Yeah, I’m talking about Trump, our president. At least if he was a drunk, there could be an intervention. He could get help. Get in a program. AA. Something. Unfortunately, he’s stone cold sober. We’re seeing Trump at the top of his game. This is who he is. We’re on notice. How much more do we need to know?
All the adjectives describing Trump have been used. I don’t have any to add. I do, however, have a few to describe our situation here in the USA and in the world. Dire. Dangerous. Deadly Serious. Unsustainable.
Hand wringing time is over. He has to be removed by the constitutional process sooner rather than later. Preferably, no later than six months from now.
I remember when I was involved with a rag tag group pushing for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. When things looked bleak and it looked like Nixon was going to get away with it we’d sit around and bitch and moan. There was a young Jewish girl who would always chime in and say “OK, path forward?”
She made us recognize how ridiculous it was to do nothing when there was an opportunity to do something and advance the ball down the field, even if only by baby steps.
So what kind of realistic plan can be developed to take down a Republican president when the House and Senate are in Republican hands and the President has a job approval rating that’s low, but still at least ten points higher than a rating that would make Impeachment and Removal possible? (Trump has a job approval rating around 37%. Nixon was at 24% when he resigned.)
It’s not that complicated. Trump’s 37% job approval rating has to be turned into 24%. Not by doing anything slippery or dishonest. And certainly not by doing nothing and hoping the problem somehow solves itself. But by direct face to face campaigning aimed at Trump’s base by one or more people with the guts, resources, and street credibility to do it.
Of course it’s unconventional. Trump’s election was unconventional. He’s not the only one allowed to be unconventional.
Remember Lincoln’s Law: Public sentiment is everything. Add to that, Callaghan’s Corollary to Lincoln’s Law: Public sentiment is always in flux and can be moved in one direction or another by the advocacy of individuals and groups. You don’t think so? Look up Sam Brown. As much as any other American civilian, he forced an end to the Viet Nam War. Look up Mario Salvio, he jump started the Sixties. Look up Schwerner, Chaney, Goodman, and King. They paid the ultimate price to advance the cause of civil rights.
How would someone actually go about challenging Trump’s support with his own base? You go to them where they are. They’re not on the Upper West Side of Manhattan or on Nob Hill in San Francisco or Beacon Hill in Boston. Try Central Pennsylvania, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the Panhandle of Florida.
You go there and tell them how Trump has let them down. That they have a right to more. That if someone in the Reagan Administration (or any another Administration) had used the language that Scaramucci had used about anybody they would have been escorted off of the White House grounds immediately and barred from ever returning. It took the new Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to demand that Trump do the obvious and recognize that Scaramucci was toxic and unemployable. Lesson: Trump’s instincts reflect on his character. He doesn’t have any.
In terms of tactics, I’d take a page from Newt Gingrich’s playbook. The plan he never got to implement because he never became the Republican nominee. When Newt thought he had the nomination locked up in 2012, he said he’d go anyplace Obama went and speak at an event, within four hours of Obama’s speech, correcting the record on everything Obama said. Sort of a delayed reaction debate. Carried off by the right person, in the right way, it could be a very effective strategy.
I’d follow the Newt model. If Trump is scheduled to speak in Panama City, FL 10AM Monday. Follow him and speak at 2PM and rebut everything he says. Then go on the local news and repeat. Then go to the local Mall and shake a few hands and pick up some volunteers.
Who could do this? Someone with a lot of energy, a good salesperson, an irrepressible optimist, with thick skin and a sense of humor.
If I had to give you one name, I’d give you Terry McAuliffe, the Governor of Virginia. He’s been successful in business. He won in a swing state and his term ends in six months. He’s high energy and a great salesman. Others would be Michael Moore, Steve Colbert, Jim Comey (yeah, FBI Comey) and Bernie Sanders. Or, all five of them working together in a loose coalition laying the foundation for the Impeachment and Removal of Trump. Sooner rather than later.
So, there you have it…the path forward…as the saying goes.
PS: I attended a book signing in NYC a week ago. The book, Devils Bargain, by Joshua Green was mostly about Steve Bannon and his impact on Trump’s winning campaign (huge) and his role in the White House. There were about 300 people there for the author’s comments, questions and book signing. The crowd was diverse. Our African American and Jewish brothers and sisters were well represented…as were gays and feminists. (How am I doing so far?).
As someone who has spoken out in defense of Bannon and against what I considered to be the totally unfair attacks on him as an anti-semite and a racist I was more than a little bit curious about the tone and content of the questions.
There were about 20 questions. I was pleasantly surprised that not a single question or comment was hostile to Bannon on character or prejudice grounds. Nobody even remotely suggested Bannon was a racist or an anti-semite.
As I’ve said every time I’ve discussed this topic…”hang in there Steve Bannon.”
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.