Saturday, October 19, 2019

Has the Worm Turned On Donald Trump?

The Washington Post's conservative columnist, Jennifer Ruben, figures impeachment of Donald Trump is now a "slam dunk."

When Trump's chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted the administration withheld $400-million in military aid to the Ukraine while Trump implored the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden's son the ox was gored. Mulvaney freely admitted the quid-pro-quo and told reporters they do it all the time and they should "get over it."
Every member of the U.S. House and Senate knows that this is not done all the time, and that a quid pro quo to further a president’s political interests is verboten. Trump and his cronies are making it increasingly difficult for Republicans to find a reason not to vote for impeachment and removal. Compulsive confessions are a major stumbling block to retaining the loyalty of congressional Republicans.

Second, as if one confession were not enough, the ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, reportedly told the House impeachment panel “that President Trump outsourced the job of handling U.S. policy on Ukraine to Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, a decision that made Sondland uncomfortable but one he still carried out.” ...The evidence of a quid pro quo is piling up, giving Republicans one more reason to jump ship on Trump.

Finally, in an unprecedented display of chutzpah, Trump announced that next year’s Group of Seven summit would be held at his Doral golf resort near Miami, one of the clearest instances yet of self-enrichment and unconstitutional receipt of emoluments. The emoluments controversy had receded in light of the Ukraine scandal, but such a blatant example of Trump’s willingness to smash government and reap personal financial benefits weighs heavily in favor of removing him. We’d better get him out of there before he makes off with any more loot. The urgency of his removal is intensified when he displays an ever-increasing appetite for unethical, unconstitutional and illegal conduct, about which his aides tell us to “get over it.”
...A steady stream of witnesses continue to testify in the impeachment inquiry, increasing the volume of evidence of what is already an air-tight case. At some point House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will need to decide that there is enough evidence to convince most persuadable voters of goodwill that Trump’s continued presence in the Oval Office is a danger to the republic. Frankly, that might be any day now.
And the Trump factor has a number of Republicans facing re-election next year feeling the heat, including legendary pig castrator, Joni Ernst. The Iowa senator's approval numbers have taken a big hit, especially among Republican voters where she's down 13 points. Several others are in the same boat.
“Republicans representing Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Maine and Iowa all saw their net approval — the share of voters who approve of a senator’s job performance minus the share who disapprove — decline between the second and third quarters of 2019.” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who could not manage to tell us whether it is wrong for the president to enlist a foreign government to influence our elections, are down 9 points and 3 points, respectively.

Ernst is in particular trouble. “The slide places her underwater with Iowa voters (39 percent approve and 43 percent disapprove) for the first time and among the 10 most unpopular senators in the country,” the polls found. “Iowa voters of all partisan leanings soured on the first-term senator, but GOP voters were most likely to take a dimmer view of her job performance. Her net approval dropped by 13 points among Republicans, compared with respective 9- and 7-point drops among Democrats and independents.” Uh-oh.

Ernst is not alone. “Ernst is not the only Republican up for re-election next year with a home-state approval below 40 percent: Among the vulnerable incumbents, Martha McSally of Arizona, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Thom Tillis of North Carolina are all below that threshold following a quarter where each saw little movement.”

Meanwhile, vulnerable Democratic incumbents are rising in polls. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) are up 1 points and 3 points, respectively. If these sort of numbers persist, or get even worse for Republicans, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will lose his majority.

McConnell, infamous for his shameless, ice-water-in-his-veins brand of politics, will do whatever he must to save his members. If that means shoving Trump off-stage, he will gladly do it. (Notice his especially tough condemnation of Trump’s Syria debacle.)

A mound of evidence of plainly impeachable conduct. A GOP majority at risk. One could reasonably expect to see indications that a significant number of Republican senators would kick Trump to the curb to save their own necks and the GOP Senate majority. The game of chicken (“Resign, or we vote to remove you!”) might begin in earnest. Alternatively, Trump could decide that he has accomplished more in three years than any other president accomplished in eight (the best ever!). Why not retire early, grab a pardon from Mike Pence and spend all his time golfing? It is not as far-fetched as it used to be.


John B. said...

Trump knows that certain aspects of his act have run their course. He's down to ending all discussion and then telling Nancy, "See you at the polls." I guess that's all a politician ever has and he figures he still has his.

There's an often unacknowledged political advantage to seeking support from voters who will either never admit it when they've been wrong or are to stupid to realize it when that's the case.

The Mound of Sound said...

I would assume that's a huge political advantage, John, if you can just tap into a big enough herd of Gullibillies.

Northern PoV said...

Jennifer Ruben, figures impeachment of Donald Trump is now a "slam dunk."


what are the chances for conviction in the Senate?

Now those Brits .....

Trailblazer said...

Trump will achieve what he started to do, that is make money off the presidency.
He stated this when he became president.
Possibly the only honest sentence he ever spoke.
Trump will never ,ever, be successfully prosecuted, the corrupt base of western politics will not allow it.
Tony Blair, George bush and Henry Kissinger come to mind; all war criminals.
Fixing elections and profiteering and nothing compared to those guys.


Anonymous said...

"Fixing elections" by the Swamp since JFK.
Any election which was unfixable resulted in a Swamp's sabotage of the Potus.

the salamander said...

.. if I'm not mistaken.. those are US Marines who are posted inside the White House.. at the foot of Air Force One's steps.. I know a pretty strong percentage are pro Trump.. because uh.. he might declare a wsr.. or blow more $ into military sales or budget. But I would be suprised thst the laughable comparison between Old Bone Spurs.. and soldiers of the calibre of Generals Mattis or McRaven don't have their chain of command or former commands snickering in the barracks about their foppish Tweeter In Chief. The whole sense of ridicule is mounting everywhere. Trump simply cannot fight so many fronts at once.. and certainly cannot expect Giuliani to hang in there.. go down with the ship. I get the feeling a whole lot of lost in space Trumpists are going to see the hot air go out of the Great Again Golf President. One out of three to five days, Trump has been golfing at one of his country clubs.. Trump is diseased.. as is the entire GOP. Perhaps we are about to see the exodus.. of GOP trying to save their own skins.. don't try to tell me he ks not being told hiw exposed he is.

Lulymay said...

I'm on the same time zone as you Mound, so you've probably seen this as well, however, I did read a few minutes ago that Trump has abandoned having the G-7 at Doral.

What's the saying again: "One small step for man - one large step for mankind"???

Cheers, and good luck for Monday's referendum on all our political parties and may the green side win - even if many of them are a much paler shade! Still beats hell out of those Reformers.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, from what I've gleaned, Mattis and McRaven are just part of a group of prominent dissenters that runs through both the military and the national security establishments. Once this group concludes that Donald Trump is a mortal threat to the Republic, pretty much anything can happen and they do seem to be nearing that point.

The Mound of Sound said...

Lulymay, I wonder if Trump isn't beginning to get warnings from the Republican leadership in the Senate that he's walking on very thin ice and has to stop pushing boundaries.

It's too bad though because Doral, since Trump took the White House, has been hemorrhaging money. As I understand it he's having the same cash crunch with his golf resorts in Ireland and Scotland.

Thanks for your good wishes and I extend the same to you. I sense we're fast entering FUBAR territory, at home and globally. Before I get out of bed these days I use my Amazon Echo device to give me news summaries from CBC, BBC, and NPR. Increasingly the news is dominated by reports of social unrest - political, economic and environmental - seemingly in every corner of the world. The pressure is on; peoples' expectations are not being met, in some cases even basic needs and survival; the old order is pushing back, sometimes brutally; and no one, the Scandinavians excepted, seems to have the remotest idea how to restore tranquility.

Sometimes I have to replay these news summaries to clarify what is underway just where. If you're not paying close attention they tend to blur.

There are research papers that have been released by both the Pentagon and the Brit's Ministry of Defence, exploring how climate change and its knock-on effects (floods, droughts, famine, the collapse of freshwater resources) will destabilize nations (as we've seen in Syria) and then regions spreading upheaval. It could be this prediction is already starting.

And we've got people like Boris and Donald in the wheelhouse. Might be time to make sure you know where the lifeboats are.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what kind of cancellation fee Trump's Doral will be charging.


The Mound of Sound said...

Interesting point, Cap. Would you put it past him?