I’ve been reading some weird stuff lately. For one thing, some of the expressions of disbelief at Rep. Brad Sherman introducing articles of impeachment are difficult to understand. Second and third, Slate’s recent post exploring the president’s pardoning powers, and another one that is basically a fantasy in which various states’ attorneys general might be able to punish the administration for its misdeeds.
I mean, really? Why are people wasting their time writing these things? All of the points they are making are utterly moot. All the president has to to is wait out the clock, and then he can do anything he wants, forever.
Can the president pardon himself? Can he be indicted by a state attorney general? Well… it all depends on what the Supreme Court says, doesn’t it? And, if ***** gets to put a second nominee on the bench, the court will be stacked in his favor, ready to rubber-stamp any heinous, outrageous thing he wants.
That’s why the president’s opponents are in such a hurry — their only slim chance of holding him accountable for his chicanery is to get him on something, anything, before the next Supreme Court justice passes away. His defense need be nothing more than maintaining his power until he’s able to throw one of his lapdogs on to the bench. (I’m not sure he knows this, based on the news reports I’m reading, but someone on his staff must surely be promoting this strategy.)
The Democrats can’t win a majority in either house of Congress in the 2018 midterms (they simply won’t be allowed to). If they could, then that would be the prez’s biggest threat right now. There’d be subpoenas and hearings flying around all over the place, maybe even articles of impeachment that aren’t just, toothless, symbolic empty gestures — it could get really scary for him; I mean, it might cost him some money. But so what? A stacked Supreme Court tr*mps a hostile Congress any day of the week.
This is one of the reasons I read the morning news with such trepidation. Because when the time comes, a lot of bad stuff is going to start happening very fast. It’s a given that gay marriage and abortion will be made illegal again, but that’ll be the least of our worries. Expect full pardons that serve more as immunity from all prosecution for any crime, past or future. Expect a severe reduction in the voting rights of (or tacit approval of violence against) anyone who attempts to vote for a non-Republican. Expect punitive investigations and prosecutions of any particularly troublesome critics of the president, up to and including opposition lawmakers. It’s going to be bad, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s like a game of Risk — you know you’ve lost, well before the game ever ends.
Ugh, so much for not talking about politics.