Democrats would be fools to impeach Trump

To the editor:

“The chickens have finally come home to roost. Now there’s some truth coming out about Trump and I want to see how he’s going to try to wriggle out of this.”

My Democrat friend Ken was positively ecstatic about the news that Trump’s lawyer had taken a plea deal and was probably going to testify against him in court.

“He thought he could buy his way out of any trouble; well, let’s see how this turns out. This might be the beginning of the end for that braggart.

“Everybody’s been saying about how great the economy’s been. Now he’s fouling up the economy with his tariffs and trade wars. He thinks trade wars are easy to win; we’ll see. I’ll have another, Louie.”

All of us were waiting for the smoke from Ken’s fire to clear; then Herb said “I don’t know what to think about these trade wars. Trump says that he’s just getting even with other countries because they set up barriers against our exports. I wish he would give us more details on all that. For instance, if he set up a 25 percent tariff on steel from some place, does it mean that that country already has a 25 percent tariff on our steel? If he’d let us know more about that, I might understand what he’s up to.”

Ted jumped in. “Herb, if he did that, he would have the whole country criticizing his every move. If there wasn’t an equal tariff on every item, all kinds of people would be all over his case. It’s not that easy. Let’s face it — he has all kinds of people to keep happy on these deals. Campaign contributors from different industries, that kind of thing. All countries do it; these tariff arrangements are just as complicated as the tax code because special interests all want their cut along the way.”

Then Jack chimed in. “I don’t worry about the details. I like to watch what the other guy is doing. If some country calls up and says “Let’s talk” then you know the tariffs are hurting them and they’re ready to sit down and cut some deals. The other thing I like to watch is where people are willing to meet. If the other guy will come to your place, that’s a good sign. But the best thing is that this is going on in public. How many times in the past has some president said we just signed a good deal with some other country and everybody’s happy and all that, and they were just giving the store away?”

Now it was Al’s turn. (Everybody was really into tariffs.) “That may be great, but some of our people are hurting. It’s not just other countries that are yapping: our farmers are getting hit hard on some things.”

“Al, this is just a big poker game,” said Jack, “and it’s going to take a while until it settles down where everybody is at least satisfied enough that they’ll stop fussing with this and start complaining about something else.”

Now you could see Ken getting flustered because somebody had changed the subject. He wanted to keep talking about Trump’s downfall and he jumped in. “That may be great, but Trump’s not going to have that much time to sort everything out. More and more people want impeachment.”

When he said that, the room quieted down. Most of us didn’t think there was a chance of impeachment, but we were uneasy when the subject was mentioned.

Frank hadn’t said anything yet. He’s like that: he listens to a conversation, nursing his scotch, and when everybody gets mixed up on some issue, he starts talking, and it’s like those novels when the detective on the last page of the book explains all the twists and turns of the whole book and who is guilty and all that.

He started. “Mueller was charged, I think, with seeing if the Republicans were in bed with the Russians to help Trump win. Now, you’re telling me that he wants to force the leader of the free world out of office because of hush money for some affairs. I read that Jack Kennedy had the Secret Service provide him with female companionship regularly, at least when Jackie was out of town. Strange how we’ve become more moral about such things, isn’t it?

“If this ends up with impeachment, I wonder who will be willing to speak with Mueller about anything; they will wonder what on earth was going on in the head of that strange man. But impeachment will never happen, because the Democrats are as afraid of Pence as much as they dislike Trump. In a way, Trump is his own worst enemy, in that he’s fixed the economy so well. See, people always want more: now that they’re not worried about the economy, they forget about that and complain about Trump’s personal characteristics, which we all know aren’t that lovable. Now that they have jobs, they wish their president was some good-looking, charming person — man or woman. That’s how Obama got elected — on charm. They feel cheated and the Democrats play on that anger. Throw him out of office and what do the Republicans have to run on? A good economy and a decent, presidential-looking guy in Pence. Democrats would be fools to impeach Trump.”

Frank turned and looked at Ken, seeing if he was going to answer him. You could see Ken thinking, but nothing came out of his mouth. We all stood there, waiting for Ken’s answer.

“Another round, anyone?” asked Louie.

John Brittain