Once again, I find that the time I take away from this blog to travel to New York and teach coincides with developments so remarkable that before I can return to blogging the world has changed. Now that Mick Mulvaney has issued an official, on camera, confession of guilt on behalf of his boss, President Trump, it remains only to draft the articles, listen to a few more rats scurrying down the ropes from the sinking ship, and present the articles for a vote to the full House.
What on earth is there to say about what has been happening?
Since I have no more information or insight than any of you, I will content myself with making some predictions, confident that most of them will prove incorrect.
1. Trump will be impeached by the House, probably before Thanksgiving. The House vote will be preceded by televised hearings during which a series of former and present Executive Branch officials will testify in vivid color. This will cause the polls to shift against Trump, causing some Republicans to jump ship. Nevertheless, no more than a handful of House Republicans will vote “aye.” [Or is it “yea”?]
2. The trial in the Senate will be accelerated, but this means held to two weeks or so, not to fifteen minutes as a humorously suggested a week or two ago. Trump will be acquitted, but I confess I cannot now see whether any significant number of Republicans will defect and vote to convict.
3. Biden will fade, Sanders will not surge, Harris and Buttigieg will languish, and Warren will win the nomination, gaining more Black votes as time goes on.
4. Trump will not resign [I confess I am uncertain about this]. The campaign will rival those of the early 19th century in ugliness, and Trump will lose. If the Democrats squeak through in Texas, which is possible, it will not be close in the Electoral College. If they do not, it may be close. Either way, Trump will rage, claim that the election has been stolen, and do everything he can to bring the entire nation down around his ears. He will issue veiled or overt calls for revolution, and they will result in little or no actual domestic unrest. He will actually vacate the White House, despite fears that he will resist. He will also not resign after the election but before the Inauguration in order for Pence to issue a plenary pardon to him. [This too is one I am unsure of.]
5. In the longer term, I simply cannot figure out what the future holds for the Republican Party.
Now I must return to my real work, grading midterm papers.