While Congress wasting time with political theatrics is nothing new, the current distraction of the Trump impeachment is surprising, even by their standards.
While the justification, ensuring Trump can’t run for president in 2024, seems convincing enough, it overlooks a few obvious truths that the Dems surely know. Chief among them is the fact that Trump is permanently muzzled and, even if he weren’t, his momentum has evaporated and will be impossible to get going again.
In the end, it’s more about consolidating power in the wake of Trump’s exit than about being punitive.
Indeed, as far as Trump is concerned, his status as a figurehead is gone forever.
Trump’s campaign message had power, not just because it resonated with people, but because it could be personified in him. People had been wanting to “Make America Great Again” for decades, but it wasn’t until the message was attached to someone with a high profile that it became anything more than just words.
However, in order for a person to have a high profile, they need to be visible, and Trump is not and likely will never be again. Since being banished from social media and having his speeches completely ignored by mainstream news outlets, Trump has all but disappeared.
He’s unlikely to ever come back again either. The big tech companies have no reason to unblock his accounts and it would be very hard for mainstream media to justify giving a platform to a man they’ve been calling a violent insurrectionist.
So, like a fire without oxygen, Trump’s public profile, and thus his ability to personify a message, has simply died.
However, even if Trump had the ability to communicate, it’s unlikely he’d ever be able to recover the momentum that initially took him into the White House in the first place.
The thing about momentum is that once it’s gone, it’s very hard to get back. This is especially true in the case of Trump where nearly the entire American system has positioned itself against him. That acts as a massive drag on any potential momentum like tying a pendulum to the ground.
Yet even if it hadn’t, Trump has lost in spectacular fashion, and it’s always hard to get momentum for a losing side. There’s no excitement, there’s no mystery, plus you know it’s going to be an uphill fight the whole way.
Indeed, in 2016 there was excitement around Trump. People thought there was finally going to be a different kind of politician that would speak to them. Yet, after a while many decided that he was just a one-dimensional candidate that offered little substance to back up his claims.
Likewise, before he was elected people had no idea how he would govern. Now they’ve gotten as good a look as they’re going to get and tons of them said no, which brings up the most important point of all, that he lost.
When you lose, you know exactly how you’ve been beaten. In that situation, most people will either admit defeat and give up, or they’ll change strategies and try again. But almost no one will do the exact same thing and expect it to work. It’s what makes political comebacks so exceedingly rare. You already know that voters don’t like you so unless you change spectacularly enough to sway them, which for Trump and his lack of platform, is impossible, then you’re doomed to fail.
So, when those who use to support you are no longer excited, have seen your faults, and have watched you lose, then your odds of getting them to sign up for round two are significantly lower.
Of course, all this is assuming that the Republicans even let Trump represent their party in 2024. While they’re more likely to nominate Grendel’s mother to be president, it is worth noting which swamp creatures do make the cut, and what happens now that Trump is gone forever.
It’s really anyone’s guess who the Republicans will choose to sacrifice in 2024. It’s likely to be a Mitt Romney type: a party loyalist, not controversial, a solid neocon.
Either way, whoever it is will be sure to lose spectacularly, provided that America doesn’t explode into a million pieces under Biden.
In contrast to the broad popularity of Nancy Pelosi and the DNC, traditional Republican politicians only appeal to a niche part of American society. Most people only vote for them because they're not Democrats, not because the messaging is convincing. Of course, that’s assuming that Republican voters actually bother voting anymore, considering how many of them currently think their vote doesn’t count.
One thing that’s for sure though, is that of all the possible candidates for president in 2024, the Vegas odds for Micky Mouse will be higher than those for Donald Trump. Which begs the question that, if this is such a lock, why bother going to the trouble of an impeachment in the first place?
Democrats know that, impeachment or not, there’s no way Trump will be a candidate in 2024. They’re playing the same game as him and they know that a campaign without a candidate or momentum doesn’t really exist.
So, it’s likely not really about Trump at all. A far more plausible reason that Democrats (and many Republicans) are going to all this trouble is to prove a point that no one outside the neoliberal/neoconservative camps will be allowed to have so much power ever again.
It’s a message that serves many of the Dems needs. First, it ensures that their only competition would be from the Mitt Romney/Marco Rubio slice of the Republican party. I.e. fairly close ideologically and easy to beat. Second, and more importantly, it’s a useful message to send to progressives as well.
Bernie Sanders and AOC almost sunk the Democratic ship in 2020 and the DNC will be keen to ensure that such a close call is never repeated. Progressives have no choice but to vote for it unless they’d like to spend the next election explaining why they didn’t. Meanwhile, the neoliberals that run the DNC are able to keep a firm hold on the leftist side of their party.
Thus, rather than any vendetta against Trump, a guy who is gone forever, the impeachment is about making it clear that no one from outside the political establishment, be it Trump, or Hitler, or Gandhi, or Jesus will ever be given a fair shake by the major parties. Even if, by some miracle, they get happen to get elected in the first place.
Do you think the Dems have an ulterior motive for impeachment?