I have noticed that following the firing of James Comey that talk about impeaching The Donald has migrated from the wishful thinking of the left-wing fringe to the main stream media. It's a tad bizarre.
Okay, I get why it's quite possible that in his blundering naiveté and insecurity The Donald managed to commit a high crime or two -- obstructing justice, providing aid to a foreign power, whatever. The man is impulsive and stupid, a definitely dangerously self-destructive combination. He's been a nightmare for White House staff to deal with because the man has spent his entire life surrounded by yes men (and women) so tends to ignore anything that contradicts whatever he happens to be thinking at any given moment. What I don't get is why anyone would think his impeachment, even if it did result in his removal from office, would lead to some dramatic change in the political climate in Washington.
First, and most obvious, if The Donald leaves he'll be succeeded by Mike Pence, an extremely conservative Republican. The biggest difference between Pence and Trump is that Pence has enough experience in government to know how things actually work. He won't waste his time on photo ops of him signing meaningless executive orders; he'll put minions to work crafting legislation that could actually pass in the majority-Republican House and Senate. There would be no drama or 3 a.m. tweets with Pence; he'd just be quietly competent at implementing an extremely conservative agenda grounded in Christian Dominion beliefs.
In the highly unlikely event that Pence also got swept up by the colluding with the Russians charges, who comes next? Well, that would depend a great deal on whether or not a successor to Pence had been appointed before Pence's theoretical departure. Given the current levels of chaos and noncooperation prevalent inside the Beltway, it's quite possible the baton would get passed to the current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Not exactly an improvement over either Pence or Trump.
In any case, speculating about which way the dominos are going to fall is kind of pointless. Whatever does happen, it won't be what the pundits might predict. All the so-called experts have been spectacularly wrong so many times in the past few years I'm amazed they still get paid to bloviate and/or write opinion columns.
Here's what I think is a likely scenario in the unlikely event the House does decide to pursue impeachment. The pundits are saying it would disastrous for the Republicans, that a Trump fiasco would hurt the party's chances in 2018 and 2020. I say pshaw.
If the Republicans were to vote to impeach the titular head of their party, they would then be in the perfect position to claim the mantle of true reformers. After all, they could brag that they recognized -- a little late, granted -- that The Donald was unfit for office. They'd cleaned house. They'd started at the top with draining the swamp.
Alternatively, they could turn him into a martyr: look what the evil, evil Democrats did. The leftist socialist godless Commies lied, they cheated, they fabricated evidence, they drove a good man out of office. They'd blame it all on Obama, Hillary, and the minority party -- and the rubes would believe every word of it.
Either way, it becomes a win-win for the Republicans. Which route they'd take would depend a great deal on how worried they were about incumbents getting primaried by die-hard Trump supporters.
As for The Donald, at this point I think the best historical comparison is with Warren G. Harding, another pussy-grabbing President who kind of personified the Peter Principle in action, except Harding was self-aware enough to recognize his limitations. . .and Harding was a better golfer.