Ted Rall: Trump Plays Caesar, Senators Sharpen Knives

Trump is Caesar Senators Knives GOP plans impeachment

As ambitious GOP lawmakers must already know, whoever leads the impeachment of Trump takes all — 2020 presidency included. By Ted Rall

ted-rall-lawsuit aNewDomain— Trump-haters want Democrats to push for impeachment. But setting aside the Dems’ congenital cowardice and the arithmetic — a minority party can’t impeach anyone, after all — Trump shouldn’t be too worried.

The real threat to Trump? His nominal Republican allies.

Congressional Republicans didn’t expect Trump to win the election, but after some quick alignment they were set. Now Trump’s hard-right cabinet is poised to grant every item on the GOP’s wish list.

But the pre-November split between GOP Old Guard and the Trump insurgency still remains.

As Trump struts the marbled corridors, his head held high like Caesar, the senators await. Under their togas they have already begun to sharpen their knives.

Trump Struts Like Caesar TrumpThink of Ryan, Rubio, Cruz, Paul … Any Republican with any presidential ambition knows Trump’s days are numbered. Even the odds makers agree.

Whoever get the credit for taking down Trump wins. And for this, there are are plenty of spoils — up to and including the highest office in the land.

Already, just one full month after taking office, Trump’s approval ratings are tumbling. They’re in territory that belongs to presidents who were mired in scandals and engaged in unpopular wars. And according to the latest Quinnipiac poll, more voters than ever say Trump is dishonest and doesn’t care about people like them.

Trump’s numbers are within a rounding error of Richard Nixon’s during Watergate.

Donald Trump is already constitutionally impeachable over his temperament and his brazen violations of the emoluments clause. But until he’s politically impeachable, nothiGOP impeaches Trump ng will happen.

It will take a crime or mistake so colossal and so irredeemable to make those Republicans impeach Trump. So far, he’s safe. He won’t be for long.

I’m Ryan or Cruz or some other crafty GOPer and I’m thinking to myself: Every president screws up eventually. But this guy Trump will definitely screw up big. Given his manic pace, his Waterloo will occur sooner rather than later.

By provoking a war, crashing the economy, corruption, one authoritarian move too far, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, Trump’s coming inevitable Trumpian disaster forces House and Senate Republicans to choose: Defend him or stand back silently.

But why get dragged down with him. The GOP will find it far wiser to just throw him under a bus. (Remember? They never liked him in the first place, anyway.)

That’s why GOP is becoming the party of impeachment, and at a time when impeachment is popular. Impeachment transforms crisis into opportunity, allowing Republicans to cleanse their Trump-era sins (trying to repeal the increasingly well-received Obamacare, paying for the Great Wall of Mexico with deficit spending, etc.) and seize the moral high ground in one swoop.

After the impeachment, Vice President Mike Pence takes the helm, steadies the ship, promotes their right-wing agenda — and with a lot more grace than his former boss did.GOP impeaches trumpMeanwhile, Ryan and his buddies prepare for 2020.

And what about the Democrats?

If they do decide to leave the task of deposing a wounded Donald Trump to the Republicans, that’s the end. It’s unlikely they’ll ever recover.

Progressives, who are still seething over the DNC’s shabby treatment during the election, aren’t going back. In their eyes, the party is already hopelessly moderate — and if it fails to successfully lead a charge against Donald Trump, it will be completely discredited.

The swing voters and not a few Democrats will give Team Ryan credit for the integrity they showed in taking down one of their own.

I can even imagine the Warren wing forming a new Progressive Party, which will leave the Democrats at less than half its current level of support.

Of course, there is only one way Dems will be able to dodge this looming catastrophe. They must declare all-out war against the president. Democratic lawmakers could shut down Congress, which would deny Trump his entire agenda, by denying him his a quorum. All they have to do is not to show up until Trump agrees to resign.

Really, there are many ways to obstruct Trump and get to impeachment. But creating a constitutional crisis requires balls.

And this batch of Congressional Democrats is woefully short on those.

For aNewDomain, I‘m Ted Rall.

 

About the author

Ted Rall

Based in New York, Ted Rall is aNewDomain's chief commentator and a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist. A Pulitzer nominee, Rall's latest book is the NYT bestselling book, Trump: A Graphic Biography.
Support his work and see his toons first at his site on Petreon. Follow him on Twitter @tedrall

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