Trump impeachment chances: Flake edition.

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Does Anyone Care What Jeff Flake Says?

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Does Anyone Care What Jeff Flake Says?

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 24 2017 9:05 PM

Today's Impeach-O-Meter: Does Anyone Care What Jeff Flake Says?

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Jeff Flake (third from left) and Bob Corker (fourth from left) on Capitol Hill on July 23, 2015.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

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.

Retiring Republican Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee both denounced Donald Trump on Tuesday. Flake described the president's conduct as "reckless," "outrageous," "undignified," and "unacceptable," while Corker said history would remember the current POTUS for "the debasement of our nation." It was pretty good stuff, if you're into denouncements.

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And yet, as many Democrat/liberal/leftists immediately used modern social media technology to point out, there is nothing about Donald Trump's nature that has been revealed in the last ten months that Jeff Flake and Bob Corker shouldn't have known about before the 2016 election, during which Corker supported Trump and Flake was critical of him but couldn't bring himself to endorse anyone else. There's also nothing stopping these statesmen from caucusing with the Democratic Party (or at least voting with it on executive-branch oversight issues) for the duration of their terms. They haven't done that and there's no current indication that they will.

So ... does today mean anything in regards to the ultimate question of whether Donald Trump will eventually pay for his many crimes by being forced from office? The argument that it doesn't is the easier one to make, given that Flake and Corker are lame ducks. The paradigm hasn't really changed until a Republican decides that attacking Trump and/or leaving the party is the best way to get reelected.

At the same time, these two gentlemen reached their breaking point and decided not to run for office again within ten months of inauguration. Various reports suggest the things they're saying in public now are the same things their more electorally minded colleagues say all the time in private. Are we really going to make it through another 38 months of this nightmare without more defections?

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Peter Parks-Pool/Getty Images.

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Peter Parks-Pool/Getty Images.