You know, you’d think I’d be used to this kind of stuff by now. Every time you start to think you’ve got any kind of a handle with what’s going on with Trump, something comes out of left field to knock you right back on your ass again.
The fact that the House Intelligence committee decided to call it a day in the middle of the fifth inning wasn’t unexpected, only surprising because Democrats like Adam Schiff hadn’t dropped us any ten gallon hints that it was coming. The Senate still seems to be running an honest game, but in reality, only Mueller’s report is going to matter, and even then only if the Democrats retake the House in November.
Only maybe not. Not anymore. While by itself, it may not be enough to bring on the end of Trump and Trumpism, but depending on how it plays out, the events in London may well change the perception of Mueller’s eventual report, if it even matters anymore.
Russians killing Russians in England is in fact nothing all that new. The first example I could find was all the way back in 1978, when a dissident was jabbed with a ricin tipped umbrella while he waited for a bus. But the Russian attempt on the life of a former Russian agent working for the UK and his daughter was either a terrible mistake, or stupid arrogance on Putin’s part. And it just may set up a game changing confrontation between Trump and his GOP controlled congress.
They have a pretty simple two word description for poisoning another country’s citizens in their own country, it’s called an “unprovoked attack.” And British Prime Minister Theresa May put her toe right up to that chalk line today in her address to the House of Commons. She also gave Russia a very short timeline to come up with a satisfactory excuse, after which the UK government will consider acceptable responses.
One of the quite possible responses that Prime Minister May could come up with would be to announce economic and trade sanctions, and invoke Article Five of the NATO charter. Signatories, which would include the United States, would be treaty bound to immediately comply with Britain’s request and impose and honor the sanctions. The real irony here is that article 5 has only been invoked once before, when the US was attacked on 9/11, and Great Britain immediately signaled compliance. And now, Great Britain has been attacked, and it’s quite likely that Trump will not honor our commitment.
You can see it coming a mile off. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly backed both May and her conclusions, calling for an appropriate response, but the best that Sarah Flackabee Slanders can bring herself to do while speaking for the President is to say that the US stands by our ally Great Britain.
If Theresa May invokes article 5 of the NATO alliance, and Trump refuses to pledge immediate support, we have a two pronged crisis on our hands. For one, every NATO nation immediately came to our aid after 9/11. Trump’s failure to support England 100% would lead to a loss of face from which this country would never recover.
Which would inevitably lead directly to crisis number two, a crisis between Trump and congress. The GOP in general has had an uneasy status quo with Trump on Russia. While they were uncomfortable with his incessant Neil and Bob in front of Putin at regular intervals, as long as they were passing tax cuts, they were willing to turn a blind eye, at least until Mueller forces their hand. But when it came out, and was confirmed that Trump had quietly tried to have Russian sanctions pulled almost the same day he took the oath, that was a bridge too far. The GOP dominated congress not only passed more sanctions while stripping him of the ability to remove them without congressional approval, they passed the bill with veto proof majorities in both chambers, just to drive the point home. Ignoring Russia fucking with our election was one thing, rewarding them for it was a bridge too far.
If May calls for article 5 support, and Trump refuses to honor our commitment, I find it inconceivable that congress will not act to force him to comply. A lousy golden shower video and a few million in laundered Russian rubles is not worth turning us into Crimea by the sea. Congress will pass a bill requiring him to comply with our treaty alliance, again by a veto proof majority. Should he refuse, I honestly believe that congress would immediately begin impeachment proceedings for dereliction of duty. There aren’t enough Trombies in the country to allow the GOP congress to let him sell our longest and closest ally down the river and survive.
But even if Trump balks on accepting Britain’s article 5, but complies with the bill congress passes, he’s still fucked. For the very simple reason that he will have truly showed his colors. If Robert Mueller recommends so much as one article of impeachment for Russia related sins, Trump is toast. If Trump would sell out his closest ally, and by default all of the member countries of NATO, why wouldn’t he have conspired with Russia, either to cover Stormy Daniels on steroids and some money laundering, or simply for blind ambition? Even if his hardest core Trumpaholics hold on, the rest of the country will be in the streets in such force that it will make the Vietnam war protests loo like a Kiwanis picnic.
If Theresa may invokes article 5, Trump is going to get one shot at this, and one shot only. If Trump accepts his article 5 responsibilities, and complies with whatever sanctions Britain invokes, then he will survive and limp along until at least 2019 if the Democrats retake the House, or 2020 if they don’t. But if he turns his back on England and the rest of NATO, he won’t be here 16 months from now. Because if he is, it no longer matters, the United States of America as we know it will be no more.