The answer to the million dollar question was a resonating ‘unlikely,’ at the Bath Festival panel reflecting on Trump’s first 100 days in office, although the guests’ bets differed as to the how and when the story will end. In fact, they jokingly checked their phones to see if he is still in the White House at that moment.
Chaired by the BBC Broadcaster Mark Lawson, the event took place on the 20th May at the Forum in Bath with the attendance of New Statesman writer Stephen Bush, writer Emma Kennedy, Guardian columnist Tim Dowling and American-born academician Sarah Churchwell.
Drawing on from the escalation of leaks regarding US / Russia relations, Emma Kennedy was absolutely adamant that the Comey memos will be the end of him. Tim Dowling agreed that he will not last a full year, but he was admitting that it is more wishful thinking than an educated guess.
Stephen Bush and Sarah Churchwell, on the other hand, speculated that he isn’t going to make the full four years but the wheels of justice will move rather slowly and Democrats may be able to flip the House after the mid-terms.
Of course, the cracks within the Republican Party didn’t go unattended, with Indiana’s ultra-theocratic former governor, now Vice President, Mike Pence coined as the most likely candidate to replace Trump, and the lesser of the two evils in a way as he is, after all, more predictable in his actions compared to Donald.
The fact that Pence has recently hired his own legal counsel to oversee his response to the Russia Investigation can be interpreted as a sign that he is beginning to separate himself from the rest of Trump’s campaign, so it may not be so inconceivable to think of a President Pence America in the near future.
But if there is one thing that is sure, it will not be easy for the Republican establishment to reclaim the party from Trump’s grip. To understand the dynamics within, it is necessary to revisit the elections process.
The American election is system is rigged in its nature to favour smaller states. The Electoral College, as incepted by the designers of the US Constitution, is a system that ensures the smaller states also have a say in the process, guaranteeing that every state has two senators regardless of their size. If the elections were to be based solely on the popular vote, the Democrats would have been ahead, but this time around, with the power of the smaller states that are more likely to vote Republican, combined with the loss of confidence in a Hillary Clinton led Democrat Party, it was inevitable from the beginning that the Republicans were going to win the elections.
However, Trump’s hijack of the party came out of the blue, leaving the Republican’s with two choices. They were either going to lose it all by opposing him or jump on the back of the Trump waggon.
They did jump on the waggon, which brings us to today, and to the question of impeachment. The ever divided House of Republicans is once again faced with the question of whether the benefits of getting rid of Trump will be worth the cost.
Trump is an increasingly unpopular president and the growing impeachment movement is certainly playing into the hands of the Democrats. His irrational tantrums actually block the way of legislation, where nothing ever gets done in the White House anymore. Besides, he is dangerous. In fact, he is very dangerous to the States, and to the rest of the world. If Trump goes without fighting, the Republicans can actually solve their problems and secure the rest of the term, but of course, Trump being Trump, it is more likely that he will make sure that he takes down the party with him.
And this is not the only problem. The 25th amendment that deals with the succession to the Presidency and the procedures for replacing the president in the event of death, disability or resignation, is in fact pretty vague and democratically a bit of a grey area. What impeachment is, in a way, is a legal coup, and no president has ever been removed from office to date by impeachment, except Nixon, who was forced to resign under pressure.
The panel has agreed that this may be the more likely outcome in Trump’s case as well because if handled wrongly, the impeachment procedure can mean civil war in a heavily armed society like America, especially considering how emotional the Trump supporters are.
Trump has been underestimated time and time again since his candidacy announcement and the ‘experts’ have been wrong in their political predictions so many times in the past year that we are at a point where no one can really predict what will come next.
For all we know, although his actions don’t seem to have a proper agenda, Trump has been cosying up with the petrol block rather nicely so far. This creates a new world order where the dichotomy of environmentalists versus capitalism becomes all the more clear on a global scale. At the same time, he has been appealing to the masses that are a part of populist eruptions all over the world with his beautiful wall, beautiful chocolate cake and big bad bombs. So, in the post-truth era that granted him his throne, it is hard to say if he will remain merely a product of it, or in fact, against all odds, will graduate to become the ruler of it all.