The impeachment fantasy

To those who can’t stand the new trigger-happy, thin-skinned president who seems more concerned with reckless attacks on the judiciary and the press than updating his badly thought out policies, a disgraceful end to his presidency is like a liberal wet dream

Last week, The New York Times posed the question "Can we get rid of Trump?". According to Richard Wolffe, in the Guardian, "The only things protecting Trump from impeachment for his egregious behaviour are his poll numbers and the false sense of security they give to Republicans in Congress.". The Chicago Tribune wrote an article on the actual law of impeachment and conviction. Dutch papers couldn't miss out on the fun either. Are these articles justified or just candy for hopeful liberals?

First of all, it should be noted that there are three ways for a president to quit all duties of office. First, the president can resign or die, the vice-president will simply take over. Second, a simple majority of the cabinet, including the vote of the vice-president can push forward a motion of conviction. The president can, however, fight this motion and follow the third route of conviction. This third route comprises of a majority vote in the house of representatives (Article I, Section 2, Clause 5), after which a two-thirds majority in the senate (Article I, Section 3, Clause 6) is needed for conviction and thus relieving Trump from all presidential duties.

Judging by Trump's trademark arrogance, a resignation by Trump himself seems highly unlikely. A motion by the vice-president and a majority of his cabinet seems equally unlikely and will be challenged by Trump anyway. Impeachments and finally conviction will thus be in the hands of the judiciary branches; the house and the senate, both controlled by a republican majority. This same republican party that voted for each of his cabinet members, each every bit as unqualified as the other. This same republican party has - at least not publicly - not strongly opposed any of his policies or hastily drawn executive orders. It seems to be a common misconception that Trump is removed far from the ideological shackles of the republican party. I would argue there is a complete absence of ideology in the case of Trump, as is often the case with populists. But the republican party has embraced even more right-wing ideas and has in the past not strayed from any xenophobic and racist statements. Republicans may not like all the administration’s proposals but as long as he brings in the voters they won’t stand in his way.

In the past, three presidents were impeached, only one actually left office. I wouldn't count on any additions to that list.