The fairytale of impeaching Trump

Trump’s opponents can be led to denial on this score because nearly every day the news brings word of impassioned anti-Trump protests from cities across the country. These stories can make it appear that Trump is already isolated, rejected by nearly everyone. But so far there’s no evidence at all to support such a conclusion. Rather than converting Trump supporters into opponents, the president’s actions seem to be inspiring those who already disapproved of him to despise him with even greater intensity.

And this polarization benefits Trump enormously, providing him with a potent weapon he can use on wavering members of Congress at the first sign of trouble. “Why on Earth are you siding with them against your own president?” he will say. And then those wayward Republicans will fall back into line.

Of course this could change. Democrats could retake the House in 2018, enabling them to begin impeachment proceedings against the president without the support of Republicans. Then there’s the possibility of something truly catastrophic happening — a major war that goes badly; a severe economic shock he appears powerless to fix — something that sends Trump’s approval rating among Republicans into the basement. In such a situation, even Congress in its current configuration may finally feel empowered to move against him.