What are you going to do now, Donald Trump? One of the members of Congress from your own party just openly called for your impeachment. Are you going to wake up tomorrow and viciously attack him for it? Or are you going to ignore the whole thing like a coward? Either way, you can’t win.
That’s right, Donald Trump has been backed into a no-win corner, and it took a Republican to put him there – though let’s all give Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House leadership credit for having spent the past month steering things in this direction. Let’s say Trump decides to ignore the fact that GOP Congressman Justin Amash has come out in favor of impeachment. The media is still going to run with it, because this kind of high stakes intra-party squabbling is a blockbuster development and a ratings goldmine. If Trump stays silent, he doesn’t even get a voice in what will be a major and transformative news narrative.
On the other hand, good luck to Donald Trump if he wakes up tomorrow and attacks Justin Amash. He’s from a moderate district in Michigan, so if Trump attacks him, it’ll probably only serve to boost Amash’s prospects for reelection in 2020. Further, because Trump would be attacking Amash for such an unmistakably guilty reason, GOP House leaders like Kevin McCarthy would probably have to find a way to tepidly offer a public defense of Amash. Then the narrative wouldn’t just be that a Republican Congressman has called for Trump’s impeachment. It would be that the Republican leadership is squabbling with Trump.
We all saw the William Barr hearings send the pro-impeachment poll numbers from the 37-40% range to the 45-49% range. We all know what a big deal this week’s Michael Flynn bombshell was. We all know that Robert Mueller and Don McGahn will be on live national television soon enough, exposing Donald Trump’s crimes. We all know impeachment is coming. Something like Justin Amash’s statement today was inevitable. And there’s no way for Trump to deal with this without making it worse for himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report