While there’s no question President Trump would prefer not to have the asterisk of impeachment next to his name in the history books — who would? — there is considerable political upside, and the good possibility of historical upside.
Take, for instance, the 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton. As having lived through that, I can tell you impeachment was insanely unpopular at the time. Clinton’s approval ratings shot up into the 60s and the backfire reverberated so badly in the mid-term elections, Newt Gingrich not only resigned as speaker, he resigned his congressional seat.
Twenty years, however, have had an impact. Time and history have come down against Clinton. While no one (including me then and now) believes his crimes should have resulted in overturning a whole presidential election, no longer is Clinton seen as the victim. Instead, he is now a disgraced former president, an embarrassment to his party, a perjurer, adulterer, and credibly accused predator whose appetites and ego sentenced a promising and vulnerable young woman to a life of notoriety.
For a number of reasons, Trump’s impeachment is nowhere near as unpopular as Clinton’s, even though (unlike Clinton) Trump is not being impeached for a crime, even though (unlike Clinton) there is no evidence Trump did anything illegal or unethical. One of those reasons is the “R” after Trump’s name. As a party, Democrat voters are much more unreasonable and partisan than Republicans. So no matter the evidence or lack of, they want Trump impeached. Enough Republicans in 1998 were principled enough to look past their personal dislike of Clinton and at the folly of overturning an election due to lies about a personal matter.
Then there’s the media factor. With the “R” after his name, the corporate media is literally spending billions and billions of dollars to ensure Democrat voters continue to support impeachment. Back in 1998, even though Clinton was guilty of felony perjury and obstruction, even though everyone admitted this, it was this same media that spent billions of dollars to rescue Clinton.
So what will Trump’s impeachment look like in 20 years, in 2039?
Well, history’s greatest gift is how it separates the wheat from the chaff, the emotional bullshit from the facts, and if this is it, history will be very unkind to Democrats and a media that dumbed down something as vital to our democracy as impeachment into just another cream pie in DC’s ongoing partisan food fight. Nothing will change the fact that this president is being impeached with zero evidence of a crime.
Worse still, he’s also being impeached for going to the courts for relief, which is an obscenity to everything that makes America America.
I could be wrong.
In the short term, though, there’s no question impeachment benefits the president.
The polls have decidedly moving against impeaching the president, his approval rating is surging, and his prospects have improved dramatically against his most likely 2020 opponents — especially in the only states that matter. The impeachment hearings backfired in a spectacular fashion, including against a corrupt media that still believe — LOL– it has the power to gaslight us.
The same Democrats who ran on getting things done, many of whom actually ran on not impeaching the president, have gotten exactly nothing done — other than to boost Trump’s 2020 chances. That’s going to be a big problem for them.
Most of all, though, impeachment benefits Trump in a way no one else has really picked up on yet. After four years as the American president, after five years as the head of the Republican party, after living working, wheeling, and dealing in the DC swamp, Trump will still be seen as The Outsider come Election Day next year.
Over the last 45 years, America has elected a number of outsider presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama… But by the time they ran for re-election, the swamp had swamped them. They were seen as creatures of the establishment, as the Head Swamp Creature.
This occurred partly through their compromises, primarily to keep the peace with the insidious FBI, CIA, and military industrial complex; and also through the establishment’s eventual acceptance and embrace of the outsider. It’s hard to play outsider after four years as the ultimate insider.
Trump, however, is still the belligerent outsider, not only because of his refusal to compromise (for the most part), and his non-stop rebellion against the repugnant norms that have brought about America’s slow and unnecessary decline; there is also the fact that the D.C. Establishment continues to relentlessly treat this duly elected president as a freak, an accident, a virus that must be expelled from the system.
Nothing burnishes Trump with the glow of The Outsider more than the burning insider hatred that continues to drive the media, Never Trump, and elected Democrats to launch one suicide mission after another against Trump where the explosive device is their own credibility.
Trump’s enemies can’t stop themselves from proving to voters that Trump is still the iconoclast we voted for in 2016, and what’s more appealing than that? Especially in this day and age; in a political world where voters might not love Trump, but hate Congress and truly despise the palace-guarding political media.