Republican presidential primary challenger William Weld recently offered the most drastic response to the idea of how Trump opponents should respond to his reelection: impeach and attempt to remove him from office, despite the voters’ verdict.
“And I’ve long said that one of two things was going to happen: Either the sober second judgment of the community’s going to kick in, which may be happening in the last month or so. I think the president’s gone a little bit further on the proverbial limb in terms of lashing out all day long. And people will look at that and say, hm, maybe that’s not my dish after all.”
And if not and Trump is re-elected?
“I think Congress should impeach him.”
Salute Weld for his honesty, I suppose; he’s perfectly comfortable overruling the decision of the American voters at the ballot box. Then again, Bill Clinton was polling pretty well when the GOP attempted to impeach and remove him from office in 1998–1999 as well.
But we can only imagine the response of Trump supporters if somehow he won reelection, but then a short time later, a Democratic House impeached him and a combination of Democratic senators and 20 or so GOP senators agreed to remove him from office. Even a failed impeachment after Trump’s reelection would be seen as a bitter effort to further tarnish the reputation of a president that most Democrats believed would never get one term, never mind two.
In addition, Weld said, “I’ve recently read the law memo that Hillary Rodham and I wrote for the Nixon impeachment, and it’s very good. It’s balanced and makes it clear that conduct that’s not consonant with the conception of how the office should operate, including dignity, decency is grounds for removal. It doesn’t have to be a criminal offense.”
It’s interesting how dignity and decency are defined differently in different eras. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson gave a press conference to reporters buck naked.