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Projects editor

Ross Douthat, the New York Times columnist, has a column now comparing Trump's presidency with Obama's and suggesting it will end with a whimper, as he struggles with an increasingly Democratic Congress and fails to get the overwhelming public support he would need to assert more autocratic control.

I hope he's right, and he probably is. But I can imagine scenarios where things go differently and much worse. Here's one: Mueller produces a damning report, and Democrats, after winning control of the House in the mid-terms, impeach Trump. The Senate votes not to convict him, but the fight further polarizes the country. No strong action is taken to counter the Russian threat, and Putin continues his cyber attacks on the 2020 election, producing a doubtful result. Trump declares himself the winner, but millions of citizens take to the streets in protest. Violence flares and Trump declares martial law. From there, let your imagination run wild.

I don't believe such a thing will happen, but the unthinkable is thinkable now.

The nightmare scenario begins with impeachment, and I do believe, almost no matter what Mueller concludes, that Democrats should make their appeal to voters and not try to force Trump from office any other way. He should be rejected by the country as a whole in an election -- that is the first step toward recovery.

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Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at will@poststar.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at

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