... a certain slice of influential liberals say that at this point, they’d just sleep easier under President Mike Pence.Stop. Just stop. This isn't going to happen. Yes, you can point to individual Trump voters who are now disillusioned, but when 91% of Republicans still approve of his job performance, as they do in the most recent Quinnipiac poll, there's absolutely no chance that Republicans in Congress will pursue investigations of the president, much less vote to impeach and convict, no would they oppose the president in the extraordinarily unlikely event that Section 4 of the 25th Amendment were invoked. (Even if "a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments" in the White House were to call for Trump's removal, he could still appeal to Congress and two-thirds of its members would have to vote to give him the boot. You're more likely to win the lottery and be struck by lightning on the same day than to see either of these events.)
... According to a new poll, 62% of Democrats now say they would prefer Mike Pence in the Oval Office. Not that this sentiment can be mistaken for enthusiasm.
... “I’d sleep easier with almost any other human being as president than Donald Trump,” the former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau told BuzzFeed News. “I’m not as worried [Pence] would accidentally start a nuclear war because some Breitbart lunatic floated a conspiracy that got under his skin.”
“I never thought I’d be in a world where I’d say this, but I’d much rather have Mike Pence in the Oval Office,” said another former senior Obama administration official. “And the reason comes down to one word: crisis. All of the chaos of the last two months in the Trump White House has been self-inflicted.”
“I think it’s fair to say that every Democrat I know would prefer a President Mike Pence, without hesitation,” said a third top Democratic aide.
Do we think Trump wouldn't fight like hell to stay in office if challenged? Did we learn nothing from last weekend's tweetstorm? This is a man whose most primal conditioned response is: I must go on the attack, as viciously and relentlessly as possible, whenever anyone threatens my reputation. This is not a man who, if he's under siege, is not going to pace the White House corridors moping and drinking and feeling sorry for himself -- he's never going to be Nixon in the final days.
And no, he's not going crazy: That tweetstorm looked preposterous, but in the right-wing bubble where the majority of white American voters apparently live, it changed the narrative of the Russia story. Those people literally believe that Barack Obama is the real villain of Hackgate. Trump's no crazier than your uncle who watches Fox all day.
And don't forget that he has utterly vicious enable -- Bannon, Miller, Sessions, Assange. They're at peak power now, and they lose that power if Trump goes. They're not going down without a fight.
So settle in. Trump's going to be president until at least January 20,