The first month and a half of 2017 has felt like some kind of bizarre, horrible version of Christmas; every morning I wake up, and I dread going on Twitter or Facebook to see what latest inanity the new administration has enacted today. Each week has brought new evils: the failed (for now) Muslim ban, the muzzling of the EPA and other federal agencies, the “two regulations gone for every new regulation” executive order, having a national security pow-wow with the Prime Minister of Japan in the middle of Mar-A-Lago’s dining room, and even the failed raid in Yemen.
Each day brings something worse than the last. However, recent events have given people a glimmer of hope.
First it was Michael Flynn, national security advisor to President Trump, resigning in disgrace after news came to light that he lied to Mike Pence about his dealings with Russian ambassadors. Having someone like Flynn, who is more than happy to truck in conspiracy theories on Twitter and once wrote a “foreign policy book” that reads like an overly long YouTube comment, removed from a position of influence is always a good thing. It was made clear later that the only reason the resignation took place is because the press found out about Flynn’s little lie, but it was still welcome nonetheless.
Valentine’s Day, however, brought the biggest news in a long while.
It was reported by the New York Times and CNN that individuals involved in Trump’s campaign had multiple conversations with high-ranking Russian intelligence officials before the election took place. People across social media were shocked and appalled, while at the same time repeating the same refrain: “Impeach him now!!”
This will never happen as long as the GOP controls Congress.
It simply will not. Time and time again, Congressional Republicans have shown that they are willing to allow Trump to do whatever bullheaded, imperialistic, fascistic thing he likes so long as they are able to get whatever they want signed. They have shown themselves to have absolutely zero compunction about what Trump says or does. Sure, some Representative might make some grumblings about a particularly bad quote or policy from the President, but that’s the extent to which it goes.
Of course, people might argue “They like Pence better, why not impeach Trump?” The answer is simple: Pence isn’t popular. Pence is a cold, steely-faced theocrats with none of the populist undertones that girder Trump’s support. He wouldn’t win in a general election (unless, god forbid, Hillary was the nominee again), and that’s what Republicans fear more than anything. Pence would be just as dangerous for America as Trump, but is more easily defeatable.
The best likelihood for a Trump impeachment is for Democrats to retake the House of Representatives and to narrow the gap in the Senate. Of course this would also require Democrats to grow a spine and stop shooting themselves in the foot over and over again, so our mileage may vary.
The only thing that’s been shown to work against Trump is the repeated protests in the streets by ordinary people and investigative reporting by members of the media. Keeping these activities up is the only way to really keep the pressure on elected officials that we are not happy with how things are. Our elected officials, regardless of party, cannot and will not protect you on principle, so they must be reminded that they ignore us at their own peril.