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Replacing Trump With Pence Would Be Pointless

June 4, 2017

Once last November’s American Presidential election results became official, many people began searching for ways to remove Donald Trump from office (some started doing so before he was even sworn in). The most commonly mentioned method for accomplishing this is via impeachment by the House of Representatives and subsequent conviction in the Senate. The House has twice impeached Presidents – Andrew Johnson in the wake of the Civil War and Bill Clinton as a result of the Monica Lewinski scandal. Neither was convicted by the Senate and served out their terms. The House was actively pursuing Articles of Impeachment concerning Richard Nixon as a result of the Watergate scandal in 1974 when he chose to resign rather than face a public trial in the Senate which was likely to remove him from office in any event.

President Trump has been besieged since the early days of his administration by allegations of collaborating (either personally or through his campaign staff) with Russian efforts to ensure his victory in the November, 2016 Presidential contest, or at least the political weakening of his main opponent, former Secretary of State, NY Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton. In addition, some highly controversial Executive Orders he signed, along with controversial cabinet appointments, ill-advised tweets and an all-out blitz to get the House to pass a bill aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act did nothing to improve his popularity, which was setting record lows for so early in an administration.

The circumstances surrounding the firing of Michael Flynn, his National Security Advisor, as well as his subsequent firing of FBI Director James Comey, have led to investigations in both houses of Congress and an independent counsel. The President’s performance during a recent international tour, topped off by his announcement that he was withdrawing US participation in the Paris Climate change initiatives have not helped his stature among many either here or abroad. Coming weeks promise to bring increased scrutiny to key White House advisors and cabinet members – including his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Attorney General Sessions. The fits and starts that have plagued the investigations and machinations leading to this point have resulted in broadening suspicions of a cover-up similar to the Watergate affair which brought down Nixon.

It’s still too early to speculate on the outcome of any of the ongoing investigations. Whether impeachment will take place or the 25th Amendment clause pertaining to the determination of whether the President can continue to perform his duties or needs to be forced out on those grounds begs the question – what will be left if and when the President is forced from office or resigns on his own accord? How will all this affect the American people and the nation itself on the world stage?

I was convinced prior to his nomination at the GOP National Convention last year that, if elected, Donald Trump would be the worst President of the United States of America in my lifetime, if not ever. He has done nothing since then to disabuse me of this opinion. The key promises he made to convince millions of Americans to vote for him appear to be empty ones. “Make America Great Again” seems to mean, for him, reversing any gains made in areas like health care, workers’ rights, education and the eradication of poverty. The list goes on and on. The health care plan makes life better for the 1% of Americans who receive a huge tax cut as a result. His budget bulks up an already outrageously large defense establishment at the expense of virtually every social program designed to help out ordinary Americans and alleviate the inequalities of an already unjust economic system.

The campaign rhetoric that gained him significant support at the polls in November has thus far seen Executive Orders banning travel to this country by people  from targeted predominantly Muslim countries in order to fight terrorism. The courts have so far stopped orders on the basis of Constitutionality, but the issue remains pending for the foreseeable future. The AHCA, the bill designed to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace the ACA, promises to leave somewhere in the neighborhood of 23 million people without health coverage who are receiving it now, while leaving others among the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions facing enormous premium increases. That’s if the Senate has enough members willing to commit career suicide to pass it there.

Tax and budget proposals, where they have been fleshed out all, appear to basically follow the age-old GOP budget principles backed for years by the tax-cuts-for-the-rich-budget-cuts-for-all-but-defense crowd, led by such people as Speaker Ryan, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Former Congressman, ex-Governor of Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence. Pence, you may recall, just ended a fairly lackluster tenure as Governor of Indiana, a right-to-work state that did nothing to improve the rights of its workers. He was also at the forefront of a movement to pass laws at the state level known as “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” designed to again legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals for whom the courts had granted rights in the form of marriage equality, the end of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military, etc.

Pence has been regarded as a strong fiscal and social conservative throughout his career in public office. His years of political activity and elective office experience would undoubtedly make it easier for him to expedite a legislative agenda through the GOP dominated Congress than it has so far proven to be for President Trump. That would not be a good thing for most Americans – especially those in the states that elected Trump last November who are not members of the top 1% of Americans financially speaking.

When Nixon went through Watergate, which took over two years to conclude, he was preceded in resigning from office by his Vice President, Spiro Agnew. Mike Pence is surely no Gerald Ford. As Trump’s handpicked VP and the person he placed in charge of the transition after the election, it stretches credulity to imagine that he was totally clueless as to the vetting which did or did not take place with regard to the appointments of Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner or others who may end up embroiled in the controversy that has resulted in our current predicament.

Congress has proven itself capable of accomplishing as little as possible without  bringing the government to a total standstill for more than a week or two. This media circus has given them a vacation of sorts from the kind of scrutiny they should be facing for the crap the House pulled passing the AHCA or the total lack of any other sort of serious legislating since they allegedly started this session back in January. The Senate has done little better, managing to confirm the motley cabinet of department destroyers that Trump nominated for Attorney General and most of the other cabinet positions. That’s not to mention nuking the filibuster rule to get Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court – and the ever-present threat to use it again if needed to force through something else in the future.

The major problem I have with the leading Republicans in charge of our government in Washington these days is not that they are not Democrats, but that they are not democrats. We need to stop this creeping regression from democracy into oligarchy and authoritarianism. Simply removing Trump from office is not enough to accomplish that. The increase in activism that has been spawned by some of what has been transpiring since the election may, over time, but it must be sustained. We must not forget to pay less attention to what is being said and more attention what is actually being done. The media seems to focus on shiny things and ignore some of the more subtle backroom goings on that come back to haunt us later. Is Congress going to do anything except hold hearings this year?

Further Suggested Readings:

Notre Dame Graduates Walk Out On Vice President Mike Pence At Commencement Address

The Donald Trump Impeachment Clock Is Ticking

Democrats Come After Mike Pence As Mike Flynn Is Accused Of Lying To The FBI

In Russiagate, Keep Your Eye on Pence

Heilemann: Pence Is Either Lying Or ‘Wildly’ Incompetent

The Post-Trump Era?

Conning the Con Man

Joe Scarborough: Mike Pence Is A Dupe Or A Liar

The Impeachment Trap: Be Careful What You Wish For

Notre Dame Grads Walk Out On VP Pence

Defending students’ Mike Pence walkout using the words of … Mike Pence.

The Case for President Pence

Mike Pence Is Toast: Anonymous Letter To WaPo Shows The Role Of Eric Prince In Trump-Russia

Does It Matter How Trump Goes Or Even That He Does?

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6 Comments
  1. >>> “The major problem I have with the leading Republicans in charge of our government in Washington these days is not that they are not Democrats, but that they are not democrats. We need to stop this creeping regression from democracy into oligarchy and authoritarianism. Simply removing Trump from office is not enough to accomplish that.”

    Well put.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In my view, Pence would be far worse than Trump because he has a far more effective and efficient right wing machine behind him.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Everyone remembers Watergate due to the stacks of evidence. Your line “This media circus has given them a vacation of sorts..” raised media ratings and dropped billions into their bank accounts. It’s all one-sided fiction both boring and repetitious as proven by Megyn Kelly’s interview with President Putin. How many times does the same question need to be asked based on rumor and innuendo?

    Trump won the election due to a low voter turnout. It’s time to move on, and like it or not, make the best of it. “we also see and realize that the political situation in the United States is influenced by those who have lost the elections but refuse to accept their defeat…” President Putin

    Like

  4. Cindy Bareswilt permalink

    Another excellent article.

    Like

  5. That’s What I Say!😂🇺🇸

    Like

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