Representative John Yarmuth, a Democrat, had an interesting theory on CNN on Monday night on what could happen if Donald Trump were to be removed from office. As many have been contemplating, the removal of Trump would result in Mike Pence taking over. If Pence were to be removed as well, or resign before a new vice-president is appointed, it would be Nancy Pelosi who would become president. Pelosi is the worst nightmare for the Republicans.
Yarmuth’s scenario is an interesting one. But before we discuss this further, let’s accept the fact that the removal of Trump is extremely difficult. It would take over 20 Republican senators to jump ship. Tribal politics won’t make that easy. But let’s play out the John Yarmuth scenario.
Yarmuth is worried that if Trump is removed from office, the Republicans will nominate Nikki Haley for the 2020 ticket. According to Yarmuth, that would make it difficult for the Democrats to win 2020. Typical tribal politics, looking at party politics before the welfare of the country.
Clearly, both the Democrats and the Republicans put party before the county.
But let’s delve deeper into the Yarmuth scenario. Would Nikki Haley work?
It is mostly understood that Haley has political ambitions. Her book tour shows this. Also her carefully worded responses to questions about policy and Donald Trump. Look carefully at Nikki Haley’s rhetoric.
Haley plays it safe when it comes to her future ambitions and her part of the Donald Trump presidency. Nikki Haley has been clear that she supports most, if not all of Donald Trump’s agenda. Haley has said that she sometimes doesn’t like how Trump goes about implementing his agenda, though she is quick to remind everyone that she is Trump’s staunchest supporter.
By reminding everyone that she supports Trump’s agenda while at the same time telling everyone that she pushes back against Trump when necessary, she is signaling to two major constituencies that she is viable for them.
Arguing that she supports Trump’s agenda signals to Trump’s core group is a clear signal that she has their back. Adding that she always had Trump’s back makes her even more of a Trump surrogate to the Trump base. But she understands, as do the Republicans, that the Trump supporters are not enough of a constituency to keep or win the presidency in 2020.
The moderates are at play.
They may be against a Democrat, especially the left-leaning ones but some would never support anyone that was blindingly following Trump. For those that would vote for anyone but a Democrat, Haley fits the bill perfectly. Those that would vote for someone that did not go against Donald Trump would prefer Nikki Haley since she publicly did not challenge Trump.
Also, those moderates that would like someone that believes in the Trump agenda but think there is a better way to go about it would embrace Nikki Haley in that she has publicly rebuffed Trump’s most egregious actions without putting his presidency in jeopardy.
In other words, Nikki Haley is the solution for a Republican Party sans Donald Trump.
Here is where things get interesting.
The Democrats believe that the country is ready for anyone else but Trump.
Unfortunately, they are wrong. Enough of the country has bought into the Trump Kool-Aid that it is very possible Trump gets reelected – impeachment or not.
This is even more possible when you consider the current Democrat front-runners.
Joe Biden is just Hillary Clinton in a male body. Trump won, in part, because many voters could not stomach a Clinton in office. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are too far left for many voters. It is not about doing the right thing – Medicaid for all – but rather about the pocketbooks of the voters.
The far-left social agenda must be paid for, somehow.
México had this social experiment after the Mexican Revolution. It was successful to a point, while the oil flowed. Much of the Mexican social programs were/are funded by oil revenues. Except that oil is a finite resource and thus the social benefit programs have died off as the oil dries off.
There is no resource in the U.S. that can fund a Medicaid for all program without someone footing the bill. When Sanders and Warren tell you that it is the corporations or the rich that will pay for it is the moment that the voters look for someone else.
The problem is that the rich can afford to find the tax loopholes or fund political candidates to create some for them. The “corporations” are small companies and not the large conglomerates most think of when the word “corporation” is thrown out.
Many of the corporations are smaller companies with a few owners. The owners do not pay the 7.65% percent in paycheck withholding that workers pay. They pay 15% – both sides of the equation. When Warren says that it would take 1% or 2% to fund a medical solution, it translates for company owners into a 16% to 17% hit, not an 8.65%.
(I am aware of the idea that the one to two percent is offset by the lowered cost in medical insurance but there are issues that are not considered in this scenario which I’ll address in a future post.)
Most of the workers paying the 7.65% are not voters. That is a sad fact. The voters are the small company owners or the millions working as contractors, such as graphics designers, engineers or realtors. They pay more than 7.65%.
When faced with the prospect of ever-increasing taxes to fund Medicare and programs like them, their thought is not on Medicare for all, but rather on Nikki Haley versus Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.
Understanding this dynamic shows that a Republican ticket with Nikki Haley on it gives the Republicans an opportunity to keep the presidency even if Donald Trump were to be removed.
Like it or not, this is the reality.