Our government is supposed to work for working families. Instead:
??25% of the federal government shut down.
??380,000 workers sent home.
??420,000 federal employees working without pay.
Stop playing politics with people's lives, @realDonaldTrump. End the shutdown.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 28, 2018
From Charlie Pierce’s latest sub-required ‘Last Call’ newsletter:
… The fight over the wall was the first indication that some gears were coming unsprung. At a now-famous photo-op with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the president* looked utterly at sea, obsequious at one moment and truculent the next, boasting that he would be “proud” to shut down the government if he didn’t get the money for his big, beautiful wall. This moment brought home starkly the change in politics that is going to come when the Democrats take over the House of Representatives in January. Hearing the president* take ownership of a possible shutdown on his own behalf and that of his party made more than a few Republicans puddle up in their shoes…
And now, a NYTimes op-ed from Elizabeth Drew, who made the journalist hall of fame with her coverage of Watergate — “The Inevitability of Impeachment”:
An impeachment process against President Trump now seems inescapable. Unless the president resigns, the pressure by the public on the Democratic leaders to begin an impeachment process next year will only increase. Too many people think in terms of stasis: How things are is how they will remain. They don’t take into account that opinion moves with events.
Whether or not there’s already enough evidence to impeach Mr. Trump — I think there is — we will learn what the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has found, even if his investigation is cut short. A significant number of Republican candidates didn’t want to run with Mr. Trump in the midterms, and the results of those elections didn’t exactly strengthen his standing within his party. His political status, weak for some time, is now hurtling downhill…
I don’t share the conventional view that if Mr. Trump is impeached by the House, the Republican-dominated Senate would never muster the necessary 67 votes to convict him. Stasis would decree that would be the case, but the current situation, already shifting, will have been left far behind by the time the senators face that question. Republicans who were once Mr. Trump’s firm allies have already openly criticized some of his recent actions, including his support of Saudi Arabia despite the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and his decision on Syria. They also openly deplored Mr. Mattis’s departure.
It always seemed to me that Mr. Trump’s turbulent presidency was unsustainable and that key Republicans would eventually decide that he had become too great a burden to the party or too great a danger to the country. That time may have arrived. In the end the Republicans will opt for their own political survival. Almost from the outset some Senate Republicans have speculated on how long his presidency would last. Some surely noticed that his base didn’t prevail in the midterms.
But it may well not come to a vote in the Senate. Facing an assortment of unpalatable possibilities, including being indicted after he leaves office, Mr. Trump will be looking for a way out. It’s to be recalled that Mr. Nixon resigned without having been impeached or convicted. The House was clearly going to approve articles of impeachment against him, and he’d been warned by senior Republicans that his support in the Senate had collapsed. Mr. Trump could well exhibit a similar instinct for self-preservation. But like Mr. Nixon, Mr. Trump will want future legal protection…
Nixon’s GOP backed Tricky Dick 110% — until they didn’t. The old crook was able to broker a soft landing, in no small part because so many other Repubs were complicit in his crimes. But Trump’s GOP is a lot dumber, crueler, and infinitely more self-centered than the early 1970s incarnation; I’m not sure they have the power, or the skill, to hustle their Dear Leader off to a gilt-plated exile without falling apart entirely. Or maybe that’s just what I hope.
Happy Friday, y’all!