The US regime has always sought to ground its foreign-policy goals by managing coalitions abroad. This in effect duplicated limited resources for conflict, but it has also sustained a level of complexity that procures its own problems, namely alliance management within the confines of domestic policy.
Because war abroad remains indissolubly attached to domestic policy, American presidents sought management of foreign affairs by sustaining their grip on the US Senate. This domestic balancing act just got harder for Donald Trump. His presidency will now be defined by his domestic enemies.
A president may be impeached in the House of Representatives, but without prosecution in the Senate, the initiative fails. We are re-entering territory that has damaged previously successful presidencies like Ronald Reagan’s, Bill Clinton’s and Richard Nixon’s. If Trump’s administration can manage to shape domestic statesmanship, he can weather turbulence abroad. But failure at home will reverberate deep within Kabul, Moscow and Beijing, effectively curtailing US nuclear threat deterrence.
Lawmakers newly elected at the recent midterms will not be sworn in until January. That gives Trump’s domestic political enemies time to gather themselves. A cursory look at this leadership reveals the contours of impending conflict that can wreck Trump’s presidency because it will embolden enemies abroad.
The chief strategic interest of Trump’s domestic enemies remains political. The Democratic Party isn’t monolithic. It remains a mess of inchoate coalitions firmly entrenched in identity politics. Because its movement is concentric, expect Trump’s enemies to sustain ideological initiatives that serve Democratic interests. January will see the start of an unrelenting inquiry into the president’s foreign business interests, Russian ties, sexual escapades and tax returns.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, will chair the House Judiciary Committee. He revealed to The Federalist that his aim was impeachment.
Other incoming chairmen seek to challenge and destroy the presidency. Representative Adam Schiff will hold a senior position as chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; expect illegal leaks on sensitive political materials related to Russian collusion and relations with the president’s son prior to the inauguration.
The success of these chairmen is dependent on the report by special counsel Robert Mueller that has yet to be released.
The incoming House Democratic leadership will begin examining emoluments, or foreign payments attributed to Trump during his presidency. This means examining fiduciary relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Russia.
After his inauguration, Trump’s political enemies in the House of Representatives began a dossier of allegations that were denied by the Republican Party. January will begin the release of subpoenas regarding these politically charged items that have united the president’s enemies – issues related to immigration, the granting of security clearances, the gutting of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the Census Bureau’s framework regulating citizenship for the 2020 census, as well as 64 other domestically volatile topics.
If Watergate has a successor, this is it.