"Much of America will not tolerate Mueller undoing the election," Roger Simon warned us this weekend, one of a long line of voiced apprehensions that sinister forces are planning to reverse the verdict laid down in November.
But such fears, it appears, are overstated. Under our system, a president cannot be unseated unless most of the public supports his removal. If Trump were ejected by scandal, it would not undo the election at all.
When Richard Nixon left office, George McGovern did not become president as a result. If Trump were removed, the White House would go to Vice President Mike Pence, his hand-picked successor, who was elected alongside him and is deeply abhorred in the liberal universe.
Hillary Clinton would not become president, Cecile Richards would not be a guest in the White House. The machinery of government would remain in the hands of Republicans, including the power to nominate judges, which drives the left wing insane.
It was the Founders' accomplishment that they made it possible for us to judge a man apart from the party around him -- to isolate and extract a criminal, rogue, or unstable element from the center of power, while leaving the structure around him intact. In this case, the result would be Trump's platform without the distraction of Trump's personality, which might be, in this instance, what most of his party might want.
As to the "coup," end of this theory, the shoe fits the foot even less. According to books, a coup is a "sudden, violent, and illegal assumption of power," outside of and opposed to all notions of order. It makes the interests and will of the majority subject to the ambitions and will of the few. In contrast, the rules for impeachment are laid out in the Constitution. This would be the definition of order, and tied at each stage to the will of the people. Each move is placed in the hands of duly elected officials, whose futures the voters have controled and would continue to control.
A vote of two-thirds of the Senate is needed to remove an official. This means the desire to do so would have to be legitimate, bipartisan, and widespread. The impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1999 failed. In retrospect, it looks less like an impeachment per se than the last stage of the culture wars of the 1990s. It was the bookend and response to the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. It was payback on the part of enraged Republicans for the Democrats' habit of hanging conservatives on trumped-up charges of harassment or "insensitivity," while letting their allies, like Clinton and Ted Kennedy go free.
In contrast, the impeachment of Nixon (which never occurred) began at a moment when Republican senators could no longer defend his assertions of innocence. His support in his own party was gone.
According to polls as of Monday, the public is split at 42 percent as regards Trump's impeachment, only six months into his term of office and with no impeachment-level offense having been alleged, let alone proven. But Trump, who won a solid victory in the electoral college while losing the popular vote by 3.5 million, and who romped in the Republican primaries without winning a majority of the vote in those either, took office with his favorability ratings under 50 percent. He has been driving them down ever since.
If Trump is ever removed, it will not be unfairly. Given the ample constitutional safeguards against unwarranted presidential removals, it will all be on him if it ever happens.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."