I’d bet Pence is president within the year
I’m not trying to go “Twitter game theory guy” all over your asses. Nor am I going to actually wager money on this on PredictIt (I already lost like $50 on the election itself #electionprofitmakers (#acknowledgelucifer)). I just think the math here works.
This is 100% a conspiracy theory. I’d also argue it’s hardly as crazy as the current “Russian golden shower kompromat” story making the rounds. So let’s go on this hypothetical conspiracy journey together.
The story goes like this: Trump surprises everyone by winning. The GOP quickly realizes that they can own the White House if they can get rid of Trump after inauguration. The GOP knows Trump isn’t really one of them but they know Pence well. He’s an old hand. He is firmly in the party pocket.
If there is anything you can bet on, it is that the GOP is Terrifying and Organized. So the party stands behind the President-Elect because he needs to seem legit. They don’t focus on Russian election interference because they need the election to seem legit. Surprising some people, the Republican electors voted almost lock-step with the party line (only two defected, while five Democrat electors defected away from Clinton, which gives us a pretty sad portrait of the state of the Dems right now).
In public, before inauguration, the GOP has been wildly cautious. They let Trump be himself, which is to say as insane as always. They let him pick his crony cabinet. They withhold criticism. They don’t make a big deal out of every new leak, every new bit of intel, every bit of bad news that comes across their desks every day. In fact, they make a few moves themselves just to further muddy the political news waters, rushing through hearings and ethics checks and whatnot. Paul Ryan makes an announcement here and there. Amid all that, they refuse to criticize Trump and his team.
Why? Because they need Trump inaugurated. Because they need Pence inaugurated as VP.
Come January 21st, all bets are off. The party that controls the House and the Senate can hold a public trial of the guy they just elected. They can turn a complete 180 and go in hard on his relationship to Russia, his debts and conflicts of interest, his complete lack of values, his criminal idea of how to treat women, whatever they want. They can try him for treason and probably find the evidence for it.
Lord knows some old guy from the GOP side will walk over to the Dems and say “Hey Chuck, we don’t really like this orange douchebag. If you impeach, we’ll get you the votes.” The Dems will take the deal. They would rather take the known evil of Pence than the unknown Putin-loving Cheeto terror.
The GOP turns back to all that stuff they stayed silent about. They kept it in a neat pile in the back room. They grandstand. They pretend they’re heroes. They vote to impeach. They offer Trump a fair and quick resignation with a prewritten statement along the lines of “I’m a businessman, not a politician, and as such I have decided I should return to my businesses where I am needed most.” They hand the White House over to Pence and the GOP owns the government.
All that news you were worried about disappears. The conflicts of interest disappear. The Russian connections disappear. The tabloid insanity disappears. Things calm down because Mike Pence is fucking clean and quiet. People turn back to The Bachelor or The Voice or whatever other reality show is back on the air at the time. The GOP, Terrifying and Organized, gets to work.