Trumpland Day 28: It’s Time for President Pence

Four weeks. That’s how long we’ve been living under the Turdpol Kakistocracy. During that time, President Trump and his administration have proven that they are every bit as incompetent as many feared during the campaign. That’s actually good news. Owing to their collective embrace of tyrannical ideas, it’s encouraging to find out that the administration is incapable of implementing its most outrageous ideas without running foul of reality. But while their most evil tendencies are being tempered, that incompetency, and a possible malignant embrace of foreign influences, means that it’s time for Congress to end this farce.

Just this week, a report by the Washington Post into contacts between National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and Russian diplomats led to Flynn’s resignation after only 24 days on the job, a record for swiftness in finding the exit. In a December phone conversation with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, Flynn undermined then-President Obama’s sanctions on Russia for interfering with the 2016 elections, then lied about that part of his conversation. No one in the current administration is disputing these events, yet Trump himself has indicated that if the Post had not uncovered the truth, Flynn would still be in his job.

Think about that for a second. Trump knew for weeks that his National Security Advisor had violated the trust the administration placed in him before he even started on the job. Yet it took a leak about Flynn’s conduct for Trump to act. Flynn’s betrayal wasn’t enough to cost him his job.

A day after Flynn’s resignation, the New York Times published an article reporting that Trump campaign officials had been in constant contact with Russian intelligence figures for months leading up to the election. The article stated clearly that, so far, no evidence has been found of collusion, but the Times article feels like only the beginning. This has been a week of chaos and crisis for the administration, and it appears they have much to hide. Every journalist from here to Timbuktu is going to keep digging into the administration’s ties with Russia, and I have no doubt that Tuesday’s story from the Times will not be the last bombshell.

Questions about Trump’s ongoing relationship with Russia have been mounting for the better part of a year, since before he made his flippant remarks about Russian hackers digging up dirt on Hillary Clinton last July. Even if the contacts between Trump, his people, and Russian officials are innocuous(ha!), there is more than enough justification for Congress to convene a special investigation to find out just what the hell has been going on. These contacts have been serious enough to raise the specter of treason, which is not something said lightly. There is a very real chance that Trump, or others in his campaign and then in his administration, have engaged a hostile foreign nation to benefit their own political positions. If that is true, then Trump’s presidency is forfeit and, for reasons of national security, the administration must be ended.

Enter Vice President Mike Pence.

The alliance between the Republican Party and their president has always been a quid pro quo arrangement. Trump has been tolerated by Republican members of Congress because his constituents are their constituents, and, because, with an ostensible Republican in the White House, a Republican Congress can finally send big-ticket bills like healthcare repeal or Paul Ryan’s magic budget to a president who can be expected sign them. But the administration’s incompetence has been a factor in frustrating these efforts. With every passing day Trump becomes more and more embattled, and his administration becomes more and more chaotic. He is not the partner, or the puppet, that Republicans expected. He is, in fact, an unmitigated disaster, and it’s becoming clear that the Republican agenda is imperiled by his presence in the Oval Office.

As soon as Republicans are able to swallow the fact that Trump isn’t as useful as they wished, they will begin the investigative process that leads to Trump’s impeachment. Clever maneuvering will be used to make sure the Trump stink doesn’t cling too much to Pence, and they will do what needs to be done to get the presidential partner they desire.

It’s a cold calculation on their part, but if cold calculation is needed to end a grave threat to the country, then so be it. Liberals have every reason to be appalled at the prospect of a Pence administration, but at this point, consigning the Trump presidency to the history books is imperative.

It took over two-and-a-half years, from the time of the Watergate break-in in January 1972, for President Nixon to resign in August of 1974. We can’t afford to wait that long. Whether it is for the administration’s collusion with Russia, or Trump’s ongoing violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, for the good of the country President Donald Trump must go.