Is impeachment too good for Trump?
We are 124 days in, and there are already multiple long, deeply researched thought pieces spanning various media outlets – most recently on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, but also many others – on what it might take to impeach the president.
There are serious-minded articles about how close to reality it might actually be, how it’s not at all close and remains just a liberal fantasy, how it’s not nearly as farfetched as you might think, how it would be nasty and complicated and take a long, long time, how the White House itself has, nevertheless, begun to research the topic (you know, just in case), how it will never happen but it might just happen wait could it happen oh my God please dear sweet Jesus make it happen like, immediately, if not sooner.
No matter how you spin it, impeachment is, increasingly, America’s buzzword of hope. We are aswim in articles about its history, what sort of levels and mechanisms have to work in Congress for it to be undertaken, and its relative overall rarity given how, like Nixon, it’s more likely an impeached president will resign rather than be forcibly removed.
We even have, thanks to a legal scholar over at Slate, a draft of the full Articles of Impeachment themselves, pre-written and full of what certainly seems like more than enough moral and political decrepitude to take down the Orange Monster, all ready to roll should the House of Representatives discover its spine and decide it might actually be a good idea to save the world after all.
What are the odds of it actually happening? Depends on who you ask. In Vegas, it’s a 50/50 bet that Trump won’t survive his full term. There’s a 20 percent chance he won’t survive 2017 alone, and a five percent chance he’ll use his current overseas trip to sneak away and hide in a remote cave in the Ukraine and live off of Vladimir Putin’s stash of sardines and canned peas to escape inevitable imprisonment.
Good news is, those odds are compounded and amplified every single day as new information, new testimony, new leaks and fresh, damning evidence of a thousand different flavors swarm in from all over.
There’s ex-CIA chief John Brennan crushing little Trey Gowdy and testifying that Russians were absolutely in touch with Trump’s flying monkeys, numerous times. There’s proof that Trump’s staff was trying to get the CIA and FBI to back off their Russia investigations, a clear obstruction of justice which only adds fuel to the impeachment call. There’s Mike Flynn taking the 5th because guilty as hell. There’s powerful state attorneys general like NY’s Eric Schneiderman, dramatically ramping up efforts to investigate Trump’s various illegal doings, all on his own. There’s Democratic state reps like Al Green of Texas and CA’s glorious Maxine Waters, taking to the House floor to say the I word itself, plant the seed, make it go.
And of course, through it all, the overwhelming sense that the FBI – not to mention numerous global intelligence agencies – must surely be neck deep in damning evidence by now, and it’s all just a matter of sorting and compiling, listing and collating, given how it’s the biggest and most acidic scandal in U.S. history and given how Trump fired James Comey and is lawyering up in a desperate attempt to derail it all.
If you’re paying any sort of close attention or following any number of skilled, exhausted reporters on Twitter, it all results in this overwhelming sense that what we’re seeing right now is all just a fraction of what’s to come, merely flicker of the massive anti-Trump thunderstorm currently fomenting and churning deep in corridors of the IC and all over the land.
It’s also generating a sort of undeniable momentum, a compelling, unstoppable impeachment/removal narrative that will crush the flaccid GOP’s attempts to quell it, will steamroll right over Paul Ryan’s vacant soul, will send Mitch McConnell into tailspins of misery, well deserved and long overdue.
There is simply too much scandal, too much evidence, too many leaks crammed into a far too compressed period of miserable American history, compounded by the countless millions of humans across the planet who are right now wishing and praying, hoping and aching, every single day, for Trump’s quick and painful (for him, that is) removal, in pretty much any way possible.
Which is a key aspect, really. Because increasingly, impeachment seems sort of … inadequate. Every day that Trump is in power is another day when the pressure of the Trump administration’s shameless cruelty and brutal incompetence on the nation’s spirit seem almost too much to bear, when the evidence against him feels ready to burst, and a formal removal process, full of lawyers, hearings and endless committees, far too distant.
Put another way: Trump, just by being Trump, has fostered such animosity, such titanic levels of disgust at his every utterance, every hateful policy, every childish signature, there is no way to avoid the cumulative effect, the palpable tsunami of disgust that will soon sweep him away.
Trump’s is a reality-TV presidency, full of gross bombast and stupidity, moral turpitude and unspeakably childish nastiness. He surely deserves a comparable exit, one befitting his puerile tone and stature, perhaps involving some dreamy combination of fire ants, hot pokers, rancid asparagus, the delirious hellfire of ten billion furious spirits gnawing on the dreadful remains of his bleak and shriveled soul for the next three million years, and Guantanamo.
The world would surely settle, however, for handcuffs.