Sunday, December 15, 2019

mmm … peach …mint

How Impeaching Donald Trump Will Just Help His Re-Election


Copyright © 2019 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

NOTE: “Mmm-Peach-Mint” was a novelty flavor introduced by the Baskin-Robbins ice cream company in the summer of 1974 as a commercial tie-in to the House Judiciary Committee’s deliberations on impeaching then-President Richard Nixon.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” said Friedrich Nietzsche — in a line later appropriated by singer Kelly Clarkson. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, I compared Donald Trump to Antaeus, the giant whom the Greek hero Herakles (you probably know him better by his Roman name, Hercules) had to fight as one of his 12 legendary “labors.” The problem was that Antaeus was the son of Gaea, the earth mother, so every time Herakles knocked him to the ground, he got back up again, refreshed by a boost of strength from his mom. The only way Herakles could defeat Antaeus was by holding him in mid-air with one hand while beating him up with the other, so Gaea couldn’t come in contact with him and give him the strength to keep fighting.
The most amazing aspect of Donald Trump’s weird life is his uncanny ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. He did it in 1991, when the banks who had loaned him money to build casinos in Atlantic City were about to foreclose on him and force him into bankruptcy — until they realized that the casinos would be worth more with Trump’s name on them than without it. So they cut a deal by which he could keep his name on the casinos and collect a royalty from it, but without having anything to do with running them. The deal energized Trump’s businesses; realizing he could make money merely by leasing his name without the bother of actually building or owning anything, he did many more such deals and raked in huge amounts of money for doing absolutely nothing.
Trump snatched victory from the jaws of defeat again in 2016, when the release of his conversation with Billy Bush on the set of Access Hollywood — with Trump’s proud boast that he could have his way with any woman he wanted because “when you’re a star, they’ll let you do anything” — one month before the election caused panic within the Republican Party. Veteran GOP professionals and strategists panicked, thinking there was no way the American people would elect a President who had openly and proudly boasted of committing rape on national TV. There was even talk of taking Trump off the ticket and putting up his running mate, Mike Pence, for President. Instead, Trump stayed on the ticket and ultimately won the presidency in the Electoral College despite getting three million fewer votes than his principal opponent.
And he’s about to do it again as he becomes only the fourth President against whom impeachment has been recommended to the House of Representatives. Andrew Johnson — a Tennessee Democrat whom Illinois Republican Abraham Lincoln put on the 1864 ticket as a symbol of national unity — got impeached four years later, and escaped conviction by one vote in the U.S. Senate. Richard Nixon resigned rather than face near-certain impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate. Bill Clinton, like Andrew Johnson, escaped removal because, though 55 Senators voted to convict him on one of the articles of impeachment, his impeachers couldn’t muster the two-thirds Senate vote required under the Constitution.
Donald Trump will have no problem staying in office. He will not only escape Senate conviction, he will do so by a far larger and more substantial margin than either Johnson or Clinton. On December 12, 2019 the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend to the full House that Trump be impeached — but they did so on a strict party-line vote, with all 21 committee Democrats voting for and all 17 Republicans voting against. The vote to impeach Trump in the full House is likely to go along similarly strict party lines; a few Democrats may buck the party and vote against impeachment but no Republican is likely to vote for it because if they do, they’ll immediately be purged from the party the way Right-wing Tea Party Michigan Congressmember Justin Amash was after he merely said he favored the House launching an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.
Likewise, Trump will have no trouble surviving the Senate trial. With the U.S. Senate split 53 to 47 in the Republicans’ favor, 20 Republicans would have to cross party lines to vote to convict him and remove him from office. That would be 20 more Republicans than will actually vote against him. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has made it clear he is actively coordinating impeachment strategy with Trump and his attorneys to make sure no Republicans defect. Instead of an impartial juror — which is what Senators are supposed to be when they try an impeachment (they even have to take a special oath to do that, above and beyond the oath they had to take to assume office) — McConnell clearly sees himself as a partisan floor manager, working to make sure a bill that would be hostile to his party and its leader gets defeated.
But even before McConnell admitted publicly that he was “in lock-step” with Trump and his legal team fighting the impeachment, there was virtually no chance of any Senate Republican defections. The reason is that Trump has such a total “hold” on the Republican base that any GOP Congressmember or Senator who dares defy him — especially on such an existential issue as his ability to continue in office — would instantly be writing his political obituary. Any Republican House member who votes to impeach Trump, or any Senator who votes to convict him, will instantly draw a pro-Trump primary challenger and get thrown out of office before he or she has a chance to make it to the general election.

Impeachment Makes Trump Stronger

What’s more, being impeached by the Democratic House and acquitted by the Republican Senate will only make Donald Trump a stronger, not a weaker, candidate in November 2020. Trump has managed to build a cult of victimhood that he shares with his base voters. For someone born to as much money as he was (even if, as I suspect, Trump’s fortune is considerably smaller than he says it is — one of the real reasons I think he is fighting so hard to keep from having to release his tax returns), Trump has an amazing amount of status anxiety and grievance. Fred Trump, Donald’s father, was a reasonably successful developer in the outer boroughs of New York City — but the Trumps weren’t considered part of New York’s “A”-list because they hadn’t cracked Manhattan.
When Donald took over, aided by attorney Roy Cohn — former chief of staff to the notorious Red-baiting Senator Joe McCarthy (R-Wisconsin) and later so unscrupulous a lawyer that the New York State Bar disbarred him a few months before he died of AIDS complications in 1987 — he did manage to do real-estate deals in Manhattan. But he still didn’t get the respect and awe he wanted from his fellow 1-percenters. Instead he was regarded as a tabloid figure, a sort of “trash celebrity” who made headlines with his adulteries and published ghost-written “autobiographies” like The Art of the Deal and Surviving at the Top. Trump eventually landed the job hosting the “reality” TV show The Apprentice, which presented him as the most successful and intelligent super-capitalist of all time, but he still felt so much status anxiety, so much fear that he’s really a little man (and a lousy businessperson) under all the braggadocio, he felt the only way he could counteract his fears of inadequacy and inferiority was to run for, and win, the biggest prize of all: the U.S. Presidency.
Trump’s status anxieties, fears, hatreds and prejudices found a perfect match in the huge voter base the Republican Party built out of the wrenching political changes of the 1960’s. As the Democrats, once the party of slavery, segregation and the Ku Klux Klan, switched sides on the race issue and became the party of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many white working-class voters who had previously been loyal Democrats started to change their views. They saw the Democrats extending the reach of New Deal social programs to African-Americans and other racial minorities, and believed this would mean money and social access would be taken away from them and given to people of color. They also saw the anti-Viet Nam War movement and wrenching social changes of the 1960’s — particularly the sexual revolution, drug use and the hippie culture — as direct attacks on the values they had been taught to revere and live by when they grew up.
Confronted by the independent Presidential candidacy of openly racist, reactionary Alabama governor George Wallace, which threatened to split the Right-wing working-class vote aroused by racial and social prejudices and enable the Democrats to win the 1968 Presidential election, Richard Nixon and Democrat-turned independent-turned Republican Senator Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina) cooked up the “Southern Strategy.” That meant that with the Democrats having given up on being the policy of racism and cultural prejudice, the Republicans would take on those mantles and embrace racist promises and policies. The “Southern Strategy” worked even better than its authors intended: it reversed the Presidential outcome from Lyndon Johnson’s 61 percent victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964 to a combined 57 percent for Nixon and Wallace against Democrat Hubert Humphrey’s 43 percent in 1968.
It also set the stage for the Republicans to become what political scientist Samuel Lubell called the “sun party,” the party that sets the agenda, dominates the electorate and relegates America’s other major party to “moon party” status. That doesn’t mean the “sun party” wins every election, but it does mean that when they lose they don’t stay out of power very long, and they’re able to block any major changes the “moon party” tries to make on the rare occasions they make it into power. Since 1968 the Republicans have won eight Presidential elections to the Democrats’ five, and a series of increasingly Right-wing Republican Presidents — Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and now Donald Trump — have slowly but surely remade the country in an ideologically Rightward direction.
There are limits to that analysis. The Republicans — especially since the 1980 election, when the so-called “Moral Majority” and succeeding organizations on the Christian Right first established themselves as a major part of the GOP base — have had a lot more success with the Libertarian economic part of their agenda than the social part. While a series of tax cuts biased in favor of the rich has severely weakened government’s ability to level the playing field economically or do much in the way of infrastructure and other social investments, women in most states still have the right of reproductive choice and Queer people can marry each other. It’s not surprising that a movement largely funded by the super-rich would tackle the super-rich’s economic priorities — mainly, to make America’s distribution of wealth and income even more unequal in their favor — before they’d fulfill the demands of the Christian Right.
But overall the Right has become far more powerful and influential than the Left, not only nationwide but worldwide (though that’s a topic for another article). And they’ve done it largely by nursing the status anxieties of working-class voters who used to support Left or center-Left parties but now see those parties as representing ethnic minorities, immigrants and others who are “taking our jobs away.” At least part of the Rightward transformation of America has been the transformation of the U.S. media, which began in 1987 when Reagan’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ended the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” that had previously required broadcasters to present both sides of controversial issues.
As music radio shifted from AM to the better-sounding FM band, the entire AM radio band became dominated by talk shows. Not all of them were political, but the ones that were were almost entirely strongly Right-wing in orientation. Eventually the stars of Right-wing radio — Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Roger Hedgecock et al. — built huge followings by using the same rhetorical style Senator Joe McCarthy had used before them and Donald Trump would pick up later. It’s a combination of self-righteousness, a bullying style that openly sneers at anyone who disagrees, a conspiratorial world view that doesn’t admit the possibility that anyone might have a different opinion without being part of some group with a nefarious anti-American agenda, and an overall appeal in which the host tells the listeners that they are part of an embattled “real American” minority under siege by the forces of progressivism who want to take away their jobs, their schools, their guns and the God-given “right” of white men to rule.
Trump has won the huge following he has — about 40 to 45 percent of the American population — in large measure because he’s the first Presidential candidate who talks like a host on AM talk radio or Fox News (which brought the voice of talk radio to TV in 1996 and has remained the highest-rated cable news network ever since). Like the talk-radio and Fox hosts, he portrays himself as the victim, endlessly put upon by dastardly “plots” seeking to undermine the good work he’s doing on behalf of America — or at least on behalf of the Americans he considers part of his coalition. Like Antaeus, he gains strength from every attack against him because he can cite it as yet more evidence that “they” — the progressives, the liberals, the Democrats, people of color, immigrants, “uppity” women, Queers — are out to get him.
When Rush Limbaugh first started gaining his nationwide popularity, many listeners told reporters they liked him because “he says what I think.” Like Trump, Limbaugh told his audiences that they shouldn’t be ashamed to be prejudiced against people of color, feminists or Queers; instead, they should be proud of those attitudes because those were the attitudes that had made America “great.” Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” tied right into the attitude of many white working-class voters that they had lost something the Democrats, people of color, immigrants and “free-traders” had taken away from them: not only the good-paying factory jobs that had once sustained them but the unquestioned sense that men were superior to women, whites were superior to people of color, and Queer people were so far beyond the pale they should stay hidden in the closets, be arrested and, when exposed, do the “honorable” thing of killing themselves.
Trump has played the victim card again and again and again during his candidacy and his Presidency. Every time he’s faced a serious challenge, from the Access Hollywood tape to Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s alleged “collusion” with Russia to the current threat of impeachment, he’s denounced it as a “witch hunt” by people who simply hate him and want to get rid of him no matter how much harm that will do to “our Country” (a word he always capitalizes in his tweets). Like the 18th century French King Louis XIV, who famously said, “L’etat, c’est moi” (“The state? It is I!”), Trump equates his own interest with that of America as a whole and regards his enemies as vicious, irredeemably evil and out to destroy him and thereby hurt the “Country.”
A number of commentators have noted the huge numbers of angry tweets Trump has sent out about impeachment as evidence that he really doesn’t want to become just the third President to be formally impeached by the House and tried by the Senate. Don’t believe it. Trump saying “Please don’t impeach me” is like Br’er Rabbit saying, “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch.” Just as Br’er Rabbit wanted to be in the briar patch because all the goodies he wanted were there, Trump wants to be impeached because it will provide him the ultimate victim card, the final proof that the dastardly “They” are out to get him by any means necessary — and therefore his base needs to rise up and not only re-elect him but do so by a landslide margin.
One Democrat who realized from the get-go how dangerous it would be for her party to impeach Donald Trump was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Ever since her party regained control of the House in November 2018, Pelosi had been trying her damnedest to put the brakes on any consideration of impeachment because she knew that with no chance that Trump would be convicted in the Senate, all an impeachment would do is rile up Trump’s base and make his re-election easier, not harder. As Trump openly defied the House and Mueller’s investigation in every way he could think of — including instituting a blanket prohibition on White House staff talking to Congressional committees or providing them documents, thereby blocking Congress from doing its constitutional job of “overseeing” the Presidency — Pelosi kept short-circuiting the demands of other House Democrats to take up impeachment because she knew how devastating it would be for her party and its chances of defeating Trump in 2020.
But Donald Trump, a man who mistakes forbearance for “weakness,” responded to Pelosi’s reluctance to impeach not by stepping back from his anti-democratic treatment of Congress, but by ramping it up. On July 25 — just one day after Robert Mueller effectively closed out his investigation by testifying inconclusively before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees — Trump was at it again, calling Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky and threatening to withhold military aid Ukraine desperately needed in its war with Russia unless Zelensky ordered investigations of former vice-president Joe Biden, (so far) the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination against Trump, and Biden’s son Hunter. Trump also asked Zelensky to announce investigations into loony-tunes Right-wing conspiracy theories that it wasn’t Russia that hacked the 2016 U.S. election, but Ukraine — and they were trying to help Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.
Trump’s pattern of responding to attacks with defiance has continued to this day. In a bizarre column in the December 15 Los Angeles Times (, law professors Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq of the University of Chicago and David Landau of Florida State University wrote, “Once impeachment begins, most presidents are likely to refrain from the controversial behavior — be it outright corruption or subverting foreign policy for a political campaign — that precipitated the process.” Not Donald Trump. As the House Judiciary Committee was debating impeachment, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani — who himself is under investigation by the Southern District of New York — was in Ukraine interviewing government officials seeking derogatory information on the Bidens for a documentary film he’s making for a Right-wing Web site.
Trump himself said in one of the impromptu press conferences he likes to give on the White House lawn, when asked if it was appropriate for him to tell the Ukrainian President to investigate one of his political rivals, “I think Ukraine should investigate the Bidens.” He added that China should also investigate the Bidens because Hunter Biden got a seat on the board of a Chinese company after he left the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. As a number of commentators have noted, Trump seems to think that the way to answer being accused of something illegal, like asking a foreign country or its nationals to help his political campaign, is to do it again, and this time to do it in public, telling his people that he’s so unafraid of any consequences, and so convinced he did nothing wrong, that he’ll do it again in plain view.

Impeachment and the Democratic Presidential Candidates

Trump’s chances for re-election are zooming upward not only because it will be yet another victim card he can play to mobilize the base, but also because the Democratic Party is, as usual, screwing things up. First, the Democrats overconfidently assumed that Trump couldn’t win the 2016 election — and indeed he wouldn’t have if the United States were really a democracy, since three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than for Trump. Instead, the framers of the Constitution deliberately made the U.S. a limited republic in which, as James Madison wrote in Federalist #10, elected representatives would “refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country.”
Thus the framers created a structure in which no individual citizen would vote directly for any office higher than a member of the House of Representatives. U.S. Senators would be chosen by state legislatures (until 1913, when the Constitution was amended to provide for direct election of Senators) and the President would be chosen by an electoral college whose delegations would meet separately in their own states. One of the ways the Republican Party has become and remained the dominant “sun party” force in U.S. politics since 1968 is they’ve shrewdly used and exploited the anti-democratic features of the Constitution — the Electoral College, the guarantee of two Senators to each state regardless of population, and the near-absolute power of state legislatures to decide who can (or can’t) vote and to draw up the districts by which House members are elected.
The Democrats are slowly but surely throwing away whatever chance they had to defeat Donald Trump at the polls in 2020. First, they allowed too many candidates to enter the race. The Republicans made that mistake in 2016, but it didn’t matter because Donald Trump seized the initiative and won an early (and lasting) advantage over the Republican base by being more open and out-front in his bigotry than his opponents had dared. No Democrat in 2020 has managed a similar lightning emergence from the crowded field. If you’re a Democrat, no matter what tendency within the party you identify with — militant progressive, cautious left-of-center, moderate or economically conservative and socially liberal — there’s more than one candidate for you.
In 2016 progressive Democrats didn’t have to choose between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren because Sanders only decided to run after Warren decided not to. Now they’re running against each other, thereby splitting the progressive vote and paving the way for a moderate. Or, rather, they would be doing that if there were a truly viable moderate candidate — which there isn’t. Joe Biden began the campaign as the Democratic frontrunner largely because of his association with Barack Obama; he’s run so openly and blatantly an appeal to return to the Obama years and to get politics off the front pages as much as possible that I’ve joked his campaign slogan should be, “Make America Boring Again.”
One of the grim ironies of the Trump impeachment is that Joe Biden’s political career is collateral damage — because Joe Biden in 2015 did exactly the same thing to Ukraine that Donald Trump did in 2019. In 2015 Biden went to Ukraine to meet with then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and demanded that he fire the country’s general prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who at the time was leading an investigation into Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter then sat. Biden told Poroshenko that Ukraine wouldn’t be getting $1 billion in loan guarantees the U.S. had promised them unless Poroshenko got rid of Shokin. Four years later, Trump called the current Ukrainian President, Volodomyr Zelensky — who’d won with 70 percent of the vote largely over allegations that the Poroshenko administration was corrupt — and essentially told him he wouldn’t be getting U.S. military aid for his war with Russia unless, among other things, he reinstated the investigation Shokin had launched against Burisma and the Bidens.
It’s true that, as USA Today reporter Courtney Subramanian explained in a story published October 3 (, there are extenuating circumstances in Biden’s case that don’t exist in Trump’s. The European Union and the International Monetary Fund wanted Shokin out not because they thought he was too aggressively investigating corruption, but quite the opposite: they didn’t think he was investigating it aggressively enough. Ukrainian activists like Daria Kaleniuk of the Anti-Corruption Action Center in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, also thought Shokin was an impediment, not a help, to the fight against Ukraine’s endemic corruption. “Civil society organizations in Ukraine were pressing for his resignation,” Kaleniuk told Subramanian, “but no one would have cared if there had not been voices from outside this country calling on him to go.”
But as the old expression goes, “When you’re explainin’, you ain’t campaignin’.” If Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, every Republican and Republican-leaning opinion outlet, including talk radio and Fox News, will be hammering away at the argument that the Democrats are being total hypocrites, impeaching Trump and threatening to remove him from office for something it was Biden, not Trump, who did. Already Viktor Shokin has written letters and sent them to Republican political operatives, and it would not surprise me at all if Shokin either appears in Republican campaign videos (like the “documentary” Rudy Giuliani was just in Ukraine shooting) or, worse yet, comes to the U.S. and appears on stage with Trump to finger Biden as the “real” culprit in attempting to influence Ukraine for his own personal advantage.
Despite their plethora of candidates, the Democrats at this point have no one running who has a real chance of unseating Trump. If they nominate Joe Biden, the Republicans will destroy him over his own dealings with Ukraine and whatever else they can dig up in his past and that of his family (including Hunter’s history of alcohol and drug abuse, which already got cited by Republican Congressmember Matt Gaetz in the impeachment hearings). If they nominate Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, Wall Street and the other members of America’s 1 percent, who regard Sanders and Warren as existential threats, will either sit the election out or actively support Trump. It will be 1972 all over again: an early moderate front-runner done in by Republican dirty tricks and a progressive nominee crushed by the real power centers in American society.
Hence the panic among corporate-friendly Democrats and their desperate search for a new candidate — including the emergence of Michael Bloomberg as at least the third mega-rich nominal Democrat (after Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang) who’s trying to buy the nomination with his own personal fortune. The irony is that we know the kind of Democrat who’s been able to win Presidential elections since the Right-wing realignment of 1968 from the three people who have — Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — and yet no one like that is running this year.
Carter, Clinton and Obama had several things in common. They were all relatively young, good-looking and charismatic, but they had substantial political experience in important positions: Carter and Clinton as state governors and Obama as a U.S. Senator. They all had the knack of making themselves seem more progressive than they really were: they looked progressive enough to appeal to young voters but not so progressive as to scare Wall Street and unite the super-rich against them. They were all able to carry at least some Southern states: Carter and Clinton by being white Southerners themselves and Obama, in the years before the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, by getting enough African-American voters to overcome the Democrats’ ongoing disadvantage among Southern whites.
You see anybody like that in the Democratic race today? I sure don’t. (Sorry, Pete Buttigieg, but being mayor of a small college town in Indiana doesn’t count as substantial political experience.) Frankly, I was hoping Virginia Senator Tim Kaine would run — he was Hillary Clinton’s running mate but somehow managed to avoid being tainted by the scandals surrounding her, he helped make Virginia the one ex-Confederate state Trump didn’t carry in 2016, and while he’s not a hard-core progressive by any means he’s been progressive enough he could conceivably pull off the balancing act between moderate and progressive Democrats that helped elect Carter, Clinton and Obama. But Kaine became one of the few Democrats with a national reputation who didn’t announce for President in 2020, and without him or someone like him in the race Trump’s re-election is looking more and more likely every day.
And if Trump does win in 2020, goodbye to American democracy. The U.S. will likely join the growing list of countries run by what I call “Dark Nationalists,” dictators who take power in constitutionally legitimate ways but then rule basically as autocrats, abolish all avenues for political dissent, launch openly discriminatory campaigns against minorities, foreigners and anyone else they don’t consider “truly _____ ” (insert name of country here). The list includes big countries like Russia, India, Brazil and (since its most recent election) Great Britain, as well as smaller but still important countries like Turkey, Hungary, Poland and the Philippines. Trump’s re-election would pave the way for a new world order in which the U.S. and Russia would be fast allies, spreading the gospel of anti-democracy around the world and supporting fellow Dark Nationalists in France, Germany and any other nation with the right level of social discontent.
Impeaching Trump will only make this bleak future more likely. It’s true that it’s not clear just what alternative they had: not impeaching Trump for at least one of his seemingly endless series of violations of the U.S. Constitution would send a signal that from now on, that sort of Presidential behavior is A-OK. The problem is that impeaching him and then losing the trial in the Senate — especially losing it to a phalanx of Republican opposition — will have the same result. Trump will proclaim the result as “a complete and total exoneration,” just as he did with the Mueller report, and ride it to either another narrow Electoral College victory (Trump could well become the first person elected President by the Electoral College while losing the popular vote twice) or — especially if the Democrats nominate Sanders or Warren and the ruling class mounts a no-holds-barred ideological offensive against them — a nationwide landslide.

And once a re-elected Trump starts abusing the powers of his office again — and he will — the Democrats will have nothing they can do to stop him. Trump will likely still own 2 ½ branches of the U.S. government: the Presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will likely rule in favor of Trump’s contention that he can declare absolute “executive privilege” and shield himself from any Congressional attempts to investigate him or hold him accountable. They won’t be able to impeach him again because such an attempt will have zero political credibility. The old saying goes, “When you strike at a king, be certain that you kill him.” The Democrats struck at Trump when there was no way they could kill him — and as a result, he will not only survive impeachment, he will be stronger for it.