Monday, August 26, 2019


NH Journal reports on a Bill Weld campaign appearance in which he called for impeachment of President Trump if he wins reelection:
For former Massachusett Gov. Bill Weld, the battle against the Trump presidency doesn’t necessarily end on Election Day. He says that if Trump is re-elected, Congress should promptly impeach him.

“I want the whole country to rise up as one and said, we’ve had enough of his crap,” Weld said of the Trump presidency. “And I’ve long said that one of two things was going to happen: Either the sober second judgment of the community’s going to kick in, which may be happening in the last month or so. I think the president’s gone a little bit further on the proverbial limb in terms of lashing out all day long. And people will look at that and say, hm, maybe that’s not my dish after all.”

And if not and Trump is re-elected?

“I think Congress should impeach him.”
In response to this National Review's Jim Geraghty harrumphs:
Salute Weld for his honesty, I suppose; he’s perfectly comfortable overruling the decision of the American voters at the ballot box.
But does anyone believe a Trump reelection will be "the decision of the American voters at the ballot box"? Many people (including me) think he could win a second term, but few apart from the most rabid consumers of GOP propaganda believe he'll actually win a majority, or even a plurality, of the popular vote. He lost by nearly three million votes last time; a month ago, Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report was predicting that Trump could win reelection while trailing nationwide by as much as five million votes.

Not that any of this matters. Richard Nixon won a 49-state landslide in 1972 and was driven from office less than two years later, when it was clear he'd be impeached and removed from office by the Senate.

Defeat hurts, but it's no reason for an opposition party to stop being the opposition. George W. Bush won reelection in 2004, but Democrats successfully fought his Social Security privatization plan in 2005. After that -- and after Bush botched Hurricane Katrina the same year, all while the Iraq War became more and more of a quagmire -- Democrats weren't treated as a party rejecting the will of the people. They won Congress back in 2006 (though they chose not to impeach Bush).

Hold the trial in Trump's second term -- maybe not right away, but eventually. The Russia crimes may seem like old news by then, but Trump will keep committing impeachable offenses (arguably, his suggestion that he should profit off the G7 by holding it at one of his own resorts next year is another one). If he's president again, he'll be unmoored. There's no telling what he'll do. I think he'll cross enough lines in the months immediately after Election Day that a plausible case for impeachment will be possible with no reference to Russiagate whatsoever. And, of course, other investigations of past conduct are underway outside D.C. -- who knows what will emerge?

No, he's not likely to be convicted in the Senate. But the crimes need to be put on the record. Impeachment will seem like a terrible idea in mid-November 2020 if Trump has just won a second term -- but by mid-2021 or shortly afterward, it will be as clear to most Americans that a horrible mistake has been made again, and impeachment won't seem crazy at all.

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