I don’t expect people to act rational and strategic. I don’t act rational and strategic most of the time myself. There’s not usually a reason to. When I need to decide what to order at a restaurant, I think “ok, that one,” and close the menu; I don’t carefully weigh the benefits of each item versus leaving the restaurant. I don’t wake up every morning and think “does it still make sense for me to be married to my husband?” or search job listings each day just in case.
Hence when the question “why aren’t Republicans impeaching Trump” comes up, I think the likliest answer is habit and tribalism. Sometimes there are options you take off the table for yourself because you don’t want too many choices all the time. Too many choices is exhausting.
I don’t think it’s a clever and crafty strategy. I don’t think it’s strategy at all. “They’re happy as long as Trump signs their bills”—so would Mike Pence, next in line. So would Paul Ryan, next next in line. “Impeachment would be embarassing”—more so than the current situation? Nah. Impeachment of Trump does not put them in a worse place than now.
However, I bet it makes you nervous when you have to drive to a place you haven’t been before, or when you call customer service to switch your phone plan, or when it’s time to get a haircut. That’s what’s stopping Republican congresspeople. That right there. Changing what you’re doing is miserable, even when you’re pretty sure you hate what’s already happening and could get out of it easy.
I mean, the other day I ordered a new computer battery because my old one died, and the new one is much better, on account of not being dead, plus storing more charge, plus elevating my laptop a little so the keyboard is at an ergonomic angle and the vents aren’t blocked. After I installed it, I had a five-minute emotional struggle to overcome my hatred of the fact that it’s not identical to the old battery.
Although, on the subject of job listings, it seems like nobody wants this FBI job. I’ll take it, as long as there’s a dental plan. I have no law enforcement experience, but I’m great at writing memos.
Nic says: I confess I do this all the time. I remember when my family was getting a new PC in the 90s I really wanted it to have a 166Mhz (yep – Mhz) processor instead of 200Mhz because I thought 166 was a nicer number despite being objectively inferior. I even justified it by cherry picked articles arguing that the 133/166 line were more efficient pound-for-pound than the 100/200 line because of their architecture (as if I had any idea what that meant). So yep, I was definitely a proto-Fox News victim had I lived a different life.
Romie: 166 is a really nice number.
Nic: It really is
Maria says: I see your point. What I find interesting though is they seem to be latched on to Trump in a rather kamikaze way, instead of steering with the next election in mind. It’s as if they are overwhelmed with what is at hand to look ahead the way they usually do or as if they don’t think the next election is actually coming.
Lia says: I nearly always ascribe malicious intent. I don’t mean to. I just find myself suspect of everyone’s motives. Like, I have a rule about compliments — if one person compliments me on a thing, they probably want something. If two people compliment me on a thing, it might be true, I entertain the idea of accepting these compliments at face value. If three people compliment me on something, a bucket of pig blood is about to ruin my new dress, and my telekinesis is woefully underprepared. I’m tempted to take comfort from your assertion, but I wonder if that’s indeed part of your plan.
Romie: My plan involves cake and naps. You want to be part of my plan.
Lia: This is accurate. I am in favor of both of these things.