Unless he commits a criminal offense forcing both Republican and Democratic

leaders to remove Trump from the Presidency, he will serve out his 4 year term and

possibly even another 4.

Why? Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have an alternative.

Except for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who really do want to remove Trump,

the Democratic leadership would rather keep him than crown Mike Pence as President.

Pence’s views are even more right-wing than Trump’s, Pence is actually scary, and

Pence is an experienced politician who knows how to get things done (…except

according to Stephen Rodrick’s opinion piece of May 26, 2017 in the New York Times.

Rodrick says the folks in Indiana, Pence’s home state, think he’s so dumb and inept

that they’d almost be glad to see him go away…far away; and Washington looks

sufficiently far away to them — which kinda makes you wonder about the brain power in Indiana). But Pence may get kicked out if Trump does; Pence may have actively participated

in some of the activities that may bring down Trump. And if Trump is kicked out and

Pence, too, then the Presidency goes to Paul Ryan. Omigod! Talk about right-wing! The

Democrats cannot imagine a worse outcome, unless it might help them win control of

Congress in 2018. Which it might…. But there’s probably not enough time to kick out

Trump and Pence, install Ryan as President, and also win control of Congress in the

2018 elections. Maybe…. Obviously, Warren and Sanders think there is.

Besides, the Democrats have plenty of proposals they oppose — especially all the

Republican ones —, but that’s not the same as having a positive strategy. The powerful

factions within the Democratic party do not agree on what should be done, except for

opposing whatever the Republicans propose. Never mind that the Republicans have

the same problem.

In politics, actually, for a party not to have a coherent strategy is the norm. Parties

mostly have platforms, a shopping list of proposals that look as if they represent a

consistent view of what should happen. These programs rarely get passed, at least in

entirety, because individual legislators could lose their seats if the folks back home

don’t like their voting record. Therefore, every proposal that gets passed contains lots

of add-ons that represent what amounts to blackmail: A congressman agrees to

support the bill if it contains something that his district wants a lot. (Just imagine:

Blackmail as our normal way of passing legislation!)

Warren and Sanders seem to have pretty well integrated views of what needs doing.

They’d probably kiss and make up if they were on a ticket together. But neither of them

is beloved of the Democratic elite. (Yes, of course there is one. Do you really think

it’s an accident, for example, that Goldman Sachs backed Hillary Clinton? Please.

If you want to know who composes the Democratic elite, “Follow the money” is a good start.

The Koch brothers are not the only ones trying to influence legislation. The Democrats have

their version of the Koch brothers.)

Meanwhile, the Republicans are without an alternative candidate acceptable to the entire party.

Entire party? What entire party? The Republicans don’t have a party. They have

factions, which is normal. Not normal in this country is the amount of power held by

Republican factions that cannot abide one another. Boehner’s inability or unwillingness

(or both) to strike a deal between what were then the two factions powerful enough to

create a single Republican Party has created an ever more splintered party with

factional disagreements so raw that the Republicans cannot pass any legislation.

And then the Republican elite is not enamored of the legislation their puppet President,

Trump, is proposing. Remember, Trump was the candidate who was never supposed to

get elected, but somehow did. The old Republican establishment, which probably still

holds all or most of the power, has lately begun to flex its muscle a bit more and even

publicly. The elite may have waited too long! Newer followers of Paul Ryan, the Tea

Party, the alt-right, the gun lobby, and the various other super-conservative types have

collectively amassed enough power to prevent the Republicans from passing much of

anything. And so the Republican elite, (which mostly has stayed behind the scenes

watching the antics of their TV-star-real-estate deal-maker President) is at last trying to

determine whether he will bring himself down or the elite will have to do it. The elite may

find itself without enough glue to hold together enough factions required to get

anything done. Perhaps they will need to take a lesson from Macron. Better, perhaps,

to keep Trump in office, but of course reined in — oh, yes, he is, please don’t be so

naive as to think otherwise — until the Republicans can once again become a single

party — sort of. It’s not clear that they ever were.

The Republicans seem to have forgotten the example of their superhero, Abe Lincoln,

who faced much the same problem. His solution was to take the warring factions and

stick them all in his Cabinet. That worked so well that he was even able to make one of

them Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Granted, it might be hard to get Trump, who

wants only pledges of loyalty, to promote his enemies to a highly public arena where

they could duke it out. But day by day, it seems as if Trump may commit political harikari

and actually get forced out of office. Then what happens? Take your bets, folks.

Copyright Leslie Levy, Sarasota, FL 34243, July 31, 2017. All rights reserved.

Why Trump is Likely to Remain President Whether or Not Impeached