As the net tightens around Trump, and his “friends” and associates turn on him, the prospect of impeachment looms larger.  It’s safe to say that we have only seen a fraction of the dirt the Mueller team has on Trump, so it’s quite possible that further disclosures and indictments will feel just as astonishing as the testimony that emerged during Michael Cohen’s guilty plea, and more reasons for impeachment may begin to pile up.  In fact, the chairman of the Democratic Coalition, Jon Cooper tweeted this yesterday:

“If you think this week was devastating for Trump — as I predicted — you ain’t seen nothing yet. A story should break shortly that will put the final nail in Trump’s coffin. Keep your seatbelt buckled, because this ride is getting even wilder. Stay tuned, my friends.

We’ll see if Cooper’s prediction comes true.  But certainly more dirt will come to light eventually, and the drumbeat of impeachment will escalate.

Comments on social media often turn to speculation about the consequences of impeachment, and much of the anxious discussion centers around Vice President Mike Pence.  Pence is a radical fundamentalist Christian, and his Draconian views are poison to many millions of Americans, so it’s not surprising that many wonder if we would be worse off under a Pence presidency that we are under Trump. It’s a fair question, but the answer is easy.  We would be much better off getting rid of Trump and taking our chances with Pence.  Here’s why.

1 – We already have a Pence presidency.  The policies of the Trump administration didn’t come from Trump.  He could care less about policies except as far as they keep him popular to his base.  The signing statements, the immigration policy, the destruction of environmental regulations, the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, that attacks on abortion rights, the nomination of a radical partisan for the Supreme Court–these are all policies that came from advisers, not from Trump.  And Trump’s advisers are often managed by Pence or have priorities and goals identical to those held by Pence.  So getting rid of Trump wouldn’t worsen the grotesque, mean-spirited, retrogressive policies we’ve seen from the White House.

2 – Trump has become a cult figure, and his appeal is tied to his ability to sell himself to a crowd.  He’s an idiot savant.  Uninformed and ignorant, yet a genius at getting attention and saying whatever it takes to get what he wants, consequences-be-damned.  His supporters don’t care about the details of his policies.  They care about what he represents.  He is the instrument of their revenge over the people who make them feel guilty about being racists, misogynists, homophobes, and/or religious hypocrites.  He is their giant orange middle finger.  Where Trump has a certain (malignant) charisma, Pence is the antithesis of charisma.  Pence is a dullard, a walking Geritol model.  There’s no way he will stoke the same fervor and passion that Trump does, which will make it much harder for him to win a national election, much less keep the base wrapped around his finger.  Trump is a phenomenon.  Pence is a milquetoast.

3 – It’s not at all clear that the flood of corruption and crime defining this presidency won’t also swallow Pence.  He was part of Trump’s campaign and transition team, and it’s easy to imagine that he will be implicated in dirty deeds before this saga ends.  So it’s possible that if Trump is ever impeached, Pence won’t be the guy taking his place anyway.

There’s very little reason to fear the impeachment of Trump.  His replacement (Pence?) would limp through his term with a huge target on his back, and would look like a doofus and a toady next to whoever the Democratic nominee will be in 2020.  I would much rather fight an uptight, extreme political hack than an unpredictable carnival barker and pathological liar whose appeal has nothing to do with facts or truth, and everything to do with vengeance and white resentment.

Luckily for NY-19, Rep John Faso also lacks charisma.  But unlike both Pence and Trump, Faso is well-versed in conservative bullshit and double-speak.  He knows how to spin and deflect and lie about policy details and legislation, so we can’t let him weasel his way out of the consequences of his votes and statements while in office.  Whether the White House is occupied by Trump or Pence, our nation will not get back on track until we fire feckless reps like Faso and elect progressives like Antonio Delgado.  Let’s keep working…

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