As I absorb the events of September 24, 2019, I find the resolution passed by unanimous consent of the Senate most striking. Mitch McConnell is no neophyte, and I see no evidence that he is motivated by anything except a passion to win at all costs. So I find myself wondering what his strategy might be.
I wonder if we are seeing a “Hail Mary” pass for the 2020 election — act quickly and decisively today to remove Donald Trump from office, and run an incumbent Mike Pence against the Democratic nominee in 2020.
Here’s why I think this might be happening:
1. Donald Trump polls miserably against the leading Democratic candidates.
2. The House is already Democratic and will likely be more so after 2020. Very little new GOP legislation is likely to happen before 2022.
3. The outlook is bleak and getting worse for GOP Senators (including Mitch McConnell) as the campaign unfolds.
4. The leading Democratic contender (Joe Biden) has made defeating Donald Trump the centerpiece of his campaign. Joe Biden is a MUCH weaker candidate against an incumbent President Mike Pence than against President Donald Trump.
The GOP has a third and long on their own 40 with 25 seconds left to play and no timeouts. They are behind by 4, so a field goal doesn’t do it. They need a touchdown. They need a way to win the 2020 elections.
What if the following unfolds:
1. The House impeaches Donald Trump with the impeachment resolution centered around the outrageous attempt by Donald Trump to jeopardize national security by forcing the Ukrainian government to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden.
2. 20 GOP senators follow the lead of several House Democrats from Trumpist districts and cite this deal as a “red line” that every patriotic American must oppose.
3. Donald Trump is therefore convicted in the Senate in mid-2020 — after the primaries, perhaps even after the Democratic National Convention has chosen a nominee in mid-July.
4. Mike Pence becomes President.
5. The 2020 campaign theme of the GOP is “We saved America. We protected our national security.”
If this is happening, who is our best nominee? Should we be in man-to-man or zone? Do we have defenders covering the end zone?