Mayor Rahm Emanuel, speaking at a downtown symposium, cautions Democrats on pushing too hard for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. (John Byrne / Chicago Tribune)
Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned, but scorning the Washington Establishment produces even greater anger.
The Establishment's full fury has been unleashed against Donald Trump and is not about to subside until its goal is reached: the removal of the president from office, either through impeachment or defeat in the 2020 election.
If there were more than the kitchen sink to throw at Mr. Trump, the Establishment would be throwing it. The latest is the hyping of private money paid to two women by Mr. Trump's disgraced lawyer, Michael Cohen. The women claim it was money to keep them quiet over alleged affairs with him.
Behavior that was tolerated, or overlooked, by previous presidents is now grounds for indictment and impeachment, says the Establishment. Members of Congress who claim Mr. Trump violated campaign finance laws by making personal payments to these women are mostly silent about a $17 million congressional fund out of which have come payments in unknown amounts to settle sexual harassment cases. Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan used "office money" (translation, taxpayer dollars) to settle a sexual harassment case against him. He was eventually forced to resign.
Beyond the sideshow that has rapidly become center stage in Washington is the question of where the country is headed. There is a school of thought which claims Mr. Trump is the "last man standing" against a wave of socialism that would be sweeping the nation were it not for him.
That view was expressed Monday by Rush Limbaugh on his radio program, which is a go-to source for many conservatives. Mr. Limbaugh responded to an email he received from a listener: "His point is, this is all worth it. The alternative to Donald Trump was unacceptable -- Hillary Clinton and the continuation of the Obama agenda and the dilution of the United States of America as a sovereign nation and a continuation of it's becoming a member of the global conglomerate -- where there wouldn't be any debate about climate change; we would just pay up. Where there wouldn't be any debate about open borders; we would just keep them open. Where there wouldn't be any debate about whatever American culture or society is. It would be whatever the socialists said it was going to be."
Mr. Limbaugh's concern is that Trump voters might "go wobbly" and that if the president's approval numbers dip into the 30-percent range we might see a replay of what happened to Richard Nixon when a delegation of Republican members of Congress visited the White House and told Nixon his support had evaporated, subjecting him to likely impeachment by the House and conviction in the Senate.
Some congressional Democrats have said impeachment may not be their priority come January. Forty-six incoming House Democrats have sent a letter to their leadership asking that the focus be on legislation not investigations of Mr. Trump. That is not likely to play well to the Democrat base, which smells blood and wants Mr. Trump's head.
The key for conservatives, and especially Mr. Trump's loyal base of evangelical Christians, is how much more of this are they willing to take before Mr. Trump becomes an embarrassment to them, to their agenda and even their faith? Evangelicals, especially, are paying a price for their dismissal of Mr. Trump's past behavior and present tweets, which are becoming increasingly nasty.
A little humility would be especially helpful to Mr. Trump, but that might appear insincere and beyond his capabilities. One thing is certain: the Establishment won't give up in their daily pursuit of his destruction.