If previous presidential decisions have raised doubts among Democrats regarding Donald Trump, the past two weeks have seen an erosion of support also by the party he represents, the Republicans. Senator McCain, was quoted today describing events surrounding the president, "as reaching the point where it's of Watergate size and scale… Every couple of days, there's a new aspect of this really unhappy situation." As regards that most recent such “situation,” it appeared as a memo by ex-Director Comey which described the president appearing to try to influence the FBI chief to stop the investigation into his two-week National Security Advisor Flynn and his relations with the Russians. President Trump appears in the memo as having asked Vice President Pense and Attorney General Sessions to leave the room leaving Trump and Comey alone and, presumably, without witnesses as, according to the Comey memo, the president is described as having requested an end to the investigation of Flynn: “I hope” he is quoted as saying, “you can let this go.”

This encounter, and other memos by Comey following the meeting led Jason Chaffetz, Republican chairman of the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, to write Comey’s replacement at the FBI to turn over all memos and any other materials relating to the incident. “If true,” according to Chaffetz letter, “these memoranda raise questions whether the president attempted to influence or impede the FBI’s investigation as it relates to Lt. Gen. Flynn.” Chaffetz reminds that, in his role as chairman he has the authority to undertake the investigation and, if necessary, subpoena the documents in question.

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Much attention has been paid the president’s actions and the possibility of near or distant impeachment. Unlike Watergate, with which many are comparing present events both houses of Congress and the presidency are in the hands of a single party. How long can the Republicans protect Trump from his apparent inexperience and impulsiveness? Is it even in their interest to protect him? Things seem more clear-cut from the Democrat side. But is it really in their interest to pursue Trump’s serial missteps; is it Republican self-interest? What are the consequences for both parties following a successful impeachment?

With all his bravado during the primaries, the president seems to have entered office with little by way of a thought-out policy agenda beyond winning the election, and building the wall. He promised several things to his constituents chief of which was to replace Obamacare with something far better, much cheaper, a wonderful substitute. Instead, he adopted Paul Ryan’s present iteration of Ryancare renamed Trumpcare. Full support for this repeal and replace healthcare, his intended first legislative triumph. Its failure to pass the Republican House, far from a wake-u call to learn the legislative process he instead threatened the Tea Party conservative wing who refused to support anything short of their draconian budget-balance on the backs of precisely those who turned out for change, for Trump. Which led him to compromise with the Tea Party and weaken affordable care even further.

Bringing us to the past two-weeks debacle from FBI’s Comey to Israel’s intelligence betrayal to possible obstruction of justice in the Flynn affair, itself a potentially impeachable offense if pursued with vigor.

What would a post-impeachment political constellation look like? As president Pence is a leader of the Conservative wing of the Party having started out as a Tea Party conservative. He is a party member and respected as someone capable at moving legislation. Originally Ryan’s program regarding the Affordable Care Act was repeal, not replace. Tea Party opposition to “Trumpcare” and Speaker Ryan was precisely framed as opposing any replacement.

A Pence presidency does not necessarily mean the end of an expanded and affordable national healthcare program but may well spell an even more reduced Republican program than "Trumpcare." As regards the promised major tax overhaul, that’s not likely. But count on the rich benefitting from another massive tax cut on the shoulders of an ever-disappearing middle class.

Regarding events in the Middle East, Russia (well, maybe not Russia), the EU and China Trump seems to have been persuaded to follow a more pragmatic course under the advice of the generals (generals as more sober than politicians as diplomats!) in reversing a disastrous Obama policy on the heels of a disastrous Bush policy. So the Trump “doctrine” would likely survive in the Pence era.

As regards “the Wall,” the only defined “policy” objective of Candidate Trump, well that hasn’t fared so well even with Trump as president. Expensive, ineffective regarding its supposed purposes (the cartels will still find a way around; regarding the wave of “illegals,” the wave is outflow, not inflow! It will die a fast death and quickly disappear, forgotten it was ever proposed.

So, why are the Democrats so anxious to hold Trump accountable with this as a likely outcome? Clearly the chief beneficiary of impeachment will be the Republican agenda and, with Trump out of the way, a clear path for the do-nothing because gridlocked Congress now passing legislation with relative ease, a clear path to victory in the 2018 elections and the next presidential facing a fragmented and disheartened Democratic Party.

So, who is in favor of impeachment? Which party the likely beneficiary?
 
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