The Slatest

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Does Shutting Down the Government Hurt the Person Who Runs the Government?

Donald Trump in the White House Rose Garden on Friday.
Donald Trump in the White House Rose Garden on Friday.
Mark Wilson/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.

The latest on the looming government shutdown is that there’s still no agreement to avoid it. Politically, the post-shutdown question is always which party takes the blame for creating an inconvenient if not catastrophic suspension of certain federal services. On that front, HuffPo polling expert Ariel Edwards-Levy finds that current public opinion is all over the place while New York’s Eric Levitz makes a good case that the ultimate answer will be “no one will take the blame at all because it’ll be forgotten by November”:

A little over three months ago, a psychopath in Las Vegas perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in American history. It was off the front page within days, out of the policy conversation within weeks, and barely figured in year-end reflections on Trump’s first year in office. Last June, an anti-Trump gun-lover — who took “the resistance” concept a bit too literally — opened fire on the Republican congressional baseball team. The event passed from the headlines in about 48 hours. If Trump hadn’t congratulated Steve Scalise on the wonders that bullets had done for his waistline, the incident would be deep down the memory hole by now. Last week, we learned that the president had an affair with a porn star that apparently involved an act of sadomasochism perpetrated with a Forbes magazine, and I’ve already forgotten the first half of this sentence.

The only caveat I’d add to these fine individuals’ observations is that the idea of giving a “path to citizenship” to individuals who were brought illegally to the U.S. through no fault of their own as children—DACA recipients or Dreamers—is always popular when it’s polled. If the Democrats do end up winning a staredown over DACA and tying a permanent “path to citizenship” bill to the eventual agreement to continue funding the government, that becomes an accomplishment that isn’t going to go away by November—and perhaps not before 2020—because the Democrats won’t let voters, especially in their own base, forget that they made it happen.

But today’s meter is still unchanged because hey, maybe they’ll still all get together tonight and have a few drinks and a few laughs and figure this whole thing out.

Impeach-O-Meter: 45 percent.