Blessedly, after yesterday’s late afternoon news dump, there’s not much going on in politics this morning. Trump is getting ready for a 17-day vacation. Congress has gone on recess (but not before ensuring that Trump couldn’t make any recess appointments while they’re away), and Donald Trump is busy watching cable news and retweeting things like this:
I've never witnessed such hatred for a man who is willing to work for free to make his beloved country a better place. It is pathological.— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 4, 2017
Sure, James Woods. He works for “free,” except for all the ways in which his businesses profit from his Presidency. Hey James Woods: Did you hear about the Trump Organization evicting the Secret Service from Trump Tower because they weren’t paying enough? Because that’s a thing that happened under this Administration. Or the millions that Trump has collected from members of Mar-a-Lago after membership dues increased after he was sworn in? Or all the vacation that Trump takes on his properties, which then collect revenue from the government which has to pay for staff/aides/Secret Service accommodations? Or all the times he used the powers of his Presidency to promote the Women’s U.S. Open, which took place on his property?
But sure, he “works for free.”
ANYWAY, once or twice a day (or three times, on some days), I jump on the site and breathlessly report the latest developments in politics, and 90 percent of the time, those developments are not good for the Trump Administration (because I am selective about what I publish). However, no matter what happens — whether it be an email suggesting collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, Donald Trump firing the FBI director, or even a special prosecutor impaneling a grand jury to go after members of the Administration — invariably, someone will say, “Is someone actually going go to do something about it this time!” or “But nothing ever happens!” In Slack, this is usually Jodi, who is perpetually worried that no one in the administration will ever suffer any consequences. It’s a reasonable concern. Donald Trump has failed upwards his entire life, and he’s never, ever felt the consequences of his actions.
But look: Republicans are genuinely starting to stiffen their backbones, and not just John McCain or Lindsay Graham. There’s the Russian sanctions bill, which passed overwhelmingly. There’s the fact that the Republican Congress won’t let the President make any recess appointments. There’s the Republican Senate standing up for Jeff Sessions (whether he deserves it or not), and there are two bipartisan bills currently making their way through Congress that would make it hard — if not impossible — for Trump to fire the special prosecutor. Hell, the Senate Majority Leader is spending up to $8 million of his own Super Pac money to prevent a couple of Trump Republicans from being elected in Alabama.
Slowly, but surely, the worm is turning. And those that wiffle-waffle in their support or lack thereof of Donald Trump are feeling the pressure: I saw a poll earlier this week that showed that Dean Heller’s approval rating in Nevada is at 22 percent, which is somehow even lower than the President’s current approval ratings (33 percent). Meanwhile, Dems and Republicans are even starting to work together in some places. They’re coming together in opposition to Trump!
And it’s only been six months (six months that feel like 10 years).
Still, for those that worry that Trump will never suffer any consequences, I found this paragraph — from a Vox piece on the obstruction of justice charges that will no doubt be leveled at Donald Trump at some point — strangely comforting:
“What you are going to have is the potential for a powerful obstruction case,” a senior law enforcement official said. “You are going to have the [former] FBI director testify, and then the acting director, the chief of staff to the FBI director, the FBI’s general counsel, and then others, one right after another. This has never been the word of Trump against what [James Comey] has had to say. This is more like the Federal Bureau of Investigation versus Donald Trump.”
It’s not going to come down to James Comey vs. Donald Trump. Or Mueller vs. Donald Trump. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to 10 high level FBI officials vs. Trump. Plus Sessions. Plus Rod Rosenstein. And Sally Yates. Plus whatever dozens of witnesses Mueller will be able to recruit, or flip.
If there’s something there — and if not collusion, then at least obstruction of justice in addition to possibly numerous financial crimes — Mueller is going to build an incredibly strong case, and when he does, these Republicans — who are already softening on Trump as his approval ratings plummet — are going to welcome his impeachment. And if it doesn’t happen before the midterms, right now “Generic Democrats” are beating Republicans by 14 points in hypothetical matchups in next year’s elections. FOURTEEN POINTS. Even Democrats will have a hard time screwing that up.
Just give it time. All of these breathlessly reported breaking stories won’t break Trump individually, but they add up. Eventually, the Administration will topple.