Republican cracks of support for Donald Trump became apparent when Trump announced withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. These actions unilaterally left the Syrian people faced with hostile take- over, displacement and killing of Kurds by Turkish military forces. This set of circumstances led Trump to reconsider his impulsive move. Vice President Pence announced a cease fire agreement on Thursday, October 17. Less than 24 hours later, Turkey resumed business of firing as usual. Up to now, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s iron hand kept Republican Senators in line with protecting Trump. Could these new events be the straw that helps break the GOP’s elephant back?
There is also something known as karma—what comes around goes around. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) once declared that his main goal was to make President Obama a one-term president. He failed to succeed. He did succeed on his promise to deny a Supreme Court seat vacancy to President Obama as a result of Justice Scalia’s passing during the last year of President Obama’s second term. McConnell, through his efforts, denied a vote on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. This resulted in Donald Trump’s nomination of two justices to the Supreme Court. As a result, Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch now sit. McConnell may now be reaching his karma moment. Said another way, his chickens may be coming home to roost.
With the House Democrats most likely to bring articles of impeachment for a vote, articles will likely pass. When that happens, McConnell will need to hold a trial in the Senate on whether to impeach and thereby remove Donald Trump from office as president. It appears that McConnell is taking seriously the real possibility of an impeachment trial by setting forth some preliminary rules on procedure—including days for trial and behavioral rules for Senators.
Meanwhile Donald Trump continues to alienate some Republican Senators with his knee jerk reaction to remove U.S. troops from Syria—leaving the Syrians to massacre and slaughter and making the rise of ISIS possible again.
Trump is showing to the Republican Senators day by day his unfitness for office. With several Republican Senators, including long term bestie Lindsey Graham, speaking out against Trump on his Syrian debacle, behind closed doors they may be thinking of a coup of their own. While McConnell has held his troops together, despite a rogue and unstable president, his chickens may be coming home to roost soon. The term means curses are like chickens in that they always come home to roost. McConnell’s offensive previous actions may be coming to rebound on him.
If Trump continues to endanger the U.S. with his ill -conceived military plans, more Republican senators may willingly jump ship during an impeachment vote. A two-thirds vote is required in the Senate to impeach and thereby remove Trump from office. With the latest events unfolding on Syria, Turkey and perhaps others lurking in the background, Trump is making it easier for Senate Democrats to get those 12 votes needed to finally rid the U.S. of its albatross president around its neck. While the likelihood is still very slim, it is not beyond possibility. In the final analysis with new events unfolding daily, Mitch McConnell’s chickens may be finally coming home to roost.
Debbie Hines, J.D. is a trial lawyer and former Baltimore prosecutor. She practices law in Washington, D.C.