It is still true though, that the politics of the country has shifted to a different plane. During the event, once the scandal was exposed and compounded with new revelations and Trump’s erratic, self-incriminating behavior, the so far anti-impeachment public opinion began to shift, ever so gradually. After all, the President asked for the Chinese government to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden, in plain view of TV cameras and thus crossed the line openly on asking for a foreign government to interfere with American elections. Moreover, the example of the first whistleblower seems to have encouraged other personnel within the American government, who stayed publicly quiet out of loyalty, careerism or sense of duty, to come forward. Even the ever supportive, insidious Fox News gave signals that they might occasionally take positions that would make the President uncomfortable.
At the moment, the dysfunctional nature of this administration is in full display, as is its corruption. The abuse of office for personal gains, whether these are in political or business terms, has been exposed many times. The fact that the Attorney General of the United States, who is supposed to be above any taint of partisanship, is acting as the personal attorney of the President symbolizes the degree of corrosion in proper conduct and use of authority of office. Trump’s base remains defiantly loyal to him despite all the revelations. Yet, his responses and behavior suggest that, under fire, his grip on power is unravelling, as the swift and forceful reaction from Congress and the bureaucracy to his decision to withdraw from Syria demonstrated.
American politics will be in turmoil for some time and the Presidential primary and campaign seasons are likely to witness bitter recriminations and even incitement to violence. The House of Representatives expects to wrap up its impeachment proceedings by the end of the year, although it may be more advisable for them to go slow and let the public digest the profundity of the corruption in the Trump administration. The Senate, that will sit as a court if the President is impeached by the House, is unlikely to produce the required two thirds majority to find Trump guilty and remove him from office.
It is safe to say that for at least another year, the world will not have a coherent American leadership in substantive global matters or any matters pertaining to transatlantic security. In such a period of global flux, an introverted and institutionally weakened America will be a force for instability.
Copyright : Brendan Smialowski / AFP