The world's bookies are taking bets on Donald Trump's impeachment, which is looking more and more likely, writes Dr Norm Sanders.
THE WESTMINSTER ATTACK has taken Donald Trump off the front pages and given him a few days media breathing space but the drama rolls on.
The word “Impeachment” hangs over Washington like a bad smell. The world's bookies, ever keen for an opportunity to fleece the punters, have worked out the odds.
“From a betting perspective, Donald Trump’s presidency has triggered a massive boom for these kinds of markets. With Donald Trump, everything he does, it can be turned into speculation, and that can be turned into gambling.”
So what do the bookies think? Ladbrokes has taken the odds for impeachment to 10/11. Odds on. With online gaming site Bovada, the punters could walk home with $180 on a $100 bet that Trump won't serve a full four-year term. (The bet is off if Trump “passes away” during that time.)
Then there are the “Trump Specials”.
- To paint the entire White House Gold (500/1).
- To replace the Gold lift in Trump Tower (14/1).
Golden Shower footage to appear on the porn site RedTube (4/1).
You won't find any published odds for assassination, however. The thinking is that to offer odds on the U.S. President to be shot would create a financial incentive. But, being bookies, they have worked out a way around this. They all have a category along the lines of, 'When will Trump be replaced?' — 7/2. Since there are existing markets for resignation and impeachment, this covers heart attacks or ... assassination. Paddy Power added a new market recently: 'Donald Trump to be Officially Accused of Russian Collusion' — 3/1.
What is significant about the bookmaker's interest in the possibility of Trump's impeachment is that they think they can make a quid out of it at all. One bookie observed that if anybody had asked for odds on Obama's impeachment, he would have had to think a bit and come up with maybe 500/1.
The major bookies no doubt have teams of experts researching the Trump drama as it unfolds. The will for impeachment is fairly easy to find. Trump has stepped on a lot of toes and his popularity is in the low 30s and dropping. The Democrats would love to see him go and even many Republicans would be relieved. As far as they are concerned, they would much rather have Pence in the White House: A good, predictable conservative Republican.
'Trump's support from Congressional Republicans is a mile wide and an inch deep. If they turn on him, they can and will impeach him.'
It is difficult to decide where to start with Trump's impeachment possibilities, but the Russian connection would be a good place to begin. It could fall into “high crimes or misdemeanour” or perhaps "treason" categories listed in the U.S. Constitution.
Another ground for impeachment is “refusal to obey a court order.” Trump has been openly scathing of the Judiciary. If he disobeyed a Court Order it would trigger an open war between the Executive and the Judiciary and lead to a Constitutional crisis probably resulting in impeachment proceedings.
And then there are "corrupt business entanglements". Trump has been involved in a number of projects in countries where dealing with corrupt officials is the normal way of doing business. He is presently involved in a massive development in Bali and has had dealings with the "Corleones of the Caspian" in Azerbaijan, and people under criminal investigation for corruption in Brazil.
Next possibility is the 'Emoluments' clause of the Constitution. It says that no person holding office (including the president) can accept gifts from foreign powers. Trump retains ownership in companies that do business with foreign diplomats in his hotels and rents space to Chinese banks and foreign state-owned TV channels. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein of California has been hot on his trail.
There is also perjury and other forms of lying. Lying is what Trump does best. The trick will be to get him to lie under oath, perhaps before a Congressional Committee. As soon as he took the stand, he would be gone. In addition, fraud is a form of lying, as is lying to Congress or to the FBI.
As if all this wasn't enough, there is the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides for the vice president (Pence) to take over if the president is unfit or lacks the capacity to serve. He is 70 years old and physically fit (as far as we know) but his mental condition is under question.
Trump is being compared to Mad King George III who so pissed off the Colonial Yanks that they kicked the Brits out and started their own country, based on the concept of a small army and no more monarchs. To this end, they established a government with a three-part rule: Executive (President Trump), the Legislature (Congress) and the Judiciary (Supreme Court) to keep a monarch-tending president in check. Now Mad King Trump is expanding an already huge army and threatening the judicial system.
'Donald Trump must be removed from office because he has a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.'
The psychiatrist's petition caused angst in the profession because it was a violation of the Goldwater Rule of the American Psychiatry Association, which prohibits making public statements about any analysis of political figures without personal examination. Mega-hawk Barry Goldwater was running against Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 Presidential Election. Psychiatrists and the public were concerned about Goldwater's mental state. Bumper stickers read: 'BARRY GOLDWATER – IN YOUR GUTS YOU KNOW HE'S NUTS!' (I had one on my car.)
Johnson won and dragged the U.S. deeper and deeper into the Vietnam disaster. Maybe they were both nuts.
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (for example, exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognised as superior without commensurate achievements).
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement, such as unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
- Is interpersonally exploitative, for instace takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognise or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes.
Bingo! Trump has the lot. Place your bets!
Dr Norm Sanders is a former Tasmanian MP and Australian Federal senator and TV journalist.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
Is Trump the Antichrist? https://t.co/wTMZcbVKqy— IndependentAustralia (@independentaus) February 15, 2017
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