term in office.

The argument from the Republicans is essentially that this guy has done this for long enough to establish a precedent, and even though he has done some reprehensible things in the past six months in the Ukraine, how can you possibly remove him now? Any of the preceding 44 presidents likely would have been removed for this level of misbehavior.

It is still possible that this strategy might work. All polling indicates that “the needle doesn’t move,” and his polls are a steady 42% overall and 90% of Republicans approve of this madness. By strategic maneuvering in the midwest, he could conceivably get enough electoral votes to get re-elected yet lose by millions in the popular vote.

My spreadsheets aren’t big enough to handle all of this data. My gut feeling is that his number-crunchers have told him that the midwest is a strong suit for Biden and that he is the only Democrat to really worry about.

Perhaps this fear of losing was worth the enormous risk and catastrophic backlash of the Ukranian quid pro quo maneuver. There may be a pesky impeachment, but it’s a virtual lock the Senate will never vote to remove him.

I do admire Trump’s toughness and tenacity to undergo all of the negative press and slings and arrows from CNN and MSNBC. On the other hand, he gets rave reviews on Fox News.

I think if he played it straight up from the beginning and used a good economy and some reasonable policies from the previous administration, his odds of being re-elected would be pretty good now.

Advertisement

It’s like telling Lamar Jackson to stop running with the football, I suppose.

Dave Pyatt writes from Mount Airy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement