Donald Trump is trying to get himself impeached. If you have any doubt about this, you need only look at his tweet this morning in which he falsely accused President Obama yet again of having spied on his campaign. Even as mainstream Americans prepare to decide whether to demand that Congress impeach Trump, he’s using tweets like this to beg for impeachment. But why’s he doing it?
When a political analyst tries to get inside the mind of someone as deranged as Donald Trump, it’s just shy of the agents on “Criminal Minds” trying to get into the mind of a serial killer. But there are a couple plausible theories as to what could be prompting Trump to push for his own impeachment right now, and it’s worth examining them, as House Democrats move further in the direction of impeachment.
One theory is that, because the Mueller report has exposed Trump as not only a criminal but also an unpopular weakling who would have lost the 2016 election if not for Vladimir Putin’s cyberterrorist attacks against the United States, Trump is now singularly focused on distracting us all from it by any means necessary. If that means setting himself on fire so we all forget he’s an unpopular loser as we watch him burn, then in his deranged mind, so be it. But can it really be as simple as that?
There’s another theory. For all his unhinged, delusional, and utterly psychotic moments, the Mueller report revealed that Donald Trump also has moments of relative lucidity – if only because his handlers periodically shock him into it. It’s possible that Trump’s handlers have made him aware that his current approval rating is in the high thirties, and that if things remain where they are now, he’ll lose the 2020 election in a blowout. A year and a half is a long time, and a lot of things can change between now and then, but something fundamentally huge would have to change for Trump’s approval rating to climb high enough for him to have any chance in 2020.
If Trump is impeached, considering how obviously guilty he is, and how many of his own top former advisers would end up publicly testifying against him, his approval rating would probably drop further during the impeachment process. Even if Senate Republicans then chose not to oust him, he would even more damaged goods heading into 2020. But there’s also a less likely scenario where impeachment could backfire on the Democrats, and could suddenly give Trump a fighting chance in 2020.
As things stand now, Donald Trump will lose in 2020, he’ll then be arrested and put on trial, and he’ll go to prison for the rest of his life. In other words, unless something changes, Trump’s life is already over. If his advisers have gotten him to understand that he’s completely screwed and that he’s going to lose everything unless he finds a way to shake things up, perhaps he’s rolling the dice on trying to get impeached.
Again, we’re dealing with an unhinged criminal sociopath who’s unraveling by the hour, so it’s tricky to try to parse his toxic sludge thought patterns. But it’s important to try to figure out if Donald Trump is begging to be impeached because he’s past the point of caring about anything but revenge, or if he’s begging to be impeached because he’s willing to take the longshot bet that impeachment might somehow get him back in the game. Either way, impeachment is likely inevitable – but we need to know what Trump’s gameplan is heading into it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report