Mr. Trump Goes to Town

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

As soon as Donald J. Trump has been inaugurated as Pussygrabber-in-Chief of the United States on January 20tha number of serious disagreements will emerge in Washington, DC.  The main conflicts will not be between Trump and the Democrats, who are temporarily too weak to challenge the President, but between Trump and Republicans.  In the relationship with the House of Representatives, Trump has veto power and the House  has the power to impeach him.  It is not hard to see that Speaker Ryan would rather deal with a President Pence than with the alternative.  Pence would be a good GOP trooper and follow the leader, which would allow Ryan to realize his life’s calling and dismantle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while Trump has promised to not let these programs be touched, for what it’s worth.  But trying to impeach Trump while he’s still popular with the base would be political suicide, so Ryan has to wait until Trump starts losing support, even from the staunchest deplorables.  It is, however, not hard to see how that could happen in a relatively short period of time.
      Trump may be able to keep one of his promises, building a wall on the Mexican border, but there is no way he can keep his main promise, to bring back jobs to the ailing rust belt and other economically depressed areas.  Most of the jobs that have disappeared in the last 35 years have disappeared because of automation, not trade agreements, and won’t come back even if the latter are cancelled.  Additionally, jobs in fossil fuel industries won’t come back because energy from clean sources is rapidly becoming much cheaper.  And when Trump’s team of supply-siders starts picking up speed the US will look more and more like Kansas, with budget shortfalls, rollbacks to social services and a serious threat to public education.  The proposed combination of substantial tax cuts for the super-rich and investments in infrastructure will significantly raise the deficit, which will make neither the President nor the Speaker look very good.  And when Obamacare has been repealed without an acceptable alternative, as is the Republican intent at this point, the tar and feathers might come out.
      Most of the blame will go to Trump, but there has to be a ground for impeachment.  As per the US Constitution grounds for impeachment are treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.  That gives the House, the first theater of the impeachment process, a lot of leeway.  Treason may be out of reach, but because of the way Trump is structuring his business interests there will be plenty attempts to corrupt him and his family members.
      All of his life Trump has only cared about making money, and he has instilled the same attitude in his children.  It will be hard, if not impossible, for them to forgo easy profits, even when they realize that customers are doing them favors disproportionate to market conditions.  Only a miracle would prevent a kleptocracy from developing in the White House.
Meanwhile the Democrats will lean back and try to get their own crumbling house in order.  They may decide not to join GOP senators in an impeachment trial, but instead with a few Republican dissidents keep Trump in his job and the divisions in place, depending on how much danger the Trump presidency by that time represents.

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