By Robert A. Vella
As readers of this blog already know, I tend to avoid unsubstantiated speculation like the plague. Everybody has opinions; but, if not supported by verifiable facts or well-reasoned rationale, then such opinions are nothing more than dust in the wind – in my view. Furthermore, I take great care in clearly identifying what I’m presenting to my readers as either statements of fact or simply someone’s opinion. This, I believe, is the key to objectivity and quality journalism.
However, there are times when my brand of stodgy writing fails to illuminate some inexplicable event or topic. Sometimes insufficient facts are available to arrive at a clear conclusion or even to formulate a well-reasoned opinion. In the case of America’s psychologically disturbed president, Donald Trump, and the Republican Party’s decision to back him in the 2016 election, I feel inclined to put my reservations aside and engage in wild speculation. I wish I was privy to the GOP deliberations which had preceded that decision; but, alas, I was not.
What we do know for certain is that the Republican Party establishment hated the candidacy of Mr. Trump and the populist, grassroots support he garnered so much that many GOP leaders feared him more than they did their likely Democratic Party opponent, Hillary Clinton. We also know that once Trump’s path to win the Republican nomination was assured, the party abruptly aligned behind him. The conventional view of that conspicuous turnaround was that the GOP badly wanted to win the presidency and would even back a lunatic like Trump to do so.
Superficially, the conventional view made sense. The Republican alliance of establishment elites, working class males, Christian conservatives, and xenophobic whites, was just enough to trump [pun intended] a fractured Democratic Party. Now, for some wild speculation…
The Republican establishment may be a lot of unflattering things, but stupid isn’t one of them. They must have known that Trump was mentally unstable and, therefore, unable to function for long as President of the United States. Still, they backed him anyway. Why? Surely they didn’t want to endure the political nightmare that is transpiring now in Washington, D.C.
It is my admittedly unfounded belief that the GOP rallied behind Trump in last year’s election knowing full well that he probably couldn’t remain in office. Whether impeached by Congress or forced to resign from mounting pressures, an early Trump exit would install someone more acceptable to the Republican establishment into the presidency. From How Donald Trump Finally Settled on Mike Pence:
In Mr. Pence, the presumptive Republican nominee has found a running mate with unimpeachable conservative credentials, warm relationships in Washington and a vast reservoir of good will with the Christian right. National Republican leaders, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, had pronounced Mr. Pence an excellent choice in advance of Mr. Trump’s announcement.
With just four months served, congressional Republicans are starting to throw around the “I” word (i.e. impeachment) in reference to the embattled President Trump. From First Republicans talk possibility of impeachment for Trump:
Republicans are beginning to talk of the possibility that President Trump could face impeachment after reports that he pressed ousted FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
While Republicans are choosing their words carefully, the fact that impeachment is even being mentioned is notable in Washington’s polarized political environment.
I wonder if this rapid development was preordained. Was the ultimate con-man conned by his own party? Or, did the GOP plan to put someone in the White House who could never have been elected as president?