Sandy Rosen’s latest blog, Fear and Loathing in Trump Land, was originally published on Huffington Post.
It seems that my muse has returned, propelled by the passage of time and possibly by successful renewal of my passport. It certainly has helped to know that judges, lawyers, journalists and other folk around the country were standing up against Trumpism. And finally, the events of the last week have given me stuff to think and write about that is not just venting.
Before the election, a friend who is an eminent semi-retired political scientist told me that: “Trump will not be nominated; if he is nominated, he will not be elected; if elected he will be impeached.” When he said it I just shrugged. I should have taken him more seriously. I do now, after Trump’s incredible misstep in peremptorily firing FBI Director Comey for made up reasons, followed by Trump’s apparently off-handed publication of sensitive intelligence information to Russia’s Foreign Minister and Ambassador, and the revelations that Trump tried to interfere directly with the FBI investigation of his campaign’s and cohorts’ dealings with Russia.
The stench of cover-up patent in the Comey affair is combining with the odor of actual “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and pressing us toward the likelihood of a shortened Trump Administration.
At long last thoughtful members of his base and of the Republican establishment, including increasing numbers of Republican members of the Congress, are voicing their doubts and concerns and distancing themselves from Trump. At least one Republican member of Congress has spoken publicly of impeachment, and at least another has analogized Trumpgate to Watergate. The Justice Department’s designation of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel for the Russia investigation is a great step in the right direction. Like Comey, Mueller has a reputation and track record of solid integrity. Before he fired Comey, I thought the odds that Trump would not serve a full term were about 30%. Even though the Republican congressional leaders remain unconscionably supine, remembering Nixon and Watergate, I now believe the odds are now north of 50% and rising almost daily.
I should rejoice without reservation at that thought of Trump’s early departure, but I am still worried. I worry about what will happen after Trump leaves the White House early, under a President Pence, who is a true ideologue.
Trumpism’s harm to the Republic is palpable. Even if he leaves office early, it will take great effort to deal with the harm he has done. Whenever Trump leaves office we still will have to contend with the ever present forces of the dark money, biased and ideological cable news, and the Breitbart reactionaries and Know Nothings. As many have said, progressives must rethink and reorient their messages and priorities; they must figure out how to communicate with and be heard by the disaffected people who supported Trump, against their own interests, and who could support other demagogues. We have to stop talking just with ourselves! Only then can we move on.