One of the first concerns that comes to mind in thinking about a post Trump world is Vice President Mike Pence, who would replace Trump in the Oval Office. Pence does not appear to share Trump’s irrationality, narcissism, or unpredictability, but he has the reverse problem: he is predictably conservative and based on his record as a Governor of Indiana, he would likely be too much so.
Some wags have suggested that Trump selected him to be insurance against impeachment for that very reason.
With Republicans in control of both Houses of Congress, the general opposition view at the moment is that it will be a steep climb to get rid of Trump, though a lot of people would prefer we do so sooner rather than later.
Though impeachment has already entered the popular discourse, Democratic leadership has largely avoided discussing the strategy for accomplishing that. But given the escalating pressure from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and the increasing willingness of Congressional committees to issue subpoenas, Democrats must begin to prepare for the possibility of life after Trump. We must avoid crying wolf while at the same time preparing for its arrival.
As long as Trump is wrestling with his Russia issues (and whatever other crises he sparks along the way) he is unlikely to get much done on health care, the budget, tax reform, infrastructure, and immigration.
The first step in a sound plan to be rid of Trump is to keep the heat on through this time next year. That would contribute effectively to retaking the House in 2018. There is even a small, but real, possibility of adding three Democratic seats to retake control of the Senate.
Democratic control of Congress would enable full and deep investigations of Trump’s finances, conflicts of interest and, of course, the role of Russia in the election. Depending on what those investigations uncovered, the way would be clear to put the clinches on a Trump impeachment in 2019.
The chances that a Pence Presidency could result in too many radical conservative appointments or pieces of legislation would be largely avoided.
Thus in short-hand terms: (1) keep Trump bottled up until after the 2018 elections; (2) keep Pence bottled up until January 2021; and (3) elect as President one of the new crop of fabulous new young leaders who have been coming to Congress in recent years.
In the meanwhile we should all make it a point to get to know who those young people are. We must be sure that our candidates are, in addition to all their other important qualities, proven vote getters. In 2016 there was not a single Presidential candidate who was a proven vote getter.
And, look where that has us now.
There is no law that says that people who are sound and solid have to be boring! But, to be successful, they do have to show that they can win primaries and general elections while inspiring support from colleagues.
Let’s start now!