Donald Trump is the only president I’m aware of who was the subject of a great deal of impeachment talk even before he took office.
And I’ve noticed that nearly everything he’s done since then has been met with a significant number of cries of “impeachment.” Here’s just the most recent iteration: “Trump’s Wiretap Tweets Raise Risk of Impeachment”:
…[I]f [Trump’s] allegation is not true and is unsupported by evidence, that too should be a scandal on a major scale. This is the kind of accusation that, taken as part of a broader course of conduct, could get the current president impeached. We shouldn’t care that the allegation was made early on a Saturday morning on Twitter.
The article goes on and on attempting to explain why this is so.
I’ll make a prediction right now, which is that the drumbeat of “impeachment” cries will not let up for Trump’s entire presidency, but they will be in response to a successive and nearly-inclusive series of things that he does.
It’s more a technique for rallying the troops than for anything else. It would take something quite egregious for the GOP-majority Senate to go along with a conviction, or even for the GOP-majority House to impeach in the first place. And why would the Democrats be so eager to see Mike Pence in office? I think Pence would be a formidable opponent for them. He doesn’t have Trump’s flair for drama and for the jugular, but he’s reliably conservative and no pushover.
Impeachment has become the background noise of politics these days. It was true during the Obama years, even though (as I wrote here, for example) it was almost certainly not going to happen. It’s even more commonplace now. Its purpose is to keep people as fired up as possible against Trump, and to give them a sense of hope about the impeachment possibilities. The consequences—Mike Pence as president—are usually not even mentioned.
I will say this, however: there is more chance of the GOP turning on Trump than there ever was of the Democrats turning on Obama. I don’t think it will happen, though, barring something far more serious than anything that’s happened so far.