Before the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, some Republican Senators surely dreamed of a way out of the Trump mess that could improve their chances of success in 2020. They dreamed that incriminating evidence about Trump would come out of the Mueller investigations, and the Democrats would seize on it, and begin impeachment hearings. Republicans hoped for political backlash against Democrats after they dragged the country through, ultimately unsuccessful impeachment hearings. They imagined backlash against Democrats, similar to the kind they faced after the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton.
If it were ever a real possibility, that scenario has now gone out the window. In its place the reality is a temporary victory lap for Donald Trump, and perhaps, a small temporary bump in public opinion of him. While there is still some uncertainty about the outcome of all the ongoing investigations into Trump, one thing is certain. It will never be this good for him again.
Within the next few days, or weeks, or months, the damning information about Trump contained in the Mueller report will begin to be reported. Mueller may testify publicly. There is already speculation that Trump will begin pardoning people. Then, eventually, charges will be brought against Trump’s children, if not by the Feds, then certainly by New York State, where the Attorney General has already publicly vowed to criminally investigate all things Trump.
All of this will happen as job growth declines, the national debt continues to soar, the stock market drops, and the overall economic outlook weakens. Add to this the continuation of gross mismanagement, cabinet member scandals, effects of tariffs, and all the other problems that come from having an incompetent leader in the White House.
Barring any disasters, the above scenario is simply the likely expected path of the Trump presidency, and it could hardly be worse for the Republican’s chances in 2020. Democrats will be super-charged with the understanding that it is truly up to voters to oust Trump, and moderates will be fatigued with the incompetence and corruption. Donald Trump may take an undeserved victory lap this week, but it will be his last.
Cheryl Kelley lives in the DC area with her husband and young son. She is active in government and politics.