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Assault on America, Day 62: Impeachment and primary challenges won’t derail Trump train

Donald Trump
With all the recent media kerfuffle over President Donald Trump’s national emergency border declaration, his diplomatic venture to the Far East (to meet with NORK dictator Kim Jong Un), and disgraced lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress last week, it’s sometimes challenging to remember how multiple members of the new Democrat House majority still scheme to remove the president from office through impeachment.

In addition, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is rumored to be near-ready and could be unleashed any day now (pundits have been saying it for months). The investigation’s trumped-up “Russian collusion” charges clearly aren’t going anywhere, but it’s not stopping Trump’s enemies from plotting his swift official demise.

Are Democrats just laying low and waiting for the perfect moment to impeach the president, or will they pull back and take their chances on beating him next year? Bob Cusack and Ian Swanson wrote at The Hill last week, “Starting impeachment proceedings seems unlikely to end in a Senate conviction given the two-thirds majority needed in a body Republicans control with a 53-47 majority.

“That makes it a tricky political proposition, especially as Democrats eye a 2020 election they think could end the Trump era and leave Democrats in control of Congress and the White House. That scenario would leave Pelosi with the chance at scoring some sweeping policy achievements on health care and climate change in her last years in Washington.

“People who have worked closely with Pelosi believe she will take the more pragmatic approach and not move to impeach Trump — barring a bombshell finding from special counsel Robert Mueller.”

What “bombshell” would that be? To Democrats it could be anything -- something trivial, like once upon a time Trump spoke with Russkie business interests concerning potential real estate projects somewhere within the territorial confines of Russia; or that Trump once said a nice thing about the Russian people and his enemies rushed to interpret the pleasantry as desiring to work with Vladimir Putin to rig a future election…?

The Russian collusion thing is a joke. Not only have the Mueller probe’s anti-Trump media leaks slowed to a trickle, nothing remotely close to Russian cooperation came out during the 2016 Republican primary campaign. Democrats have their own sources, of course, but if there was anything nefarious that smelled of Russian conspiracy in Trump’s background, don’t you think the (Jeb!) Bush people, Cruz people, Rubio people or gulp, Kasich people would’ve sniffed it out and exposed it?

As a non-politician major party nominee, Trump had practically the whole political establishment world probing and searching to unearth even the slightest dust-bunny of dirt on Trump to derail his unorthodox candidacy. The best these efforts produced was unsavory elements of Trump’s personal checkered past, including assorted affairs, marriages (and divorces) and alleged liaisons with females of questionable repute. There was also Trump’s apparent fondness for eminent domain and his failed attempt at starting his own real estate training program (a.k.a. Trump University), but nothing remotely Russian in nature.

During the final stages of the general election campaign Democrats added Trump’s alleged snub of Gold Star Parents as well as former Miss Universe beauty queen Alicia Machado’s “He called me fat and talked to me like I was a hotel maid!” allegations of not-niceness in Trump’s distant past.

But where was the Russia stuff? Sure, Trump made a few off-the-cuff remarks about the ongoing Clinton email scandal and the Wikileaks dump that exposed the inner corruption of the Democrat National Committee (and Clinton campaign officials), but it wasn’t as though they had anything concrete to pin to the GOP nominee. In the final presidential debate Trump indicated he’d wait until after all the votes were tallied to reveal whether he’d concede and accept the final results -- which his haters interpreted as a hint the election was fixed -- but even Obama lectured about how it was impossible to mess with the national election.

The Democrats’ “collusion” push didn’t start until after Trump came out comfortably ahead in the Electoral College and the Clintons invented a fantastic lie to explain why they ended up losing to a guy with lukewarm approval ratings.

Who knows? Maybe the scenario happened like this:

Clinton official in a meeting, speaking to a reporter friend. “Did you hear the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to deny Hillary the presidency?” Media reporter: “No, but I’ll put it on the front page tomorrow! Damn the supporting evidence!”

How does all this relate to impeachment? Without at least some kind of salacious Trump connection to wrongdoing there aren’t any “high crimes and misdemeanors” to justify voting him out of office. Democrats could certainly dredge up other justifications, like obstruction of justice, purported racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, his ostensible hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, etc. But none of it would convince the American public that their president is a crook.

So is it really a stretch to claim Pelosi won’t go for impeachment? Hardly.

Besides, Democrats actually think they can “govern” their way to validating Trump’s legitimate ouster at the ballot box next year. For some bizarre reason Pelosi and cohorts figure they’ll finagle passage of a number of their agenda items, such as prescription drug price controls and environmental laws.

True, some of it could pass, especially if the GOP establishment deems additional goodies are needed to keep them in good electoral graces with the swing voters -- but if Democrats keep up their relentless Trump bashing at the same time, how likely is he to go along with anything on their wish list? Trump will definitely recall Democrats’ stonewalling and grandstanding over immigration and the border wall, their refusal to compromise on Obamacare repeal and reform in his first year and their lambasting of him and other Republicans regarding the tax reform bill. They’ve assaulted his character and policies nonstop since Inauguration Day.

Therefore, nothing but gridlock’s on the horizon unless Democrats suddenly change their tunes -- and you’re better off putting money on a snowstorm in Hades than wagering the opposition party unexpectedly becomes cooperative in a presidential election year.

Or maybe Democrats will just hope to receive help from the #NeverTrump crowd. David M. Drucker reported at The Washington Examiner last week, “President Trump’s antagonists inside the Republican Party now have a fallback plan to scuttle his re-election: using the 2020 primary fight as a bludgeon to inflict irreparable political damage on him in the November general election.

“The ‘Never Trump’ movement’s preferred strategy is to recruit a formidable Republican who might block the president’s renomination, or at least mount an aggressive challenge that presses him all the way to the convention in Charlotte set for late summer next year. Efforts are underway to woo Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland and other top Republicans uneasy with Trump.

“Short of that, key renegade Republicans are preparing to settle for Plan B: mortally wound him.”

As with Pelosi, the #NeverTrump would-be saboteurs hope Mueller’s report boosts their efforts to defeat or mortally wound Trump. In addition to Hogan (who said he isn’t interested in being a sacrificial lamb), Drucker’s article mentions John Kasich and Senator Ben Sasse as potential primary opponents.

These malcontents can try all they want, but there’s no indication Trump’s intra-party support is evaporating -- or even weakening -- so there isn’t a “lane” to run in. And a weak “challenge” might only serve to bolster Trump’s argument that he’s got virtually all of the center-right part of the country behind him.

So is it really all up to Mueller? Here’s thinking the final report won’t matter either way.

Democrats and #NeverTrumpers dream about impeachment and possible primary challenges -- and other means -- to end the Trump presidency early (such as through the ill-defined 25th Amendment). It will take much more than hope to take Trump down; the voters will decide.

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