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Gaming out a Trump impeachment

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It seems more likely than not that 17 months from now the House will be in the hands of the Democrats. The first order of business, assuming martial law hasn’t been declared by then, will be to decide whether to impeach Donald Trump.

This post isn’t about whether Trump deserves to be impeached as a legal and political matter — obviously he’s completely unfit to be POTUS in every conceivable way, and this is the only constitutional mechanism for removing such a person, short of operationalizing the 25th amendment.

The question at hand, rather, is: Will it be a good idea to do so? The variables here are many, and their intersection complex. To mention just a few: Will there be any chance whatsoever of the Senate convicting him? Will an impeachment proceeding be a good way of forcing the administration to disgorge evidence regarding its various and multiplying scandals? Will there be a backlash from the majority of the American people, as we saw with Bill Clinton’s impeachment (obviously the situations are very different, but . . .)? In the alternative, will such a proceeding harden both opposition and support for Trump, pushing the country further down the road toward metaphorical or literal civil war, or, even worse, increasing incivility in our public discourse? Will the Democrats have enough votes to force a trial in the Senate, assuming the process gets rolling in a serious way? Will this lead to several thousand op-ed pieces penned by aging boomers about how they watched the Watergate hearings on live TV? (I’ll handle this one: Yes).

Many other questions can and should be asked as well. Have at it, noble commentariat of a TOP 100 BLOG(tm).

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