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A bit of a quandary

I think it was only a day or two after the election that I started to hear predictions that Trump would not serve out his term. At first, I dismissed the notion out of hand. He was a valuable commodity to the Republicans; on his watch, they could do whatever they liked so long as they kissed his ring. He has no fixed beliefs, after all, so he will be willing to let them do as they like, as long as it doesn’t take a dollar out of his own pocket. The idea of a Republican congress impeaching its own seemed ludicrous.

The events of the last week or so have made me re-think my position. It is entirely possible that, as more facts are leaked to the press, the Russian thing could be the beginning of the end for him. The Republicans might very well come to the conclusion that Pence is a more than acceptable alternative. In fact, I’m sure they would prefer that Pence were president, and one of the major things holding them back from dumping Trump is the political damage it might do to them. As time goes on, and Trump becomes more of a liability, they may decide that they have more to lose than gain by keeping him in office.

Which brings me to the quandary to which I refer in the title.

I would prefer Pence, because if Trump is overthrown, the fascists who surround him will go down with him. We can probably survive Pence, but I’m not sure we can survive Trump. But it’s the mechanism that might lead to Trump’s downfall that gives me pause.

It seems clear to me that the intelligence community, with the obvious exception of the FBI, does not like Trump. He can’t change that by changing the heads of the various agencies. Those who have dedicated their lives to that type of service are fully capable of going rogue if they believe the President of the United States is a danger to their view of what the world order should be. My guess is that we will see a steady stream of leaks about this Russian stuff and probably other dirt the various intelligence agencies have on Trump and his lackeys. Over time, everything in that uncorroborated report (you know, the one with the peeing prostitutes) will be corroborated or confirmed by unnamed sources within the intelligence community. They probably even have the videos. It makes sense to release it in dribs and drabs. Given the present state of the Republican Congress, if it came out all at once there would be some tut-tutting and then forgetting. But if it comes out slowly it becomes a constant presence on the front page, and the pressure will build for them to do something about it.

At the same time, Trump will be giving them ever more grounds to dump him. They really don’t have to prove high crimes and misdemeanors anymore, though for the reasons set forth here, the 25th Amendment is probably a non-starter. Still, his obvious mental illness could be a factor in pushing them towards impeachment, and provide some cover for them. It wouldn’t be hard for them to come up with some impeachable offenses, considering the fact that he is using his office for personal gain and has probably made a corrupt bargain with Putin.

But, let’s get back to the intelligence community that will be feeding the frenzy. They will be ultimately responsible for what will be, in a very real sense, a coup engineered by them. If it happens once, it can happen again. In fact, in a way, it has already happened, since Comey staged a pre-coup prior to the election. The question is whether the Bannon administration poses such a serious threat to the Republic that we should be willing to swallow hard and overlook the manner in which it is taken down. I find it very strange to find myself on the same side as the CIA, but I also consider stopping the march of fascism to be our number one priority.

Overall, I incline toward the view that the threat from Bannon is too great, but I would freely admit it’s probably too close to call.

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