WE MIGHT WONDER what benefits impeachment is likely to yield, ponders Andrew Bacevich in “The Real Cover-Up: Putting Donald Trump’s Impeachment in Context.” As to the benefits of impeachment, Bacevich believes that answering that question “requires examining four scenarios that describe the range of possibilities awaiting the nation.”
Andrew J. Bacevich is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think-tank in Washington, DC (aren’t they all there?) that “promotes ideas that move U.S. foreign policy away from endless war and toward vigorous diplomacy in the pursuit of international peace.”
He is also an author whose most recent book is The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory, which the publisher calls a “thought-provoking and penetrating account of the post-Cold war follies and delusions that culminated in the age of Donald Trump.”
Bacevich’s cover-up piece is featured in today’s TomDispatch (October 8, 2019), a newsletter that boasts it is “a regular antidote to the mainstream media.” Here are the four scenarios he envisions for the Congressional impeachment of President Donald Trump in the next thirteen months:
Caricature by André Carrilho (Portugal).
He will do the right thing
“The first and most to be desired (but least likely) is that Trump will tire of being a public piñata and just quit. With the thrill of flying in Air Force One having worn off, being president can’t be as much fun these days. Why put up with further grief? How much more entertaining for Trump to retire to the political sidelines where he can tweet up a storm and indulge his penchant for name-calling.
And think of the ‘deals’ an ex-president could make in countries like Israel, North Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia on which he’s bestowed favors. Cha-ching! As of yet, however, the president shows no signs of taking the easy (and lucrative) way out.”
Caricature by Valentin Chibrit (Romania).
They will do the right thing
“The second possible outcome sounds almost as good but is no less implausible: a sufficient number of Republican senators rediscover their moral compass and ‘do the right thing,’ joining with Democrats to create the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump and send him packing.
In the Washington of that classic twentieth-century film director Frank Capra, with Jimmy Stewart holding forth on the Senate floor [in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington] and a moist-eyed Jean Arthur cheering him on from the gallery, this might have happened. In the real Washington of ‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell, think again.”
Caricature by Steve Brodner (United States).
They will do the right thing
“The third somewhat seamier outcome might seem a tad more likely. It postulates that McConnell and various GOP senators facing reelection in 2020 or 2022 will calculate that turning on Trump just might offer the best way of saving their own skins. The president’s loyalty to just about anyone, wives included, has always been highly contingent, the people streaming out of his administration routinely making the point.
So why should senatorial loyalty to the president be any different? At the moment, however, indications that Trump loyalists out in the hinterlands will reward such turncoats are just about nonexistent. Unless that base were to flip, don’t expect Republican senators to do anything but flop.”
Caricature by Jan Op De Beeck (Belgium).
We will do the smart thing
“That leaves outcome number four, easily the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict. Trump will therefore stay right where he is, with the matter of his fitness for office effectively deferred to the November 2020 elections.
Except as a source of sadomasochistic diversion, the entire agonizing experience will, therefore, prove to be a colossal waste of time and blather.”
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page was cropped from the caricature of Donald Trump by Frank Hoppmann of Germany. I found this caricature and the ones above in “Top 10 Donald Trump Caricatures”
This article is a teaser to get you to click on over to Bacevich’s article and read it in its entirety. I don’t agree with everything the author believes, but I believe he’s a helluva lot smarter and better read in this thing than I ever hope to be. I do want to extend the teasing by offering one more quote from his article:
“Trump’s critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked.”