A bit of background–eleven years ago, I found (and started wearing) an anti- Bush hat proclaiming IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST. The meme (we didn’t do ‘memes’ so much in 2005-06) was based on articles coming out of AfterDowningStreet, an activist organization that had uncovered and leaked internal memos indicating that Blair and Bush/Cheney were determined to attack Iraq regardless of the evidence. In the judgment of the After Downing Street activists, it would be far easier to get impeachment proceedings against Cheney because he had been responsible in a hands-on way for the cooking of evidence. The theory went that once Cheney was put away, it would be much easier to prosecute Bush (including a proceeding at the International Court of Justice).
The impeachment movement went nowhere, of course–Nancy Pelosi leaned on Congressmen John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich, and the whole initiative fell flat. But I’ve been thinking about this lately in the aftermath of the disgust people have with the actions and the personage of Donald J? What if we worked on getting Mike Pence, the worst second banana since Dan Quayle, into the impeachment dock? It could be classic Law & Order–convict Pence, then get him to flip on Trump. Surely Pence has sat in on enough conversations to have the goods on Trump committing High Crimes and Misdemeanors. His unwillingness to blow the whistle on Trump’s violations of law is in itself an impeachable act, right? Why not impeach? I was also being somewhat facetious–I don’t expect anybody to pick on poor hapless Mike Pence. I was trying to find a way to make people laugh.
Anyway, I posted the proposed t-shirt above on a bunch of FB pages to gauge reaction. ummm… a sampling
In short, people didn’t take this as a joke. They’ve already tried to script out a scenario where Trump goes away. They just don’t see a way to do this without putting the country in a worse place than it’s in right now. Get rid of Pence? Trump can select a new VP. Get rid of both? Paul Ryan is the stand-in.
So what’s the way forward?
Are people willing to talk about a non-constitutional way to remove Trump and Pence from Power? If not, why not? Why is this conversation not taking place? We need to be thinking about something besides funny memes and snotty comebacks on Facebook
In the meantime, anybody wanna order a t-shirt?.
Can you unpack how you see “a non-constitutional way?”
The constitutional path of removing Donald Trump still leaves a social Darwinist party in charge of the government for four years–the GOP will still have the presidency, (probably)both houses of Congress, most of the state houses and much of the judiciary. When the Polish Solidarity movement formed, it didn’t see its mission as simply removing then-president Wojciech Jaruzelski, The goal was kicking out the Polish Communist party and its Soviet overlords. In our circumstances, there’s an argument that both major parties have to go. There’s also the reality that the Constitution doesn’t allow for a ‘throw everybody out’ vote. Even if Trump and Pence were removed, we’d be stuck with a pro-corporatist president until 2020 (or 2024 assuming the D’s are still as dysfunctional as they’ve been in recent years). Complete inaction until the electoral clock runs down is unthinkable–it only took W four years to ignore the warning signs of 9/11, get us involved in two unwinnable wars, eviscerate Constitutional protections against an authoritarian government, and hand out massive tax cuts to the wealthy that solidified their control of the electorate.
I don’t know what active resistance would look like in practice–I don’t desire a shooting war involving the second amendment advocates (and I’m not sure whose side they would take). I thing our chances for a peaceful, Constitutionally based transition to a different government are pretty much dead.