For many, it seems U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment is not only probable, but it is inevitable. The notion of Trump fulfilling his term as president is seemingly incomprehensible to some, which means the thought of a second term is even more baffling.
There is so much wishful thinking in the minds of many who oppose Trump. Some feel like impeachment is just around the corner. And if is not currently, then Trump will do something so reprehensible that the Republican Party will realize the folly of their ways and move forward with an impeachment process.
This is not going to happen as long as the Republicans control Congress.
Trump's unpopularity and low approval ratings are constantly brought up as a self-evident explanation for why impeachment makes sense. The only problem is that it is not so simple.
He was arguably the most unpopular presidential candidate in recent history. He then became the least-popular nominee for a major party in the modern era. The trend has, quite predictably, continued. His pre-inauguration favourable rating was 40 per cent, which was about half of Obama's (78 per cent), as well as lower than both W. Bush's (62 per cent) and Clinton's (66 per cent), according to Gallup.
The Financial Times recently reported, Trump's record low approval ratings do not tell the full story. As president, Trump's approval rating is 88 per cent among Republicans. Surprisingly, as the Financial Times pointed out, "Trump is polling even better among constituents of his own party than Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, or Democrat Bill Clinton, were polling in the February after their inauguration." This does not bode well for the anti-Trump crowd hoping Republican voters will be the ones to turn on Trump and force the hand of their representatives.
While Trump had a press conference that was described by the New Yorker as "surreal," it was hardly out of the ordinary for Trump. This is especially apparent for anyone who watched any of his rallies as candidate.
More importantly, however, was the executive order that was issued restricting people from seven countries from entering the United States. This immediately set-off a number of protests all over the United States. The constitutionality of the executive order was quickly brought into question and regardless of any legal argument one wants to make either in support or opposition of the travel ban, a hastily implemented, restrictive immigration order signed by Trump was unfortunately not a surprise.
After all, a major theme of his entire campaign was to take a radical approach to immigration. And while the executive order itself did not apply to the vast majority of the world's 1.6 million Muslims, we are talking about a president, who as a candidate, advocated for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on."
For an idea of how seriously the Republican Congress will handle potential scandals with the Trump White House, one can observe the Republican reaction to the resignation of General Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security advisor.
Flynn recently resigned amid reports that he had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign. This should spark an independent investigation, as there are clearly questions that need to be answered concerning the Trump administration's potential contact with Russia.
There have been countless times over the campaign and his early presidency where he has been his own worst enemy.
However, it seems unlikely an independent investigation will take place as a result of the reluctance of many Republicans.
Even prior to Flynn's resignation, it was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's nomination that represented a test for how seriously the Republicans in Congress are going to treat potential conflicts with Russia. Outside of a lot of "tough talk," Tillerson made it through the process with relative ease, eventually receiving the support of those who were perceived to be the biggest threats to his nomination, Republican Senators Marco Rubio, John McCain and Lindsay Graham. A fine example of what Trump refers to as "all talk, no action."
Former W. Bush speechwriter and long-time Republican insider David Frum summed up the difficulty and unlikeliness of a Trump impeachment on Sam Harris' recent podcast perfectly:
"These are political decisions. So long as that core base adheres to Trump, so long as Fox News finds it is a better marketing decision to be pumping out pro-Trump messaging than to question him, the party will, however unhappily, hold together. So long as it has a majority in Congress, in both houses of Congress, he will not be removed."
It cannot be argued with certainty that Trump will not bring himself down, as there have been countless times over the campaign and his early presidency where he has been his own worst enemy.
The quicker Trump's political opponents realize there will not be an easy way to remove him from office and that the Republicans are not inclined to start an impeachment process while they maintain control of Congress, the better positioned they will be for the midterm elections in 2018.
So with that said, there is really only one way to remove Trump from office: vote.
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