Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on January 20, 2017. Since then, he has repeatedly broken the record for the most days spent in office without being impeached. Will this record be broken in the near future? Let’s take a look.
All The King’s Men
Trump’s first year in office was plagued by controversy from the outset. He was accused of impropriety multiple times and had to deal with the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump campaign officials.
On April 19, 2017, the Associated Press reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had a court-approved search warrant to investigate the president’s finances. The next day, Mueller indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and six other individuals in the investigation.
Manafort subsequently pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate fully with the special counsel’s investigation. He was the first big fish to be caught in Mueller’s net, and his guilty plea and cooperation deal guaranteed that he would bear the brunt of the investigation. Manafort’s plea bargain also guaranteed that he would be sentenced to a period of probation after his prison sentence.
The day after Manafort’s indictment, Trump lashed out at the investigation in a tweetstorm. He accused the special counsel of treating him unfairly and said that some of the prosecutors “should be ashamed of themselves.” He also said that the investigation was a “disgrace” and a “total witch hunt.”
These were not the words of a man who was about to be impeached.
Records And Records
Between January 20 and December 31, 2017, Trump made more than 5,600 false or misleading public statements, according to the Washington Post’s Fact Checker. That is an average of nearly 10 per day. Trump continues to hold the record for the most White House press briefings (1,442) and the most days spent in office without being exonerated by the media (766).
Trump also surpassed the five-year mark without being exonerated by the press on March 24, 2018, when he became the first U.S. president to be questioned under oath about his potential ties to Russia. The following month, Trump became only the second U.S. president (after Bill Clinton) to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
Among Trump’s most significant controversies is his proposed Muslim ban and the controversy surrounding his first national security adviser Michael Flynn. On Twitter, Trump has attacked the judiciary, media, and American intelligence agencies for investigating his campaign’s possible ties to Russia. As a presidential candidate, Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. Now, he is the most powerful person in the country.
Many critics, including congressional Democrats and a number of Republicans, believe that Trump’s continued popularity is a result of his tactics and willingness to fight. Will these tactics eventually lead to Trump’s impeachment?
More Than Meets The Eye
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said that he believes the Mueller investigation and the various congressional investigations being conducted into his administration are all partisan efforts to undermine his presidency. “They’re trying to take me out,” he said.
He added: “More than anything else, I think maybe people just don’t like me. They don’t like my personality. They don’t like that I’m not wired like them. They don’t like that I won’t lie down and be totally politicized on their terms. And I think that’s what it comes down to.”
Partisan investigations are commonplace in American politics. However, a president cannot rightfully claim that his status as an outsider makes his critics partisan. While Trump may be personally responsible for the rising tide of nationalism in this country, the Democratic Party and its supporters in the media are just as responsible for giving voice to this growing political movement. For more than a century, the Democratic Party has been the party of free trade and open borders. It was initially established as a nationalist party that believed in the European model of social democracy — an economic system wherein a strong government plays a large role in the distribution of economic goods — in which trade is discouraged and immigration is encouraged.
While Trump may have broken many of the political barriers that previously prevented minorities from entering politics, his opponents helped to build them in the first place. For decades, the Democratic Party has been the party of racial and ethnic diversity, feminism, gay rights, and inclusion. These are issues that motivate young people across the political spectrum, but they are particularly powerful for those who identify as Democrats or progressives. In this sense, Trump may be a gift to the Democratic Party, as he has enabled them to showcase these identity politics in a way that would not have been possible under normal circumstances.
An Identity Democrat
Trump’s critics claim that he has used the office of the presidency to promote white nationalism and stir up racist sentiments in this country. This is true. However, the accusations against Trump largely focus on his overt political rhetoric and speeches, which are intended to appeal to his base. While it is true that Trump has used Twitter to attack undocumented immigrants, travel restrictions on certain groups, and political opponents, these are all things that a Democrat would have said and done before Trump took office.
The problem for the president’s critics is that they have been forced to make these accusations against Trump while he is still in office. There is no longer any pretense that Trump can be an impartial president or that his personal views do not influence his policies. In other words, Trump’s opponents have been criticizing a presidency that is already well on its way to breaking all of the records for which they are accusing it.
The Way Forward
The road to Trump’s impeachment is still very much open. While the special counsel’s investigation and the various congressional investigations are still ongoing, there is no question that Trump will not be able to break all of the records he set in 2017. The Mueller report was submitted to the attorney general, and the various congressional committees have begun the process of drawing up articles of impeachment.
With each new scandal and controversy, Trump’s opponents are given another chance to rid themselves of an inept, self-serving, and corrupt president. While they may not like to admit it, Trump’s Republican supporters remain very much in his camp. They see him as a political outsider who is shaking up the establishment and bringing new leadership to D.C.
On a more positive note, what will happen to Trump once he is impeached? Will he be removed from office? Or will he simply go away?
One thing is clear: The American people will not stand for a corrupt and self-serving president who abuses his power. We witnessed this first hand in 2018, as the Democrats swept congressional elections in no small part due to their opposition to Trump.
Trump is an unpopular president. However, this is largely because he is an ineffective leader who does not understand the true nature of the office he holds. As long as his opponents continue to expose his lies and incompetence, the American people will be reminded of why Trump was elected in the first place — to drain the swamp in D.C. and to bring integrity and accountability to the White House.