Dear Senators Burr and Tillis:
We get it.
You’re really wishing this whole impeachment thing would disappear. You just want to get on with your life, running for office or slapping new GOP bumperstickers on your Volkswagon Thing as you go about … well … whatever it is you’ve been doing on Capitol Hill these past few years.
But, the impeachment hearings - and the revelations surrounding it - aren’t going away. Not now and not for several months and perhaps past 2020.
Pundits have been speculating about how impeachment will impact the makeup of the Senate, the 2020 elections, and focusing on figures up for re-eleciton like you, Mr. Tillis. Others have talked about the “legacy” you’ll leave behind.
We get it.
Neither one of you care about your “legacy”. You want the power and influence that comes from a Senate career and life after the Senate.
But, just really think for a moment about what will likely happen if you let the Mobster in Chief off the hook here. Not to our country, not to “decorum” in politics, or even, Senator Tillis, with your chances for another term in the Senate.
What would a vote to clear Trump mean to you personally?
Initially, Trump will crow about about being cleared of the “witch hunt” by the Democrats. GOP Senators will sigh in relief that they dodged a bullet and move on with approving Trump’s judicial picks, ignoring bills from the House, and crying about the lack of “bipartisanship” as they prepare for November.
Meanwhile, Trump will still keep doing what Trump does, every day, between now and November.
You’ve already seen Trump’s dumb decisions and you and members of your party have had to go on the air to clean up the PR mess he’s created. You’ve also seen how Trump’s actions have gotten more unstable and extreme over time.
When the dust settles, Trump will come out of impeachment more paranoid about perceived enemies. Are you with him or against him?
Even if you support Trump now, just remember that any public statement you make or remark you make to a colleague might rub Trump the wrong way. Perhaps one of your colleagues or someone in the administration who wants to screw you over will plant something in Trump’s ear about you to gain Trump’s favor. Perhaps a foreign government, pissed off at something you said or did or competing for some business interest you’re involved in, will simply scurry to Trump and set the wheels in motion in his paranoid brain.
If you acquit Trump now, you have no guarantee he won’t turn on you six months or a year from now. In fact, it makes it more likely that Trump’s impulsiveness will blow back in your face.
A few months from now, do you want Trump saying “take him out” to Bill Barr or one his other cronies when Trump is talking about you? About one of your family members?
If you convict Trump and throw him out of office, Trump’s base will be pissed off, sure. But this will blow over quickly. Instead of the unpredictable “stable genius”, making you wonder what Twitter rampage or order will screw you over everyday, you’ll wind up with Mike Pence. And we all know Pence would continue the same political policies Trump championed, but, at least would give some kind of day to day stability to the office.
It’s January, almost eleven months away from the general election. Sure, if Trump is convicted, he’ll get on Twitter and and FoxNews and lash out at everyone who slighted him in the least over the past three years. But will his hot air and threats have anything to back them up?
Trump’s hardcore cult will continue to yell and be upset. But, the evangelical crowd will gladly latch on to President Pence, the racists will move on to supporting a continuation of Trump’s immigration policies and Confederate flag waving, and “Main Street” Republicans will be thankful their stock portfolio isn’t being subjected to ups and downs with whatever trade “deal” Trump is hawking from one hour to the next. Everyone will be focused on winning in 2020, with or without Trump on the ballot.
Trump will quickly be a powerless, bloviating has-been. A failed reality tv star, a failed business magnate, and failed President. And, considering all of Trump’s other legal problems, a flock of lawyers will be swooping in to have their day in court with him, likely getting judges to put blocks on his Twitter ranting and public comments. Everyone - Republicans and Democrats - will move on to the 2020 election, leaving Trump in the same dustbin as Jorts, fanny packs, and the Macarena.
What’s the worst that could happen if you give Trump a pass?
Months or years of sleepless nights, wondering if the vengeful stable genius will go after your business interests, your career, or your family.
What’s the worst that could happen if you kick Trump out on Pennsylvania Avenue?
We’ll leave it to both of you to decide not what’s best for the country or North Carolina, but, really, what’s best for yourself.
PS - If you do decide to cut Trump loose, don’t forget to kick Pence in the pants to show him who is really boss and to not pardon Trump. You want Trump out of your hair and distracted in court to keep him out of your hair. Letting him off completely, so he can continue his shady business deals and ranting on social media, won’t do anyone any favors.