It looks bad for Trump and good for the democratic resistance. Hallelujah!
With Michael Cohen publicly implicating Trump in criminal activity, at the same time that Paul Manafort was convicted for his sleazy criminality, an end game is coming into view.
Given the political period we are in, with Republicans in big trouble as the November 6 elections approach, it seems almost impossible that Robert Mueller will be prevented from carrying through his investigation to its end, as he defines it. And it is clear that Mueller is determined to get to the truth of the criminal activity that was going on with Trump, his family and their co-conspirators in 2015, 2016 and since.
Robert Kuttner, writing in The American Prospect, put it like this:
“The end game could unfold in one of two ways. Democrats could take back the House, begin an impeachment, pile up overwhelming evidence of impeachable offenses, and put intolerable political pressure on Republican senators to vote to convict.
“More likely, it seems to me, is that when the next round of Mueller’s findings of collusion with the Russians, longstanding business fraud, and obstruction of justice comes out, senior Republicans will decide that enough is enough and that it’s time to cut their losses.
“Leaders will broker a deal in which Trump resigns in exchange for himself and members of his family being spared criminal conviction. Trump will take the deal. In the same way that the Nixon end game came abruptly when Republicans concluded that they could no longer defend him, Trump’s will come abruptly, too.”
I remember that Nixon end game. It did come all of a sudden, after over a year of a Special Prosecutor investigation, Congressional hearings, grassroots organizing and mobilization and day-after-day mass media coverage of the Watergate burglary in 1972 and all that flowed from it.
All of these things have been happening in relationship to Trump’s criminality (or some of his criminality, given the fact that he has been a shady, corrupt, abusive wheeler-dealer for a very long time).
So should we on the political Left be concerned about the likelihood of a Mike Pence Presidency sometime in 2019, if not before?
Of course we should, but I don’t go along with those who think that Pence would be a greater threat than Trump and that we should therefore not support the Congressional and Mueller investigations and impeachment.
Trump’s removal from office will be a big jolt to the reactionary and racist Right. They will be on the defensive, having been actively aligned with clearly-criminal Trump for two years or more. The one-third or so of the country which generally thinks that Trump can do no wrong, or if he does that it’s no big deal, “everybody does it,” etc., will be demoralized. They will also be angry, but without their mafioso-like godfather in the White House, they will be relatively leaderless.
Pence will try to step into Trump’s shoes, and there’s no question he will continue most of the same policies, but he will be facing an energized people’s movement led by people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, a likely Democratic House and possibly a Democratic Senate. It will be a very different set of circumstances which will limit what he and the Republicans can do.
And who knows what the Mueller investigation may reveal about Pence’s role in Russiagate? It is hard to believe that Pence was completely out of the loop of what was going on during the summer and fall of the Trump/Pence campaign and afterwards when top Trump players were meeting with Russian government-connected people. And don’t forget about Pence and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was flipped early on in the Mueller investigation and has been cooperating since.
What should we be doing right now? Without question, the most important is helping to defeat Republicans running for the House and Senate, which comes down to turning out on November 6th the largest possible number of progressive-minded young people, people of color, women and working-class people that we can, while defending against voter suppression efforts of the Trump Republicans. 75 days to go!
Ted Glick was a founder and national coordinator of the National Campaign to Impeach Nixon in 1973-74. He has been a progressive activist and organizer since 1968. Past writings and other information can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.