Impeachment Expert Donald Trump Gonna Impeach His Way Back Into White House
Donald Trump is still plotting his big comeback, like any good horror movie villain. Maybe he won't even have to wait until 2024. During an interview with Trump Friday, radio host Wayne Allen Root pitched the idea of Trump becoming speaker of the House in 2023 and leading the MAGA-desired impeachment of President Joe Biden.
"Why not, instead of waiting for 2024, and I'm hoping you'll run in 2024 but why not run in 2022 for the United States Congress? A House seat in Florida. Win big. Lead us to a dramatic landslide victory. Take the House by 50 seats. And then you become the Speaker of the House, lead the impeachment of Biden and start criminal investigations against Biden. You'll wipe him out for this last two years."
Root was excited while describing this reality TV version of "House Of Cards." Trump thought this was very “interesting," because he's all about immediate gratification. Root claimed Trump would be a “folk hero" as speaker, which is just how we think of past GOP House speakers: Dennis Hastert, Folk Hero! Newt Gingrich, Folk Hero!
A few months ago, Steve Bannon suggested a similar scheme in a speech stuffed with messianic imagery.
"Trump is a disruptor, but he has a long-term vision because I absolutely believe in the marrow of my bones that he will be our nominee in 2024. He'll come back to us. We'll have a sweeping victory in 2022, and he'll lead us in 2024."
“He'll come back to us!" This is pathetic but slightly amusing if you imagine House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy freaking out over the possibility that Trump will swipe the speaker's gavel from him. He's sacrificed whatever dignity he might've had to keep Trump happy so Republicans can take back the House and Senate. McCarthy had hoped he'd get to put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk like a common seditionist Capitol invader.
The speaker of the House is a real job with responsibilities. There's even counting involved. This is all beyond Trump, who prefers headlining hate rallies when not binge-watching Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN. Bannon declared that Trump's first act as speaker would be to “impeach Joe Biden for his illegitimate activities of stealing the presidency." Biden didn't steal the presidency. That's the Republican Big Lie, but if a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich, a corrupt authoritarian political party can impeach a legitimately elected president for imaginary “crimes."
Trump was impeached in both 2020 and 2021. He's to impeachments what Tom Hanks was to the Oscars in the mid 1990s. However, the Senate never came close to convicting Trump and removing him from office. This is not because Pam Bondi and Bruce Castor are great lawyers. No, they both demonstrably sucked. Remember this shit?
During Trump's second annual impeachment trial, the Washington Post released a video called “The Strangest Lines From Trump Lawyer Bruce Castor's Opening Statement." That was not a highlight reel. It was more like Marv Albert's sports bloopers from the 1980s.
It takes 67 votes in the Senate to convict an impeached president. The GOP won't have anywhere near 67 Senators in 2023, even if you throw in Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. The sedition caucus can impeach President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and even Barack Obama, but that won't “reinstate" Trump. It'll just waste everyone's time and distract Republicans from their inspiring agenda of lowering taxes for billionaires and saving Mr. Potato Head from "cancel culture."
Impeachment itself isn't a slam dunk. An appalling 139 House Republicans objected to the Electoral College count on January 6, but that's still far short of a majority. Also, many Republicans felt they could safely spit in democracy's eye because they knew they didn't have enough votes to actually reject the count. Ten incumbent Republicans voted to impeach Trump after he incited a violent insurrection, so he'd need a major MAGA wave to achieve his mad dream.
But Trump released a fundraising video this weekend where he creepily hinted at "taking back the White House and sooner than you think." He's still got sedition on the brain. The Constitution doesn't actually require that the speaker is a current member of the House, so Trump doesn't even have to bother running for anything. Republicans can elect whoever they want, including a twice-impeached thug.
Fox's Jason Chaffetz: "Under the Constitution, you don't need to be a member of Congress to be elected the Speaker… https://t.co/BS9rONkKd8— Jason Campbell (@Jason Campbell)1622901184.0
Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz, who once represented Utah without distinction in the House, thinks Speaker Trump is a great idea, not because he'll deliver any major legislative achievements (he sucks at that), but because he'll produce big ratings!
CHAFFETZ: So put Donald Trump in as Speaker of the House and he can go out and investigate everybody and he can impeach everybody. That would be pretty fascinating ... It would make for great TV.
No, asshole, if Republicans try to remove Biden from office and fail, which they will, that could very well result in another bloody attack on the Capitol. This isn't a show. We know the MAGA mob takes this seriously. January 6 was only five months ago, for God's sake, but Republicans only care about power and their mad king's ego.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."