Notes from a conversation with a political strategist I respect. His scenario makes sense to me.
In the end, Trump goes down to impeachment. Here’s how it goes and why:
- Speaker Pelosi does NOT want to impeach Trump quickly. She wants him right there as long as possible so she can win 2020 elections because of his behavior.
- She will investigate for as long as possible, driving him crazy.
- She will then deliver an impeachment charge to the Senate, which would then hold a “trial,’’ as called for in the Constitution.
- Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell WILL take up impeachment. But, why?
- Because McConnell cares about three things: his own re-election, his position as majority leader, and forever placing the Supreme Court and the levers of government in Republican hands for a generation.
- One thing McConnell DOES NOT care about is Trump. McConnell and Republicans care about Trump only to the extent they can be re-elected. They don’t respect him. They don’t like him.
Here is where it gets interesting:
- Pelosi delivers impeachment to the Senate. McConnell delivers on impeachment and convicts Trump (put aside the question of whether Trump actually leaves office – that is a big one).
- Mike Pence becomes president, but immediately sees he cannot win the Republican nomination because he is so damaged by his relationship with Trump.
- In steps Mitt Romney to win the nomination and run against the Democratic nominee.
It is against these steps that you can judge the behavior of Romney in the coming weeks. He will gradually increase his criticism of Trump as the president is further weakened.
Much of this can go off the rails and predictions as we know are hazy. But always remember that the Republican senators don’t like Trump. No one does. At the moment, they fear him. But once they don’t fear him, he is doomed.