Republicans should want to replace Trump with Pence because Trump is a polarizing figure who is inspiring a flood of donations to Democrats and a wave of Democrat-dominated special elections is already signaling how Trump has energized the Democratic party and demoralized Republicans. Yesterday Matt Yglesias notes that the “Democrats flipped a Missouri state legislature seat that Trump won by 28 points”! He goes on to say that Republicans are trying to avoid special elections because they have been losing so badly:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has decided to leave a number of formerly GOP-held seats vacant rather than schedule special elections his party might lose, national Republicans are pushing the panic button on an upcoming special House election in Pennsylvania, and GOP leadership is letting scandal-plagued Rep. Blake Farenthold stick around in his seat rather than risk a special election.
Republicans will still control the US Senate and the House until at least the next election and they have seen enough evidence that Trump is corrupt and knew about the Russians stealing data from the Democratic Party to throw the election (which is treasonous). They know that Trump has been actively involved in obstruction of justice in this crime. The first high-level Republican to investigate Trump’s ties to Russian election tampering was Comey who Trump fired as an attempt to stop the investigation. That act resulted in the Mueller investigation and Rod Rosenstein’s independent oversight of said investigation. Both men are also upstanding Republicans who were appointed to their jobs by Republicans. Republicans also started additional Trump investigations in both the House and the Senate. Republicans also tried to force Trump to go against his preferences and deal more forcefully with Russia. Later this year, these Republican investigations will give their findings to our Republican-controlled legislature which will need to fulfill its constitutional duty to decide whether Trump or Pence should be president.
Whereas Trump’s boost to the Democratic Party gives good reason for Republicans to re-think their choice of president, does this mean that Democrats should also welcome Pence? Of course. The reason Trump is so good for the Democratic Party is because he is so bad for America. Nobody should wish a tragedy upon others just for their own partisan gain. Plus, Trump makes politics way too easy for the Democrats. They don’t need any agenda other than not being on Trump’s side. The Democratic Party doesn’t need to have any positive agenda as long as anti-Trump sentiment is the primary motivating force behind Democratic donors and voting turnout. Indeed, because Trump sucks all of the remaining air out of the media to talk about anything but his antics and scandals, it doesn’t matter if anyone gives any real world policy proposals because nobody is paying attention to policy when there is such a dramatic, high-stakes reality show playing out in the White House that dominates the news every day. Nobody has any air left to talk about the best way to fix American immigration policy which is Trump’s signature issue because Trump still insists that Mexico will take care of building a wall for us. So we talk about imaginary fairy tales like the Platonic ideal of the wall (which is much more majestic than a fence, mind you) the Mexicans will provide that Trump assures us is supposed to solve the opioid epidemic although it was actually started by American pharmaceutical companies and is now fueled by synthetic fentanyl from China.
It would benefit both parties if they could get back to debating policy issues like the ideal level of corporate taxes, healthcare coverage, government spending, and containing North Korean nukes. So let’s get rid of the drama queen in chief and his corruption. Let’s bring in someone much more honest and boring: Pence for president 2018. Pence’s life is so ordinary, he makes policy discussions sound sexy by comparison.