In the tradition of the Clintonometer and the Trump Apocalypse Watch, the Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.
I'm being glib with that headline, which refers to the tendency of some observers to see strategic genius in every dumb, impulsive thing the president does, but let's just assume optimistically for a few minutes that there are enough cooler heads in positions of power around Trump to ultimately keep him from launching a catastrophic attack on North Korea. Instead let's consider the other person—like, besides Kim Jong-un—who Trump and his loyalists are complaining about at this week: Mitch McConnell. McConnell, who is ostensibly one of the president's top allies, recently suggested that Trump had "excessive expectations" about what Congress could accomplish, and the backlash to that remark carried up the chain of hackdom from Sean Hannity to White House social media weirdo Dan Scavino to POTUS:
Senator Mitch McConnell said I had "excessive expectations," but I don't think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
Elsewhere, right-wing billionaire and top Trump donor Robert Mercer has reportedly agreed to support a primary challenger to Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who's been critical of Trump's belligerent personal style and conspiracism. It's an all-out attack by individuals close to the leader of the Republican Party against ... the Republican Senate!
On one hand, Trump is not entirely wrong to suggest that McConnell deserves blame for the political failure of Affordable Care Act repeal: McConnell, with a few other GOP leaders, is responsible for creating the expectation among Republican voters that Obamacare would be completely repealed even though that was always going to be a heavy lift politically. And Jeff Flake is critical of the president. On the other hand: The health care bills were unpopular in part because the president was disinterested in their details and allowed hard-liners to stuff them with unpopular components such as Medicaid cuts. (Jeff Flake, incidentally, voted for every repeal bill that was proposed.) Also, Mitch McConnell and Jeff Flake are Republican senators who could, hypothetically, vote to convict and remove a president who's been impeached by the House. Might be best to keep them in the fold! Add all this to the persistent reports that Mike Pence is keeping his options open for 2020 and the news that Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's home was raided by the FBI and it seems like time to tick up the meter.