ON THE NATURE OF TIDES

Posted in Rants on March 22nd, 2017 by Ed

CNN is reporting that the FBI has evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government. At this point we have no idea what that evidence consists of. If it is firm evidence, he is not going to last the year.

I know, I know. You've heard "This is the end of Trump" before. Too many times. But consider the following points before you disregard this, remembering that the argument is contingent on the evidence being firm and more than circumstantial.

1. "The GOP will never turn on him in Congress." Look, I know it doesn't feel like it – it feels more like an eternity – but Trump has only been President for sixty-one days. Nobody could realistically expect they would impeach him at the first hint of a scandal. They've stood behind him thus far, but "thus far" hasn't been very much time in this case. So…

2. Two months of constant damage control might be OK with the Congressional Republicans. After six months? Eight? Remember, members of Congress do not like wasting their time on things that provide them with no benefit, and that midterm election will be here before you know it. What they feel willing to put up with today may not be what they're willing to tolerate in six months. Remember Watergate; Republicans stood firmly behind Nixon, right up to the point where they didn't. If the tide turns, it will turn with dramatic speed.

3. Trump has surrounded himself with a group of people (excepting family) who seem almost comically self-interested and ready to turn on each other in a heartbeat. There's no Ollie North ready to take a bullet for the old man. Some of his hangers-on look like they would squeal on their own mother under the slightest pressure.

4. It's Russia. Russia. Americans agree on few things, but almost everybody hates the Russians ("Alt-Right" dead-enders who recently discovered a deep love for Russia excepted). The Russians are The Bad Guys. Sure, your core group of 20% of the population will defend Trump to the bitter end. Your McCain-style Republicans will end up deciding between a GOP president they never wanted in the first place and America's long-time rival and enemy.

5. The GOP realizes that an impeached Trump would be replaced with another Republican from whom they can get anything Trump can give them…except for constant headaches and bad press.

6. The most important point is that, as I've repeated to the point of absurdity, the Russia story gets worse almost by the day. Like clockwork, a new piece of Even Worse News for Trump comes out like clockwork every two or three days. There is no indication this is going to stop.

61 days is not long. Even a principled party with a sense of shame would stand behind one of their own for two measly months. Six? Twelve? Eighteen, which would run smack into next year's midterm elections? That they will indulge him for that long and potentially imperil themselves to defend a guy they don't like and didn't want in the first place seems questionable.

I don't believe this is the end. But I believe that what has been happening since December – new, incriminating revelations about Trump-Russia connections surfacing every few days – will continue to happen. It is like Watergate or any other scandal; it doesn't strike like lightning. It builds like a wave, and sometimes it becomes big enough to do fatal damage when it finally hits the shore.