Friday, November 22, 2019

How Trump can stop the impeachment process (now!)

Earlier this week Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin reported (well, speculated) about President Trump’s health saying We can stop this entire impeachment process right now.

The Post reports:

President Trump’s impromptu weekend visit to a doctor remained shrouded in secrecy Monday as he stayed away from the public eye and the White House dodged questions about his health.

Trump, 73, made an unscheduled trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Saturday, later saying on Twitter that he had begun “phase one” of his annual physical exam and that the results had been “very good.”

Many others have noted that minor medical procedures and tests can be performed at the White House, raising the question as to what Walter Reed had that Trump needed on the spur of the moment. It’s also loopy to think you can take an “annual” exam three months early to get it out of the way because you know you will be busy (all year?!).

Monday night, the White House released a memo from Trump’s physician, Sean Conley, insisting, “Despite some speculation, the President has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues." Conley continued, “Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.” That only deepened suspicions. (What’s urgent as opposed to serious?) If he could rule out specific procedures, why not tell us exactly what treatment Trump did receive?

The American people have every right to know just about everything regarding the president’s physical condition. If he refuses to provide it, voters should be wary of reelecting him, particularly since Trump is 73 years old and is considered obese. It should also not go unmentioned that he has been undergoing arguably the most rage-inducing (for him, not us) period of his presidency, a stress factor if ever there was one.

If Trump is not well enough to run for reelection (or even get through the remainder of his term without further physical problems), let alone serve another term, there is no need to torment him, causing further physical and mental (his, not ours) harm. He should explain his health condition (or just say he has one), step down and oversee a smooth transition of power. As soon as he is out the door and headed for his new permanent residence in Florida, the witnesses and the hearings, the revelations and the scandals can be put aside. Sure, he might be prosecuted later on, but if he is in poor health, what are the chances he’d get any real jail time?

The benefits of an early retirement are considerable. He need not become the third president ever impeached. We would lose interest in his tax returns. The emoluments cases and the discovery into his finances would end. He would not have to dread a spasm of conscience or a court ruling that would provoke former national security adviser John Bolton to provide devastating testimony against him. And Trump could at least claim that when he left (if he goes quickly), the economy was not yet in a recession.

Other benefits abound. Trump would not have to capitulate in the unwinnable trade war with China. Let the new President Pence do that. Trump would not have to admit failure to denuclearize North Korea or acknowledge the dead end he has reached on his pullout from the Iran nuclear deal. Those can be Pence’s problems, as well. And, most of all, Trump would not have to worry about a humiliating loss in the 2020 election, or being blamed for “reverse coattails" (as he was in Louisiana).

I, for one, would not want to pry into the nature of Trump’s health issues, provided he leaves quickly. As a private citizen he can retain his phony extra inch (mysteriously moving from 6-foot–3 to 6-foot–4) and his pension and never leave a Trump property. No annoying NATO meetings or embarrassing encounters with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Just tell us he has a health issue and go. We’ll take him at his word (for once). Just go.

I would add: getting thrown under the bus has got to hurt - a lot. That’s what happened when Ambassador Gordon Sondland took the stand in the impeachment hearing. The Strangely Happy Envoy: Sondland Jokes, and Spreads Heat. A plum ambassadorship lands the cheerful hotelier in the red-hot middle of a fast-cooking impeachment crucible.

"Was there a quid pro quo?” asked Mr. Sondland, the rich Oregon hotelier whose $1 million donation to President Trump’s inauguration got him far more than he bargained for.

“The answer is yes.”

That was just the beginning:

Not only that, but Mr. Sondland implicated pretty much every principal over his head and under his bus.

… Throughout the morning, Mr. Sondland bore the appearance of a person who knew he was saving himself, as if he was no longer concerned with staying within the jagged loyalty matrix and “irregular channels” and omerta codes of Trump World.

… getting into a relationship like this [with President Trump] is the essence of why so many plutocrats give money to politicians — a chance to be a player, to joke around at the highest levels. They can regale friends about their exchanges and hold up their cellphone when he calls. Look, the president even called him a “nice guy.”

But the shine does wear off, and quite predictably with this president.

“You know, on Oct. 8 of this year, the president tweeted that you are a really good man and a great American,” Mr. Krishnamoorthi pointed out to Mr. Sondland. “And of course, on Nov. 8, one month later, he said let me just tell you, I hardly know the gentleman.”

“Easy come, easy go,” Mr. Sondland said.

(Thanks to Roving Reporter Sherry for the tip on the Sondland article.)

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