These are the last days of Trump. Next: the rise of Pence.

Summary: The recent resignations and firings of Trump’s staff are a large step on the road to the end of Trump’s administration. If so, next comes the era of Pence. Bush Jr. changed America as few Presidents have. The stars might align for Pence to do so even more.

Donald Trump - facepalm

NYT: “Turnover at a Constant Clip: The Trump Administration’s Major Departures

“President Trump’s record-breaking staff churn does not appear to be ending anytime soon.”
See the amazing graphic.
See Brookings’ comparison of Trump’s turnover to that of previous Administrations.

Turnover in a management team is one of the most serious signs of a dysfunctional organization, a symptom of a deep and large internal breaks. No organization can function well while in continual flux. Worse, this destroys internal trust and can further increase both turmoil and turnover. Performance decays as people either worry about their reputation and jobs. It is the extreme case of a toxic work environment.

Turnover is especially problematic for a president’s team. The pressures are immense, the workload limitless, the range of problems beyond the comprehension of any one (or five) people. A team takes time to form and learn to work together. Constant turnover makes both of those processes difficult. And the more turnover, recruiting competent replacements becomes more difficult. Internal turmoil reduces its ability to deal with both foes and allies. Deterioration in its reputation encourages foes and discourages allies.

Trump survived the first year because of his team. The replacements are quite different. Larry Kudlow as director of the National Economic Council, despite his record of amazingly bad predictions (“he has elevated flamboyant wrongness to a kind of performance art“) and belief in fringe economic theories (details here and here). John Bolton (who plans more large-scale firings) as National Security Advisor, despite his record of as incompetent administrator and advocate of disastrous policies (details here and here).

This rapid and increasing turnover is another factor pushing the Trump administration to its doom. It’s a death spiral.

Now for the bad news

Now the situation grows worse for Trump, with turnover in one team where it could prove fatal. These people deal with foes who will destroy Trump should his team fall behind the situation or make serious mistakes.

“President Trump, whose top attorney handling the Russia probe resigned Thursday, is struggling to find top-notch defense lawyers willing to represent him in the case, according to multiple Trump advisers familiar with the negotiations. …

“The difficulties in finding representation come as the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III intensifies its focus on Trump’s actions. John Dowd, the president’s chief lawyer in handling the Mueller probe since last year, quit Thursday morning after several strategy disputes with the president, who ultimately lost confidence in the veteran lawyer, three Trump aides said.

“Dowd had been the president’s main point of contact with Mueller’s office, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and contacts with Trump campaign members. Dowd also had been negotiating the terms for the president to sit for an interview with Mueller’s team as it examines whether Trump obstructed justice by seeking to shut down the investigation.

“Despite overtures by Trump’s aides and Trump himself in the past weeks, several lawyers have passed on taking on the president as a client. …’These major law firms have spent millions of dollars on their image,’ said one Trump adviser, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘It’s political. They are saying that representing this president is just too controversial.’ …

“Dowd complained to colleagues that Trump had ignored his advice and tweeted attacks on Mueller and other topics hours after Dowd and other advisers urged him not to, those colleagues said. Dowd also said he was personally insulted by the president’s efforts to hire other lawyers. One person familiar with the dynamics said Trump frequently praised his legal team to their faces but criticized them when they were not around. …

“{Dowd} and the president had been increasingly disagreeing over strategy…. One Trump adviser said the president berated Dowd for not doing enough to, in the president’s view, highlight corruption and political bias in the FBI to undercut the legitimacy of the Mueller probe. …

“At 10 a.m. Thursday, Dowd resigned without consulting Trump, three advisers said. Aides said they were unsuccessful in asking him to hold off until they could confer with the president and prepare a statement. …

“Earlier this month, Trump dubbed news reports of trouble on his legal team as inaccurate. ‘The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out,’ Trump tweeted March 11. ‘Wrong. I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job.’ Eight days later, the president hired diGenova, and Dowd is now off the team.” {WaPo, 22 March 2018.}

What comes next?

Trump’s job approval remains low but stable. The public does not care about inside baseball matters such as staff turnover. The turmoil has not yet produced ill results visible to the public, but that will happen eventually. The resulting collapse of Trump’s support will initiate the final chapter for President Trump.

Trump Job Approval

The most radical change in the American system since Lincoln

President Trump might spark a change in our politics that is both unexpected and (as it will seem afterwards) inevitable. If his performance leads to a collapse in his job approval ratings, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress might impeach and remove him – putting the solidly far-Right Mike Pence at the helm.

Trump would be the first President removed by Congress, but not the last. Once the precedent is created, Congress might more actively use its power to remove presidents. This would be a large step towards making Congress the power center the Founders intended it to be. It would also make America’s political regime more similar to the parliamentary systems used by most other democracies. That would be good for America.

For more about this see The GOP might impeach Trump, changing our politics forever – for the better.

Mike Pence - official portrait - 112th Congress
Official portrait on 11 June 2010.

President Pence

The smartest man in Washington.

Vice President Mike Pence is the natural heir to Trump. He has experience: six-term congressman and one term governor of Indiana. He young (58) compared to the elderly tag-team of Clinton-Sanders-Trump. He is a competent and hard-working far-right politician (see his Wikipedia entry).

See how Pence avoids the firefights around Trump, preferring to act Presidential — patiently waiting to win.

Historians will see the Pence Rule as his break-out moment. “In 2002 Mike Pence told The Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side.” {Source: WaPo.} Karl Popper said that successful predictions are the gold standard of science. Pence might prove that true of politics as well, if millions of men take his advice in response to the #MeToo hysteria.

Accepting the offer of Trump’s long-shot VP candidacy revealed him as one of the smartest people in DC. Pence has three ways of inheriting the Presidency. First, after an attack on Trump. There have been over 20 attempts to kill US presidents since 1860: six have been shot, four fatally. Second, after Trump resigns or is declared incapable due to health problems (he’ll be 71 on June 14). Third, due to impeachment.

Pence is only 57 years old, easily able to serve up to the ten years maximum allowed under the 22nd Amendment. If Pence has a strong economy in 2020, he probably will lead the GOP to a decisive win.

The Democrats can barely cope with Clown Trump. President Pence would crush them. Imagine competent far-right president driving the strongly conservative Congress, backed by a hard-right majority on the Supreme Court (easily possible in the next few years).

Our ruling elites have long sought to convert America into a stable plutocracy, like mid-19th century Britain. They were frustrated on the eve of success by the Great Depression, WWII, and the Cold War — all forcing mobilization of the citizenry, increasing social mobility and reducing inequality. By 2027 they might succeed, giving us a New America.

"Change" signal

 For More Information

Useful readings.

  • Stephen Walt tells the bad news about Trump’s national security team in “Welcome to the Dick Cheney Administration” at Foreign Policy – “The problem with John Bolton isn’t that he’s an extremist. It’s that he’s mainstream.”
  • Hawks Always Fail Upwards” by Daniel Larison at The America Conservative. Trump’s appointments show our madness.
  • See “Will Trump be impeached – or is it just a liberal fantasy?” in The Guardian — “Only two presidents in history have been impeached, but murmurs continue to surround Trump. Here’s how the process would work – if it would at all.” They do not say why liberals fantasize about having the competent and far-Right Pence as President.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the Constitution, about ways to reform America, about Trump and the new populism, about RussiaGateabout impeachment, and especially these…

  1. Trump’s win revealed the hollowness of US politics. Stronger leaders will exploit this.
  2. Trump is the next logical step as America becomes a plutocracy.
  3. See the warnings about Trump’s infrastructure plan. It’s betraying populism.
  4. Debunking RussiaGate, attempts to stop the new Cold War.

Books about impeachment in America – and the case against Trump.

The Case for Impeachment
Available at Amazon.

One of the best introductions to impeachment in modern American politics is The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture since 1960 (2008) by the historian David E. Kyvig (deceased). For more background see these five books about the process and history of impeachment in America.

The latest and most provocative book on this subject is Allan Lichtman’s The Case for Impeachment, released in April. He is a professor of history at American University. From the publisher…

“In the fall of 2016, Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Trump would defeat the heavily favored Democrat, Hillary Clinton. Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority.

The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, details about Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Bill Clinton’s hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “character assassination” and “a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,” Trump has attacked the “dishonest media,” claiming, “the press should be ashamed of themselves.”

“Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters—the durability of our institutions is being undermined and the public’s confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself. Most citizens—politics aside—want to know where the country is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump’s presidency, smoke has become fire.”

Read the first chapter here.

34 thoughts on “These are the last days of Trump. Next: the rise of Pence.

  1. Interesting analysis.

    What is telling is that the Guardian article was written this time last year and it implies that impeachment was going to happen ‘soon but went on to talk about how long the investigations take, and the bar for impeachment being high. It may be that Trump is already too far into his term for there to be any impeachment unless by some ‘miracle’ he gets a second term.

    I can’t believe that anyone would give Trump the nod to run for a second term, perhaps that’ll be Pence’s opportunity. But as they say, there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.

    1. Steve,

      (1) “implies that impeachment was going to happen ‘soon”

      People usually overestimate the rate & magnitude of short-term change and underestimate long-term change.

      (2) “It may be that Trump is already too far into his term for there to be any impeachment”

      Clinton was impeached on December 19 of the second year of his second term. It would be more effective for his opponents (esp in the GOP) to get rid of him during his first term.

      (3) “I can’t believe that anyone would give Trump the nod to run for a second term”

      I find it easy to imagine. Americans vote based on factors largely unrelated to a President’s actions. Most importantly, the economy. But also natural disasters and foreign policy events. Trump need only be lucky.

  2. Hardly the change Barack Obama was thinking about when he said he wanted to ‘fundamentally change’ America!
    But, perhaps the kind of change ‘fly over’ America was dreaming of when they elected Trump?

    1. Len,

      Who knows what Obama was thinking of? Official assassination of American citizens? Massive crackdown on govt whistleblowers and leakers? More and bigger wars? Unconstitutional acts of Presidential power? Institutionalization of Bush’s permanent war powers?

      Judge a president by what he did.

  3. Nice analysis. I like the way things are turning out. When people asked me why I voted for Trump, I told them I had three reasons. 1. Keep Clintons out of White House. 2. Kick the furniture around in DC. 3. Trump’s easier to impeach.

    What’s important is what happens after Trump. Heh heh.

    You mention the UK Glory Days of the late 19th Century, the Victorian era. Bill Lind is fascinated with that era. Maybe That’s why he titled his 4GW novel Victoria.

    1. I am curious why you think Pence will be left-alone after the press and Deep State succeed in their coup against Trump? The only thing the press and Deep State hate more than an amoral man like them is a moral, (white) Christian man. Boy do they hate us. Should Trump fall, I think you have all the proof you need that the republic is dead and you need to make plans for what comes next, whatever you think that may be.

      Given our decadence and Glubb’s analysis of major civilizations lasting only 250 years on average, I think I know. It’s 419 AD, brother. Expect the growth of irregular forces like drug cartels that profit off of our fall and division.

    2. Why would one assume we are anywhere near the 400s? I’m much more inclined to think we’re somewhere between 37 and 68. That leaves lots of room for pain and chaos, but no reason to think that the peak of the empire isn’t in the future rather than the past.

    3. I’ve always thought that we were in a period of transition from Republic to Empire. More recently begun to question whether we aren’t further along in that transition than your suggested date would imply.

    4. John,

      There are only two options: we are at a similar point (133 BC), or are diverging onto a different path. Both are likely. We can’t be later than aroubt 133, since Rome began a cycle of violent civil wars — each round had increasing massacres of the losing side.

    5. History rhymes, but it doesn’t replicate. Violence in the current era isn’t always physical. Economic violence is very real for those forced out of their positions of privilege. The transition from the old order of the American Republic likely began with the election of Richard Nixon. We’ve been engaged in an economic civil war since then, though it only really came to a head in the aftermath of 2008. The next act of the play comes when the chickens come home to roost from the Great Credit Inflation that has resulted from QE. Massive loss of financial wealth from either monetary inflation or a credit crunch, one of which seems inevitable, could result in a major realignment of power.

    6. John,

      “We’ve been engaged in an economic civil war since then”

      In America every hang nail is a “war.” To compare anything we’ve experienced to the civil wars that destroyed the Republic is absurd.

      “Massive loss of financial wealth from either monetary inflation or a credit crunch, one of which seems inevitable”

      How good have your past predictions been? I assume you’ve been writing them down. I mean, really, let’s be realistic. Neither of those is inevitable. Nothing is inevitable but death.

  4. What does conservative mean in 2018 and particularly in the 2020s?

    I’ve tried to figure out Pence, but he’s a cypher who is a master at staying out of the limelight when trouble bubbles up. In Indiana he was apparently successful as a fiscally conservative governor, but he would find little support for fiscal conservatism in the current Congress. It would be great if he applied to the federal government an in depth overhaul of outmoded institutions, but that takes a lot of work and administrative competence that the current administration clearly does not have, it also requires a will to act, which most recent administrations have sorely lacked.

    Pence does hold “conservative” social views far outside the national mainstream on issues like abortion. What we don’t know is whether he will support a continuation of the Trump policies to support additional subsidies to the wealthiest in our society to the detriment of those whose income is derived from their labor (as seems to have clearly been the case with the tax law) and back the most mean spirited in his party in removing the social safety net for those who are falling behind. What we need is a leader who understands the implications of the current technology upheaval (automation, AI, et. al.) and provides leadership in creating policies that address the radical changes underway in employment and income distribution.

    I am also not clear on Pence’s views with regard to global engagement. He’s been quietly out in the world quite a lot, but we don’t know whether those interactions are in support of the isolationist Trump agenda or a backchannel to preserve the traditional Republican view of America as a global leader.

    Larry, it would be interesting if you can find creditable info about Pence’s views on these and other important national priorities. That would make a great new series for the site.

    1. John,

      Let’s make this simpler. What people say before taking office has relatively little to do with what they do in office.

      We were told that Obama was to be the communist anarchist Constitutional Law Professor. In office he began official assassination of American citizens, massive crackdown on govt whistleblowers and leakers, ,ore and bigger wars, unconstitutional acts of Presidential power, and institutionalization of Bush’s permanent war powers.

      Look at the reigning powers in our society and assume that the new president will support them. The tilt left or right depends on the faction of the 1% that put him in power. The tilt reflects discretionary policies tha the 1% cares little about. For President Hillary that would have been leftist social engineering (the 1% doesn’t care about mating habits of the proles, so long as they’re controlled).

      The difference between presidents reflects that competence — how effectively they forward the interests of the 1%. Reagan and Bush Jr. were giants in terms of restructuring the US to a plutocracy. Clinton, Obama, and Bush Sr. were solid spear carriers in the 1%’s war against us.

  5. With the election of Trump I thought of this quote from Tacitus:

    “Although Nero’s death had at first been welcomed with outbursts of joy, it roused varying emotions, not only in the city among the senators and people and the city soldiery, but also among all the legions and generals; for the secret of empire was now revealed, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome.”

    Trump opened the door and showed what was possible. Other’s far smarter and more ruthless will seize upon the weaknesses revealed for their own ends…

    —–

    On another note…

    Let’s engage in a thought experiment. Why is the replacement of Trump and the installation of Pence, with an ensuing turn to the far hard right, something to be feared by the *Democratic Party Establishment*? I’m not talking about the rank and file, I’m talking about the ensconced DC party big wheels, their coterie of big money consultants, pollsters, assorted grifters, and various hangers on.

    If you are in a nice safe blue district, but are safely in the minority where you are irrelevant to the governance of the country… What’s not to like? You can introduce virtue signaling legislation every session to keep in the good graces of those that keep electing you, meanwhile sucking up copious cash and living the cushy life while *never having to make a vote that matters*. You get to play at being part of the “Resistance”, wringing your hands and clutching your pearls at all of the horrible mean things the far right is doing, but at the end of the day it’s all kabuki theater and means nothing.

  6. The whole “if Pence takes over, it’ll be really bad because he’s not just super right-wing, he’s extremely effective and smart too” take has been circulating for awhile now but it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    First, where’s the evidence of Pence’s political intelligence and efficacy? Cheney demonstrated his political savvy in multiple institutions over decades before he ended up as Bush’s VP but as far as Pence goes, we don’t know much other than he’s a standard right winger without much political potency. Also, if Pence is such a brilliant politician and so powerful then why hasn’t he made influence felt in the Trump admin with a clown in the Oval Office? No one would’ve said that about Cheney.

    Second, it’s just not how politics works. “Pence is smarter than Trump therefore he’ll crush them” makes sense only if you ignore the context these events would take place in. If Trump is actually pushed out, it would give incredible momentum to the left and demoralize and humiliate the right. Getting a more intelligent, conservative President would be a consolation prize for the GOP in the ensuing chaos of an impeachment or resignation.

    1. Stanley,

      (1) “First, where’s the evidence of Pence’s political intelligence and efficacy? ”

      That is discussed in this post in some detail. Also, Trump is a clown. Almost any professional politician has greater “political intelligence and efficacy.”

      (2) “If Pence is such a brilliant politician and so powerful then why hasn’t he made influence felt in the Trump admin with a clown in the Oval Office?”

      Probably because he’s smart and so staying away from the Trump White House. Presidents tend not to like strong VP’s. Pence probably (imo, correctly) believes that would be 10x true of Trump.

      (3) “Second, it’s just not how politics works”

      That analysis looks to me like frantic hoping.

      (4) “in the ensuing chaos of an impeachment or resignation.”

      More frantic hoping. There was little “chaos” following Nixon’s resignation, which was a firestorm probably much worse than anything Trump will do. Nixon was a criminal, guilty of many large-scale illegal acts as President.

    2. “Probably because he’s smart and so staying away from the Trump White House.”

      So he’s the “smartest man in Washington” for accepting the nomination from the same politician he’s also ‘smart’ to stay away from to preserve his career? That literally makes no sense.

      We don’t know the reasons Pence accepted the nomination or whether that was a good decision until things unfold in the future (my guess – it wasn’t). A lot of people joined the Trump admin thinking he’d lose but it’d be good for their career. No one’s calling Manafort a genius because Trump winning actually drew scrutiny he never wanted and so his opportunism ended up backfiring.

      When you judge Pence on what he’s actually done and not on fanboy hopes and dreams, he’s a pretty dull rightwing politician from a red state so I’m not really seeing anything in his background that suggests he’d navigate a resignation/impeachment scandal very well. I am basing this on actual facts though so maybe that’s why I see things this way.

      Presidents tend not to like strong VP’s.
      This is so banal it means almost nothing. It’s also not some immutable law, Cheney and Bush being the most relevant counterexample.

      Pence probably (imo, correctly) believes that would be 10x true of Trump.

      That’s just insanely wrong. Trump is easily one of the most impressionable people to ever occupy the white house. He’s extremely lazy, easily manipulated, and has no coherent agenda so why has a brilliant Machiavellian like Pence not capitalized on that? Let me guess, the complete lack of evidence that Pence has any political cunning is actually a sign that’s he even smarter than anyone knows…

    3. Stanley,

      (1) “That literally makes no sense.”

      Of course it does. He accepted the nomination as VP and is waiting for Trump to self-destruct.

      (2) “A lot of people joined the Trump admin thinking he’d lose but it’d be good for their career.”

      You appear confused. The VP is not associated with Trump’s decisions. Either Trump will not finish the term, and Pence takes over. Or Trump does, and Pence runs for President based on his skillful PR during the Trump years. He has the option of turning on Trump if Trump screws up badly. Trump can’t fire him.

      (3) “This is so banal it means almost nothing.”

      It’s a historical fact. What it means to you is irrelevant.

    4. He accepted the nomination as VP and is waiting for Trump to self-destruct.

      You got an actual argument for that or you just really, really hope that’s what he’s doing? Because there’s nothing in his previous roles to suggest this.

      The VP is not associated with Trump’s decisions

      Yeah he is, it’s delusional to think otherwise. You can’t stand behind the president then abandon him at the last moment without it seeming like craven opportunism. How’s “I did nothing until I realized it would hurt my election bid” sound as a campaign slogan? Sure sounds like Machiavellian genius to me. Remind me how Ford did in ’76…

      It’s a historical fact

      Yeah, so it’s contingent and not universally true. Like Cheney and Bush being the glaring counterexample you want to ignore. Like I just said. You could try to make an actual argument why you believe the things you do, I’m sure you’re up to the challenge big guy.

      He has the option of turning on Trump if Trump screws up bad

      And we’re back in fantasy land where we ignore what Pence has actually done in his career and fantasize about what we’d like him to do.

    5. Stanley,

      You are more excited about this trivia than I, and appear pretty hostile. So this will be my last reply.

      “You got an actual argument for that or you just really, really hope that’s what he’s doing?”

      First, I don’t “hope that’s what he’s doing”. Like most of your comments, that’s just making stuff up.

      Second, it is a commonplace reason historians give for ambitious politicians to accept the VP (a job “not worth a bucket of warm piss“).

      So many VPs have become candidates for the presidency. Recently — Nixon, Humphrey, Bush Sr., Gore, and most famously LBJ. There is evidence that LBJ accepted the job based on those odds. I’m sure other people have accepted the job for that reason. After all, these are smart people. They see the numbers.

    6. You spent your Saturday writing a thousand words about ‘the rise of Pence’ – kinda seems ‘excited’ to me. I probably could’ve been a little more diplomatic but its just a pretty stupid take and fun to argue with. I gotta say you don’t really seem to have an argument why we should regard Pence as some kind of political genius and you seem super defensive when challenged on the subject. I don’t really care if you like or hate him, I just want to know how anyone could regard him as the smartest man in DC.

      And the VP’s office has been occupied by the likes of Dan Quayle, arguably one of the stupidist humans to walk the face of the earth. “VPs are smart sometimes” isn’t an argument. And anyway, you said “Presidents tend not to like strong VP’s” like that’s some explanation for Pence’s obsequiousness. LBJ and Kennedy hated each other yet somehow LBJ was extremely influential as VP. It’s almost like Pence isn’t much of a politician…

  7. I don’t see the high turnover as a necessarily bad thing. Wasn’t one of the things that got Trump elected was his promise to “drain the swamp” and root out the incompetent?

    In government those sorts are often promoted instead of being shown the curb. Trump is a business man who gets rid of problem employees. Why is anyone surprised by this?

    1. amirlach,

      “I don’t see the high turnover as a necessarily bad thing.”

      I suspect pretty much every Management 101 textbook disagrees with you.

      “things that got Trump elected was his promise to “drain the swamp” and root out the incompetent?”

      You believe that Trump hires incompetent people, fires them, hires new incompetent people, fires them — and that’s a good thing. I doubt anyone familiar with business or govt operations agrees with you.

  8. All things are possible, but I’ve always thought that 25th Amendment and assassination were both more likely than impeachment. With impeachment, Congress would have to take responsibility. With the 25th, the Cabinet can just announce that Trump spent too much time looking for the strawberries or the they thought the ship was about to founder. Impeachment requires a charge, and at least the semblance of a trial.

    As for Congress becoming the power center the Founders meant ti to be…you’re kidding right? You mean Congress wasn’t what the Founders always meant to to be even when the Founders were alive?

    1. The Man,

      “All things are possible, but I’ve always thought that 25th Amendment and assassination were both more likely than impeachment.”

      Other than wild guessing, I can’t imagine how anyone could calculate the odds of any of those outcomes.

      “for Congress becoming the power center the Founders meant ti to be…you’re kidding right?”

      Read the Federalist Papers as a good intro to what some of the key writers of the Constitution believed would be Congress’ function.

  9. Comment from Lisa Sperling — It is a long rant. Here is the opening:

    —————

    “I disagree. Mike Pence, is, in my opinion, a very dangerous, treacherous person.. It is chilling, horifying that he is vice president, …”

    1. Lisa’s comment is typical of a sort of reply. They assume that a prediction is the same as a recommendation.

      She believes that to say that Pence will become President means that I want him to become president because he is a good guy.

      She must believe that a geologist who predicts an earthquake must want an earthquake because he believes it would be a good thing!

    2. Thank you for putting that first sentence in, it really does summarize my letter! That “long rant” was probablly just destined for your eyes only! However, I do not believe that “predictions” are so innocent as you maintain, it is a well known tactic of cults, the cults that control banking and politics are religious cults, to publish apparently whimisical “prophecies”, with the intention of putting a certain thought into the minds of masses of people, unaware of how events are actually created,. World events usually first appear publiclly as fanciful suggestions, but they have a purpose: mind control! Rudolf Steiner, in his 3 volumes of lectures entitled “The Karma of Untruthfulness” showed how apparently fanciful suggestions were put into the public consciousness to create a suggestion of war, decades before the actual war appeared to randomly break out!.

  10. “Other than wild guessing, I can’t imagine how anyone could calculate the odds of any of those outcomes.”

    I’m perfectly willing to engage in wild guessing. I tend to be more cautious in poker, because there’s money on the table, but that’s not the case here.

    Congress has frequently been delinquent in its responsibilities, and has, from time to time allowed the Executive to overstep its bounds. Article 25 would allow for Trump’s removal without Congress having to take oenership of it. Responsibility could be fobbed off on the Executive. That may not be how it goes down. Maybe Congress is at long last ready to play the great role that the Founders envisioned for it so long ago. Or not. But Article 25 seemed more likely at the time. To some extent it still does. We’ll see what we see.

    On the subject of personnel turbulence, sacking the National Security advisor is not an impeachable offense, although there’s been a couple appointed who maybe should have been. But it does seem to bode ill for Trump that he can’t find a lawyer to take his case.

  11. Due to a WordPress system problem, a batch of comments were lost in the trash, including this one.

    I think its quite possible. Don’t know how likely it is. But getting more so all the time.

  12. Interesting analysis. One of the most in depth I’ve read.

    The only thing, though, that I think really supports your analysis is that Trump is the most unpopular president of the modern era. No modern president has had an approval rating so consistently below 50%. In that respect he is quite vulnerable.

    The other thing that supports your conclusion is that Trump is quite volatile and his relationships with his middle and senior advisers is unstable at best.

    There are a few things that militate against your conclusions.

    –turnover is a constant in presidential administrations. Almost no one stays during an entire administration.

    –we haven’t seen anything yet that constitutes an impeachable offense.

    –The establishment will like Pence, but not because “he’s not Trump”. The establishment likes him because he’s an insider and he can be influenced, manipulated, and pushed around. Pence isn’t one-tenth the leader Trump is.

  13. Another thing is that Trump is showing himself to be a politician in his own right. He’s being influenced and is learning how Washington works. And he’s bowing to pressure here and there to “do it the way we’ve always done it”, the recent omnibus budget bill being one example. Another is that he promised a Wall. No money has been appropriated, nor a single brick laid. There will be no wall, there will be no stepped up border protection, there will be no closed borders, there will be no real immigration reform. And that’s because he knows a wall is infeasible and too politically unpopular.

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