BOSTON (CBS) – If James Comey’s memo is to be believed, President Trump thought he could broom a brewing scandal involving Michael Flynn, his original National Security Adviser, the way he handled brush fires in his business – take a meeting with someone who could put out the fire, and either charm or knuckle them – or both.
In the worlds of Manhattan real estate and celebrity branding, you can get deals done that way.
In the White House, not so much.
And make no mistake about it, that little miscalculation by the president could – if Comey’s story stands up – get him impeached, on precisely the same type of charges that brought down Richard Nixon 43 years ago.
But while you’re listening to all the impeachment talk that will likely be part of our news diet for months now, keep in mind that no matter how intensely you disapprove of this president, impeachment is not something to be wished for.
The near-impeachment of Richard Nixon in 1974 and the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 left lasting damage to our political culture.
Many conservatives felt Nixon was hounded from office by a biased press corps and bloodthirsty Democrats; Clinton’s trial and acquittal made already-ugly partisan divisions even worse.
Look at us now, hopelessly divided and bitter with zero healing after elections half the country thinks the other half stole from them.
Obama always talked a bigger conciliation game than he delivered on; Trump doesn’t even bother to reach across the aisle, and would find few willing partners if he did.
Trump’s poor judgement may make it inevitable, but don’t be so eager to short-circuit the electoral process once again.
One short circuit too many and the house might burn down.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: