Friday, November 11, 2016


Professor Allan Lichtman, whose method of predicting presidential election outcomes correctly foresaw a Donald Trump victory, has another prediction about Trump, The Washington Post reports:
At the end of our September conversation, Lichtman made another call: That if elected, Trump would eventually be impeached by a Republican Congress that would prefer a President Mike Pence -- someone who establishment Republicans know and trust.

“I'm going to make another prediction,” he said. “This one is not based on a system, it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence -- an absolutely down the line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook.”
We're learning this on the same day that David Brooks makes a similar prediction:
Trump’s bigotry, dishonesty and promise-breaking will have to be denounced. We can’t go morally numb. But he needs to be replaced with a program that addresses the problems that fueled his ascent.

After all, the guy will probably resign or be impeached within a year. The future is closer than you think.
I think Jonathan Chait would beg to differ. He reminds us today that Trump should not be seen as an outsider in the GOP:
Since he started his campaign, a year and a half ago, we have grown accustomed to seeing Trump as a figure outside his party and facing deep resistance. That resistance is tiny, and shrinking. Harry Enten finds that, on average, Trump performed just one percentage point worse than Republican Senate candidates. There were regular Republican voters who couldn’t bear to pull the lever for Trump, but they amount to one percent of the public -- functionally nonexistent. Alabama Republican Martha Roby, one of a handful of Republicans to call for Trump to step aside in the wake of the Billy Bush tape, barely squeaked into office in her heavily Republican district, because 22,000 of her constituents cast write-in votes to punish her disloyalty.

The handful of conservatives who opposed Trump’s election all envisioned a short exile culminating in a clear Trump defeat, after which they would return to the party fold. Few were prepared to leave permanently. Already, partisan instinct is drawing many of the “Never Trump” conservatives back to the comfortable embrace of the Republican-run government.

The result of all this is a party tightly bound together by self-interest and survival, with no important sources of internal dissent. Any abuses of power Trump may commit -- attacking the media; unleashing the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies, or to pardon his cronies; or using other arms of the state to intimidate his opposition-- will be accepted and even defended by the overwhelming bulk of the Republican Party.
I agree with Chait -- I mean, it's possible that Trump will do something so appalling that even his large base of loyalist voters will be profoundly disillusioned, but it's going to take a lot to make their hero-worship dissipate. It wasn't until well into George W. Bush's second term that he lost his post-9/11 glow in the eyes of his supporters.

In the meantime, the rest of party is motivated by fear of crossing that base, as well as hope -- probably well placed -- that Trump will sign the party's Ayn Rand/Koch brothers agenda into law without challenging a comma of it. But couldn't he be impeached if he endangers national security? He's already done that, with his inner circle's sneaky dealings with the Russians, and with his call for additional Russian hacks. And Republicans don't get punished by the voters when national security is threatened -- after 9/11, Bush was at roughly 90% approval in the polls. Would Trump be impeached by Republicans for doing something that "helps his pocketbook"? Stop, you're killing me.

So: Trump impeachment? Nope.


Caoimhin Laochdha said...

Conviction will require at least 20 Democratic votes and probably more. No way!

Senate Democrats are not going to elect a President Pence.

Feud Turgidson said...

He won't last one term: he'll quit due to stress or die in office.

Look at the whole list of US presidents. Once FAT came into fashion, the average life expectancy in & after office dropped like stone. Between Grant & Coolidge, besides the 2 assassinations, they died in office from stress, they died shortly after one term from stress, and boy were they fat.

Trump is fat, 70, doesn't exercise, eats bad, sleeps weird hours, completely unprepared, temperamentally unsuited, ignorant, incurious, a bully, going into the one job that's biggest stress attractor on the planet. A REAL doctor would honestly report horrible odds.

Then we get President Sackohammers, the worst horrors, & the screams.

Never Ben Better said...

Off topic, but I just gotta share the newsflash:

This just in: Mike Pence is taking over from Chris Christie as head of the transition team.

Wonder if they've got warning of a Bridgegate indictment about to come down?

Oh, and back on topic: I think Feud is right that he'll die in office, but it might could be what the more conspiratorial-minded among us call the Deep State deciding to remove him before he does manage to blow up their world. Just take this sleeping medicine, Donald, and go to bed....

Victor said...

I'm with Feud!

Death, long before dishonor.
And for all intent's and purposes, Mike "The DENSE" Pence is POTUS for the next 4-8 years.

Make you go to church, y'all!

doug moffat said...

What does the base really want? They want to stick it to the "elite" and get better paying jobs. Some also want to screw non-whites and non-Christians and stick it to gays etc. but I think the bulk of the support is jobs and fairness.

So what will a Republican congress give then? Nothing. There will be lots of progress on the secondary issues but on the issue of fairness and jobs absolutely nothing. The fairness issue will get much worse. A good percentage of Trump supporters will lose their health coverage and the Republicans will not raise one finger to bring jobs back from overseas.

Democrats need to embrace the fairness and jobs issues and make it obvious at every turn how Trump is failing his base.

David Pickering said...

The Republicans are going to control the House of Representatives until at least 2022 (the first election after the 2020 census). Trump will happily rubber-stamp the legislation passed by Congress so there's little chance the House will draft Articles of Impeachment. The only way we're getting rid of Trump is to vote him out of office in 2020.

Bob Risse said...

The Dems lost my support long before this (I was part of the youth vote in 72). We are a country in waiting. Waiting for the next big fix. Our memories are like a quarterly report. I never thought for a moment that a Republican was qualified for anything except screwing people for money. The funny thing about this election is not the collapse of Republicans, but the utter collapse of Democrats. They lost the youth vote after 72, they lost the south in 80, and they lost all respectability in 88.

Being a slightly lesser version of evil is still evil. I look forward to many interesting events. One of the boring events will be the Democrats. They have sucked since 1968.

Humphrey, McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama did nothing for working people, middle class or the poor.

Any progress (the little we have achieved) was made from public demand and this saddens me. All progress should come from public support (unfortunately we are bought and paid for).

They created a party of Republican light and we now suffer because of this.

Blackstone said...

Why in the world would Senate Democrats aid the GOP in impeaching their embarrassment?

Danp said...

Hero worship?!?!? I don't think so. Here in WV, where a vast majority voted for Trump, most people are very quiet now. When asked why they voted for him, they either point to "Hillary's just as bad," or "I'm concerned about the Supreme Court." I am not seeing signs of joy here.

Meanwhile, I don't think Trump actually has to do anything new to be impeached. His server, foundation, taxes, or fraud case will provide sufficient cause, and no, Dems will not want to be supporting him now any more than Republicans wanted to support him during the campaign. He'll obey or be toast very quickly. And I don't think obedience is in his genes.

Fats Durston said...

Two co-workers (older white men, natch) who voted for Trump actually have this fantasy. They know he's unfit, and hope that impeachment installs Pence.

Orthodox said...

I'm curious whether Trump can help spur a downwards spiral re his support amongst the base if he continues saying things like "I like some parts of Obamacare," or "Building a wall is impractical." Not just abandoning what he promised but not going into full rage mode against his own party for lack of accomplishment. I doubt it, but I'm curious.

Avatttoir said...

Another marker has already emerged on how Dump is going to avoid impeachment.

He'll do it by avoiding the job.

He's going to be a figurehead president, but choice. It increases the chances of his survival, both politically and personally. He'll be able to say Y while Congress says Z and the real CEO, Pence, does X.

Dump didn't expect this job; he only wanted the vindication, the revenge, the ego boost, and the grifting opportunities. He's got all that now, right in his tiny hands. What he needs to do is not blow it, but doing things like governing. All that'll achieve his bring him stress and cause rifts between his narcissistic grifter nihilism and the Freedumber programmatic agenda.

There are ready made models available to him to get away with this: Ike - always off golfing, never emerging into the public eye except after the battles were over and while all that was left was smoke risen high up in the air, the detached theater of the supreme commander; and Reagan, for whom every public appearance was a photo op and minutely managed.

It's a model that holds a lot of promise. When things go to crap, as they will, Dump will be able to lie that he was for or against whatever from the start. He's already proved how well that works. And the MSM will assist him: the NYTimes and CNN have already enlisted. The only possible exception I see emerging, and I'm skeptical of both, are the Washington Post because the owner despises Dump and because of the courage of Marty Baron.

But the courage of Alan Rusbridger of The Guardian was not sufficient to beat back the Cameron-Murdoch alliance or prevent Brexit, so expect us to get royally rammed.

As to MSNBCs evening libfest, bear in mind that the parent Comcast is pure evil, and that it was NBC that propped up Dump's Apprentice run, have been protecting the video and audio outtakes all along, gave him 3 hours of free pub every morning with Mourning Goebbels & Mika the Meat Puppet, & have been the single most active group talking with him all along about future media partnerships.

Grifters are, above all else, survivors. Dump is setting up his survival.

This will be the sneakiest most underhanded secret doings administration in my lifetime, maybe ever. It'll be Trump as Teflon.

Ornstein got it early: "It's Worse That You Think".