Sunday, October 7, 2018

Blizzard warning for an unfit president

            In Colorado, where polls show Democrat Jared Polis leading the governor's race, Republican Walker Stapleton has all sorts of names for him: socialist, radical, dangerous. Polis's ads, by contrast, have just this for his rival: "Trump's yes man."

            That should do.

            Indeed, such word association is working across the country in state and national races. The atrociousness of the Great Orange Obfuscator is why so many Republican office-holders are feeling blue.

            A Quinnipiac Poll Sept. 10 found 55 percent of respondents do not consider Donald Trump fit to serve in his office. Let that sink in for a moment. It's not just that Trump is just not their cup of tea. It's that what's in the cup is anti-freeze.

            Trump over and over proved those respondents right. Most recently it was at a rally when he made sexual assault a comedy bit, with a crowd of assembled embarrassments chanting, "Lock her up" of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

            Performances like that are what inspire 42 percent in the same poll to say Trump is mentally unstable. Imagine that: not just unfit, but, in his own fine phrasing, "loco."

            Sure, Trump can gather a collection of soulless cut-outs to affirm his brand of debasement (see: Senate Republicans) but a large sector of this country is simply disgusted with him.

            Which brings us to the weather report.

            Hold on to your hair, Mr. President. Thanks to you, the House looks to become Democratic-controlled in the fall.

            A Democratic-controlled House means a blizzard -- of subpoenas – questions about everything you've done and everything you are.

            Should the Ds take over (fivethirtyeight.com makes the odds three out of four), the House at last will begin serving the investigatory function that this House has abdicated.

            First, Trump's taxes: The New York Times has just reported how his road to riches was contingent on sham corporations and tax dodges.

            Don't say you're surprised, Trump supporter. Admit it: He's crooked, but he's your kind of crook.

            Pursuant to the report, Sen. Orrin Hatch, of all people, said Trump "may have to give up his taxes."

            Let's acknowledge: It's no more likely that congressional Republicans will follow up on that notion as Kellyanne Conway will say, "Every quiver of my boss's lips is a lie."

            A Democrat-controlled House would demand Trump's tax records. Of course, after the Times expose', they'll have to get in line behind New York tax examiners.

            A Democrat-controlled House would get serious about investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election. Presumably with the help of Trump's tax records, it might find out about the role of Russian money in keeping Trump's business empire aloft.

            The most interesting claim made in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury" was that made by Steve Bannon:

            "This is all about money laundering," said Bannon. He said the path to getting Trump "goes right though Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner. It's as plain as the hair on your face."

            Since then, Manafort has been convicted of money laundering.

            Notwithstanding what Robert Mueller alleges and what the truth may be, what's obvious is that a Republican-controlled House will ignore any and all claims.

            We haven't mentioned impeachment yet, a process that begins in the House. Only with a Democratic takeover of the Senate would impeachment have any traction.

            With Democrats having to defend the lion's share of the seats up for election this year, many in red states, the odds against their success are long.

            However, with states like Texas, Tennessee and Arizona suddenly in play, Democratic control of both chambers – and an impeachment trial -- is not out of the question at all.

            Back in Colorado, one of the bigger political stories is that Republican Congressman Mike Coffman, who has won five terms against strong challengers, is on the ropes against a relative unknown, Jason Crow.

            How is Crow doing it? By showing clips of Coffman stating that he'll "stand up to Trump," and then showing that Coffman has voted 96 percent of the time with a president seen by a solid majority of Americans as unfit for the office he holds.

            Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: jyoungcolumn@gmail.com.