Last exit from Trumpland

In voting to remove Trump (and to bar him, as an impeachment can, from simply running for president again immediately), these 20 would allow the other 33 Republican senators to stand by him, thank him for his service and promise to Make America Great Again themselves. And the more ambitious among the latter group of senators would then compete to succeed Trump, while his wrath was concentrated against the treacherous 20.

That competition would be the next phase of our fast-forward: With Trump gone, everyone from Haley and Carlson to Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley could jump into an accelerated primary campaign against the unloved Republican “incumbent,” Mike Pence. The result would be, in effect, the 2024 G.O.P. primary four years early — with the possibility of either pre-empting a President Elizabeth Warren or preventing a Trump second term’s likely demolition of the G.O.P…

I think these conservatives underestimate, as liberals did with Bill Clinton long ago, the advantages in jettisoning a corrupt leader. (An Al Gore presidency was a better timeline for Democrats, even though it would have required the horror of letting Ken Starr win.) But I certainly can see ways in which, after so much elite failure and populist anger, having elites (indeed, the C … I … A!) work to remove a populist president just before his re-election campaign could make our toxic politics that much worse.