Something even more ominous lies behind Donald Trump’s declaration, yesterday, that House Impeachment proceedings are illegitimate and that the White House will ignore the sundry investigations by the various House committees. On one hand, this is merely the most recent malfeasance by the malfeasiest President ever, but on the other hand, this Presidential usurpation has unleashed an undeniable Constitutional Crisis of historic proportions. As bad as this is, however, it is also a clarion signal that matters will get even worse. Because, if Donald J. Trump won’t respect the Constitutional power of Impeachment to end his Presidency, why should anyone expect him to respect the Constitutional power of the 2020 election to end his Presidency.
This is no joke, even though Comedian, Bill Maher, has been telling his audiences since 2016 that if Trump became President, we wouldn’t be able to get rid of him, even if Trump lost the next election. As a fan, I have a decidedly love-hate relationship with Mr. Maher. I find him, variously, entertainingly funny, politically exasperating and chillingly unfunny, if nevertheless insightful. I’ve listened to him argue for years that defeating Trump in the 2020 election won’t be enough to end the blight of Trumpism. The comedian makes that point often, and elaborates, here, in an appearance on CNN a few months ago —
I’ve listened to Bill Maher make this argument, on this point, on various occasions and I never really took it seriously, until yesterday. But, after the White House letter to Congress, yesterday, utterly, completely rejecting the most fundamental Congressional oversight power, explicitly and purposefully emplaced in the Constitution, by Framers who feared tyranny above all else, Americans no longer have the option to hide from this ominous truth — If Trump loses the 2020 election, he won’t go.
Nevertheless, we must each do what we can to support the impeachment of Donald J. Trump and the electoral defeat of Donald J. Trump in 2020. Sadly, that may only be the beginning of what we must hope does not become civil war. Since yesterday, I’ve never been so afraid for the future of our Republic.