President Trump can blame himself for his ever-more-likely impeachment. He has done everything in his power to bring this upon himself, and one can only conclude that he wanted it.
Maybe that’s an unpopular opinion, but it’s the one I hold. Let’s recall the facts, because we have to. I’ll quote a good summary penned by Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review:
Let’s get as much throat clearing done as quickly as possible. Yes, the so-called Resistance has wanted Trump’s 2016 victory annulled, canceled, made moot, or overturned. Yes, its members have injected a peculiar viral paranoia into our politics where everyone who disagrees with old foreign-policy grandees such as Richard Haas is now considered vaguely Ruskie. Yes, professional bureaucrats and members of the broader intelligence community have transgressed their duties in trying to contain or subvert the administration. Yes, Trump is surrounded by advisers and elected members of his own party who simply don’t share his agenda of revising America’s foreign and trade policies. Yes, recent presidents have also transgressed the Constitution on matters of foreign policy in ways I think ought to be impeachable, even if Congress doesn’t. Yes, Ukraine, under its previous government, more or less tried to interfere in the 2016 election and felt quite sheepish about it. And yes, I still believe the American policy of assistance to Ukraine is misguided. Trump could more or less survive all of that. Bad advisors and bad policy are normal.Trump’s Impeachment Will Be Trump’s Fault, National Review, October 23, 2019
We can look at this as “Trump is incompetent,” or “Trump listened to late-night Fox News too much,” or “Trump let Giuliani get him in trouble,” but really that doesn’t give the president enough credit, or speak to his actual priorities. Trump is not a dupe: he’s a player, a sharp, a con, an operator. He’s always been so, and we knew it when he first came onto the political scene.
The play here is that Trump wants to be impeached. He wants to give the Democrats their dream, that they’ve wanted since James Comey’s first “recollection recorded” when he briefed then-President-elect Trump on the “Russia investigation.” That investigation had, as its core objective, to impeach Trump in office. All those “insurance policy” texts from Peter Strzok are perfectly believable. They didn’t believe Trump would actually win, but if he did, they’d resist.
They’ve been resisting all along, and playing one scandal after another, while Trump convivially cooperated by making more scandal material for them to play.
The reference in the link above explains the Trump presidency as much as anything I could write. “We pretended. We lied.” Trump isn’t assuming the mantle of his office; he never has. He’s acting, writing the script as he goes along, and writing himself out of bad episodes by abandoning those plots (and the supporting actors, who think this is real) and moving on to the next thing.
The impeachment of President Donald Trump is now near inevitable, as the Act 3 finale to his teleplay we call a presidency. We don’t know whether he will be removed. He might be. He doesn’t even know.
This is no different than Trump’s campaign. He never gave two turds over what he said, or who he maligned, or who he offended (other than his troll base, who cheered him for simply being a maligning, crass offender). He spoke what many were thinking, but never thought out to its logical conclusion. Trump didn’t know if he’d win, and was surprised as anyone when it happened. That’s an indictment of the left, the Democrats, and the horrible, horrible Hillary Clinton, who, with her husband, and her daughter, is Trump’s personal friend.
The impeachment offends the actual office of the President. It offends Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. It elevates blowhard hacks like Rep. Adam Schiff, who gets to conduct a Star Chamber and cause Republicans to behave like college brats occupying the dean’s office.
It’s a s**t show. But it’s Trump’s show, because he brought all this upon himself.
He would have it no other way. Trump’s presidency is art. He needs the big comeback. He wants to paint himself into a terrible cliffhanger, and have a deus ex-machina bail him out. On the issues themselves, Trump has more ears and cheers than the Democrats, who have flown the coop into the wild blue yonder of nuttiness. But the price of admission to his sane ideas is living through his opus.
Many Americans think that’s too high a price. And it may yet be.
One prediction emerges here. Either Trump will be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate and removed from office, subjecting the nation to the most terrible, unprecedented change of power in history, (remember, Nixon resigned before being impeached), or he will be impeached by the House and survive a trial in the Senate. This is becoming the most likely two possibilities.
If Trump is impeached and survives, I believe he will win the 2020 election. And in his second
term season, I believe he will be unstoppable. Be that for good or bad, it will, to the artist Trump, be an opportunity for more art (along with the saner aspects of useful policy, most of the time). That’s Trump’s real intent, his real priority, his real psychosis. It’s what he wants, even if the rest of us are stuck in reality.