Sunday, April 08, 2018

Getting rid of Trump on the cheap

Shortly after Trump won the presidency, David Frum warned that the gravest danger to American democracy was the likelihood that Republicans in Congress would refuse to hold him accountable and would go along with his multi-front assaults on core American institutions and norms. Ever since then, I've thought that a stupid Trump move that triggers a recession or economic crisis might be the one thing that would induce Republicans to drop him -- "like a hot rock," as McConnell once falsely promised to do prior to Trump's nomination. If so, a recession would be the cheapest way we'd likely find to shake off the various mortal and merely grave dangers Trump poses. Trump's tariffs have markets gyrating and shaking; they could trigger this scenario

Wishes can be calibrated only in superstitious prayer. So much could go wrong with this scenario. Trade war could trigger hot war. Trade war could start, and Trump could set off an unrelated hot war. Trade war could lead to global depression. Republicans could stick with Trump no matter what he does. Various crises could trigger other extreme reactions in Trump -- moves to shut down media or criminalize/jail adversaries of various types. And of course, trade war may not happen -- China may give Trump a fig leaf while cleaning his clock in negotiations.

Nonetheless, a tightrope walk of fortune -- a Trump-triggered financial crisis (hopefully of the short and mild variety), followed by a Republican loss of one or both houses of Congress, followed by Republican acquiescence in various Congressional moves to rein Trump in, up to and including impeachment -- remains possible. Mount to heaven, O superstitious prayer!

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