02.20.2017 09:09 PM

This week’s column: how to defeat Trump, in five easy steps

Donald Trump isn’t going to be impeached.
 
Not anytime soon, anyway. The numbers just aren’t there.
 
Impeachment is about overturning the will of the people. Impeachment shouldn’t ever be easy. In the United States, impeachment has been designed to require a supermajority of legislative votes – and is reserved for what the U.S. Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanours.” 
 
First, an “Article of Impeachment” needs to pass in the House of Representatives. And then it goes the Senate, where the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is called in to preside over an actual prosecution, with witnesses and evidence.  A two-thirds vote is then required to remove a President from office – and that threshold was not reached in the Bill Clinton case in 1999.
 
Identifying a Trump “high crime and misdemeanour” is (sadly) pretty easy to do. Some of his misdeeds, while very serious, have been settled – such as fraud at Trump University, intimidation of tenants, antitrust violations, discriminating against people of colour at Trump properties in New York, and so on. 
 
But there are still ongoing legal actions against him by multiple women alleging sexual assault. Other alleged crimes are almost as serious, and haven’t yet been settled out of court. There’s alleged crimes by the Trump Foundation, still being probed by New York’s Attorney General. There’s Newsweek’s report that Trump violated the Cuba embargo, also a crime. There are allegations of bribes in Florida, to prevent a Trump University investigation.
 
And, of course, he and his inner circle now stand accused of secret dealings with a hostile foreign power – Russia. That’s about as serious as it gets. Some have said that those misdeeds constitute treason against the United States.
 
All that may be true. But the fact is that Trump’s Republican party dominates the legislative and executive branches. And, until they get some of their agenda implemented – killing Obamacare, abortion, equality statutes and even the most modest gun control measures – Republicans will be in no hurry to remove Trump.
 
That doesn’t mean Democrats and Trump’s many opponents need to wait. Take it from someone who has run Liberal war rooms for years, and who has worked with Democratic war room operatives, too: there are five things that can be done to drive Donald Trump out of the Oval Office.
 
1. Target senior staff and family: Trump has a small, inexperienced inner circle, one that includes many members of his family. The burgeoning Russia scandal has already cost him a National Security Advisor and a campaign manager. His opponents therefore need to continue to pick off those around Trump, with relentless waves of congressional inquiries and criminal probes. That will force the senior Trump advisors to “lawyer up,” spend untold thousands on legal fees, and limit what they can say to each other. In the Watergate scandal, this is how Richard Nixon was taken down – by tormenting those around the president, before finally going after the president.
 
2. Get a chief prosecutor and staff: The Democrats, and those legions who want to remove Trump from power, need to quickly identify someone who will be Trump’s Tormentor-in-Chief: someone who is elected, telegenic, smart and aggressive, and who can get up in Trump’s face every single day with a new revelation or new allegation. This legislative attack dog needs to be supported by a smart, well-resourced group of writers and researchers – a war room, in effect – who would also help investigative efforts by the likes of the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN. This group would blanket social media – where, notoriously, Trump is too often focussed – with rumours and innuendo to demoralize and (ultimately) destroy Team Trump.
 
3. Motivate and mobilize law enforcement: As everyone knows, Trump makes many, many mistakes. But this writer long ago opined that his biggest mistake was attacking the U.S. intelligence community – at one point, unbelievably, likening the CIA to the Nazis. Trump is now paying dearly for that blunder: many of the most damaging leaks against him have apparently come from intelligence operatives seeking revenge. Take advantage of that! Democrats need to defend the likes of the CIA – and motivate the likes of the FBI investigate the new regime whenever and wherever possible. Under the U.S. Code, it is a crime to lie to the FBI or federal officials. Ask Martha Stewart, Rod Blagojevich, Scooter Libby, Bernard Madoff, and many others: once Trump and Co. start lying to the feds, they’re heading to the slammer.
 
4. Be the media’s best friend: In a target-rich scandal environment, the temptation of political people is always to run the show. They want to be the ones driving the story, they want to be the ones who get all the credit. In the early days of the Trump-Russia scandal regime, however, the people pushing this extraordinary story forward work for the aforementioned Times, Post and CNN. They are the ones breaking the stories, not the Democrats. Everything the Dems and the anti-Trump alliance do, therefore, should be aimed at supporting the important work of the ink-stained wretches. Among other things, it’s giving credit where credit’s due – and it’s good for democracy, too.
 
5. Get people power: Impeachments, investigations and inquiries notwithstanding: if a majority of Americans don’t care about Putingate – or they are feeling in any way sympathetic about Trump, as they were about Clinton during the Lewinsky schmozzle – then none of the above-noted war room tactics will matter. There’s courts, and there’s the peoples’ court. Until Trump has been found guilty in the latter, the former won’t matter. Ipso facto: the anti-Trump inquisitors need to ensure that everything they do, and everything they say, enjoys popular support. Most of all, however, get at it. Putingate makes Watergate look like a romp in the park.
 
If the anti-Trump forces do their job right, who knows?
 
Donald Trump might start welcoming impeachment.
 
 
 

11 Comments


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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    What I gathered from the Clinton impeachment is that a minority of opposing party senators will vote against conviction at trial. They view it as dangerous for democracy if a sitting president is convicted and removed from office. That is a precedent that many senators do not want to set.


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    Brian Potts says:

    And there’s also mid-terms to think of ……shifting the balance of power in the Senate would be extremely helpful in slowing him down.


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    Charlie says:

    How to defeat Trump:

    1. Force GOP Congressmen/women to take a position on Trump

    2. Attack vulnerable seats like a motherfucker in 2018

    3. Win control of Congress

    4. Investigate the shit out of the White House

    5. Impeach Trump and aggressively pursue treason charges

    (Expedited Defeat of Trump: Pee-pee tape)


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    the salamander horde says:

    .. very interesting & factual.. very
    I would point out an interesting status quo.. as my interest in ‘politics’ is driven mainly how it impacts Environment. Its the primary reason I became active during the Harper Regime.

    Look at what is underway via the #45 Thug’s Regime in Month One
    – Terminate Environmental Protection Agency
    – Terminate Protected Species Act
    – Terminate Stream Protection Act
    (allow surface coal mining pollution of surface & ground water)

    This is esentially what Stephen Harper undertook’ the moment he had a majority.. These are major signposts of government ‘captured’ by Big Energy. Harper, Ray Novak & Nigel Wright of course used tools like Peter Kent, Joe Oliver, Gail Shea, Keith Ashfield & late saint, Jim Flaherty.. Today Thug #45 has Steve Bannon pushing the buttons of Paul Ryan et al via Stephen Millar & his wondrous son in law Kushner.


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    Mario says:

    American politics is tit for tat. What you do to us, we do to you.

    Impeachment is a last resort. Clinton impeachment failed and those you initiated it paid a heavy political price.

    Democrats are better off mobilizing the base for the mid-term elections in less than 2 years.


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    bluegreenblogger says:

    Now that the President has been selected, there is no undoing the deed, without consequences. Firstly, the un-president has a Vice President. And a Chief Justice, etc, so there is, in legalistic terms a firm schedule of successors. Run your finger down the names, and decide if it is truly a ‘solution’ to replace the President elect with any of those mandate-less people. Is it better to crash the house, or tolerate the loon in power? That is an arbitrary choice, with no clear preference. I can see a struggle to recognise human rights, to fight the issues is worthy, but the fight doesn’t include victory until an election does the trick. If the un-President is brought down by foul means, then some pretty evil people are going to count themselves winners. An arbitrary replacement comes to the pulpit, and spends how many years railing against coup plotters and liberal conspiracies ‘at the very highest levels’. In 4 years, another faceless toad steps up to the plate and the same fight is lost all over again. Gotta get them right in the `values`. Gotta beat them in the beliefs, then they can fuck off and whine about white power at the Klan picnic for another 100 years.
    As it stands now, I see more than a hint of ‘Death Wish’ in ‘progressive’ angst. If we PROVE that we are so worked up and furious by crashing the whole fucking place, the deplorables will all go off and get themselves sociology degrees, and love their neighbours. Hmm. People are weird.


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    Lance says:

    Trump’s opponents are WAY overplaying their hand, and in fact, are playing right into his.


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      Wayne says:

      A hard lesson not yet learned.

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