In an election of sad images, perhaps the saddest. The plastic bag makes it art.

Pussy, Pardons and Pride

The long improbable road to the impeachment of Donald Trump

Say Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, concludes — and how could he not? — that Donald Trump, his administration, minions, family, campaign staff and advisers were involved, at least tangentially, with Russian officials and their efforts to steal the 2016 election; say, too, he decides that Donald Trump, personally, in firing FBI Director James Comey (and subsequently telling NBC’s Lester Holt that he did it because of the “Russian Thing”), obstructed justice; say, three, Mueller proves that Trump was treasonous — remember Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House — and engaged in bribery, abuse of power, collusion, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, what then?

But would the Constitution allow Mr. Mueller to indict Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of criminal conduct? The prevailing view among most legal experts is no. They say the president is immune from prosecution so long as he is in office.
“The framers implicitly immunized a sitting president from ordinary criminal prosecution,” said Akhil Reed Amar, a law professor at Yale.

And then there’s this.

The Justice Department’s regulations require Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, to follow the department’s “rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies.” If the memos bind Mr. Mueller, it would seem he could not indict Mr. Trump, no matter what he uncovered.

For the love of Leon Jaworski.

So, apparently, with indictment off the table, Mueller would turn over his findings to the House of Representatives and recommend — a sentient human being would think anyway — impeachment.

But let’s say the House does … nothing? Mollusks have exhibited more backbone since the election than have Republicans, so what’s to suggest that this GOP will introduce those Articles of Impeachment, even if presented with the body of a person Trump shot on 5th Avenue, much less Mueller’s report? What if it decides, instead, to ride it out, figuring that the GOP base — the same base, 54% of them anyway — that thinks higher education is bad for America won’t really care that one of Trump’s family members met with someone the president met at a Russian beauty pageant to talk smack about Hillary Clinton, who, after all, personally killed those 4 diplomats in Benghazi? What if GOP House members, after talking to their constituents, conclude nobody is losing sleep over the Kuwaiti delegation staying at a Trump Hotel instead of a Hyatt? What if these same reps, after holding staged Town Hall meetings, conclude that people still actually kind of like Ivanka’s fashion sense and admire how manly the boys are.

What if the GOP simply decides to do nothing and this goes on — the drips, the drops, the derps — until November of 2024. It’s possible that Trump, like Spiro Agnew, will be offered a deal to resign, if things get too hinky — or he might, anyway, citing an illness this guy diagnosed.

And what if Mueller doesn’t find enough wrong-doing to recommend impeachment or an indictment in the first place? What if Trump, as it turns out, was a better student of history than we thought?

At the nadir of Watergate, Nixon’s approval rating fell to 27 percent; by the time he resigned, that number had dropped to 24 percent. In other words, at least a quarter of the American populace had no problem telling pollsters that they were still behind a president who had lied repeatedly and engaged in unambiguously criminal conspiracies. They still saw Nixon as “one of us,” as he billed himself on posters in his first House run in 1946, and as a fighter who took on “them” — essentially the same elites that Trump inveighs against today.

How long can people be ridiculed and bamboozled and still defend the ridiculer and bamboozler? We’re only 6 months into this, so there’s no telling, but the woman in the above photo with the plastic bag and homemade shirt, it’s safe to say, doesn’t care as much about Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the US Constitution as does Robert Mueller. In fact, I’ll bet, as Toby Ziegler once said, all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets, that however this ends for Donald Trump, if it ends, he will not be impeached.

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