During his illegitimate and failing presidency and his rapidly worsening criminal scandals, there has been a lot of discussion regarding if, when and how Donald Trump will go down. This has been based on guesswork out of pure necessity, because there almost no precedent for any of this in United States history. However, even as much as the laws of out land are being tested, the laws of politics will still stand.
Many people in both parties believe that political outcomes just sort of happen. But if you look at it more carefully, you see that there are laws governing politics just as much as there are laws that govern physics. The laws of politics are certainly more ethereal, more difficult to define, and harder to measure – but they’re definitely there. Politicians can’t just do whatever the hell they want, at least not without consequence. It never works that way. In politics, there is a price for every action.
When Michael Flynn’s illegal contacts with the Russian Ambassador were publicly exposed, Trump quickly fired Flynn to contain the scandal. That worked for a little while, in that the public and the media was satisfied temporarily that this was just a Flynn-Russia scandal. But now, a year later, Flynn has made a plea deal against Trump, and he’s giving evidence that’ll expose Traitor Trump’s role in the Russia scandal.
When Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, it was a criminal act of obstruction. Even while people keep wondering how Trump “got away” with that crime, the truth is that he didn’t; it caused the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation. I could keep on going. When a president pushes for legislation that he believes is important despite it being unpopular, even if it passes, his approval rating drops as a result. There is always a cost to these things. Always.
There are other crucial laws of politics. Politicians care about getting reelected more than anything else. They may be willing to take some risks by being on the unpopular side of an issue. They may even be willing to put themselves at risk for troubled members of their own party. However, at the end of the day it’s all about getting reelected. The Republicans in Congress are not trying to save Trump because they like him. They are doing it because they believe it’s their only shot at reelection in November. If they throw him out of office now, they might get even more electoral blowback from Trump’s base.
But you can rest assured, because if Trump’s approval rating were in the 20s instead of the 30s, he’d be out on his ass right now. Why? The Republicans only care about getting reelected! Ultimately, there is nothing beyond reelection. If you lose the election, your career is over. There’s not a single Republican in Congress who would choose to lose his or her cushy job just to try to protect Donald Trump. Not even one.
This brings us to the last law of politics. Now that Robert Mueller is closing in, and Donald Trump’s impeachment feels more real, some within the Resistance are raising the concern that Trump will merely stay in office even after he’s been exposed as a criminal and nobody wants him to be there anymore. But that’s not how the world works either. No politician can ever do things without consequences.
I couldn’t begin to tell you exactly when Donald Trump will become so weighed down by scandal that the laws of politics take him down for good. But I can tell you that when that time comes, he won’t be able to stop it. He’s not magic. Once critical mass is achieved where Trump is a pure liability to the Republicans, he’s gone. How do we know this? Because it won’t be in anyone’s interest to let him stay.