Dear President Trump: The Ultimate Impeachment Deal Is To Abdicate Right Now

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If Donald Trump were even half the “stable genius” he’d like us to think he is, he’d do something really smart: He’d abdicate his office before the House of Representatives votes to impeach him. What’s more, if he were to abdicate, not only could he cut one helluva deal on his way out of Washington, but he could also make sure that Trumpism survives him—and his brand would be preserved to adorn hotels and golf courses far into the future.

Bear with me here, especially because Trump is about as contrarian and stubborn as they come. To say nothing of the fact that he is highly unlikely to take advice from a contemptuous libtard like me. But the idea of Trump abdicating still makes a lot of completely objective sense. He will most certainly be impeached by the House whenever that vote comes. And for good reason: His behavior as president has been largely and repeatedly unconscionable. The fact that the Republicans in the Senate will allow him to get away with his impeachable offenses is not a good reason for why he should continue to stick around the Oval Office. Impeachment is forever. It’s for the history books. He can’t erase it from his tombstone, regardless of whether the Senate lets him slide on the removal from office part of the equation. It’s a permanent status humiliation—his own particular, inescapable circle of hell. He’ll be a world-historic loser.

Therefore, he should sooner rather than later arrange for a meeting, say at Camp David, with House leaders—Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Jerry Nadler (okay, Kevin McCarthy can come too)—and cut a deal with them, literally for the history books. In exchange for the House leadership agreeing to drop impeachment proceedings, Trump would agree not to stand for reelection in 2020 and to leave office, without commotion or regret, in January 2021. With that grand bargaining chip, he might be able to secure a few more side deals: an agreement that he will not be prosecuted when he returns to Trump Tower, and an agreement that his children won’t be prosecuted either. He might be able to secure an agreement to keep the books and records of the Trump Organization from seeing the light of day, and, of course, to keep his tax returns—the pieces of paper he seems to care more about than any other—out of the public realm. (Unfortunately, with Trump and family free of prosecutions, he might not need to ensure the continued silence of other key allies with pardons—sorry, Rudy.)

With his agreement to depart in place, Trump will then be able to claim, with some justification, that he did an admirable job as president. He’ll be able to go out on a high note, just like George Costanza always wanted to do. In the afterglow of this selfless gift to the nation, many of his boasts would ring truer. After all, it’s accurate that the stock market is at an all-time high. It’s true that interest rates continue at historic lows. And that the unemployment rate is at or near historic lows, and that the employment rate among certain minority groups is at historical highs. (N.B. On the economic front, he does get dinged for a promised GDP growth that never materialized, for creating annual budget deficits in excess of $1 trillion, and for pushing our national debt beyond $23 trillion, despite a campaign promise to eliminate it. But under the circumstances, even the most passionate Never Trumpers might see their way to overlooking these little facts.) He can lay claim to the fact that he has not got us into any new armed conflicts around the world and he seems, in his bumbling way, to be trying to get us out of the lingering conflicts we face in Syria and Afghanistan. It’s also true—for better or for worse—that Trump has been trying to negotiate some sort of trade deal with the Chinese, although I defy anyone to explain to me what exactly he’s been trying to accomplish with President Xi this whole time (other than market manipulation).