President Hillary Clinton meets with the Russian foreign minister in the Oval office, welcomes Russian photographers but bars the American press, and apparently discloses critical intelligence information to the Russians. President Clinton fires her FBI director during the Bureau’s investigation of Russian efforts to elect her and to influence her administration. President Clinton denies that the firing of her FBI chief has anything to do with the investigation. No one but Chelsea believes her. President Clinton (let’s call her “Clinton” from now on) forgets her denial and now admits she fired the director to get the Russian investigation “behind us.” Clinton asks the FBI director to pledge loyalty to her, and to drop an investigation of her pro-Russian national security advisor. Clinton calls the charges of Russian involvement a “hoax.” “Fake news.” AS usual, no one believes her. And Clinton also calls climate change a hoax and orders her cabinet secretaries to remove scientific proof of climate change from administration web pages. Clinton is caught lying 492 times in public statements during her first 100 days in office. Rumors swirl around Washington that Clinton is becoming paranoid, leading every single Republican member of the House of Representatives to sponsor articles of impeachment faster than the speed of light. Of course, the real Hillary Clinton is wondering why congressional Republicans have been as silent as proverbial lambs even though the man who defeated her has done almost everything described above. What is most surprising is that conservatives profess to defend our Constitution while allowing the president to trash it. Has the Republican leadership lost its moral backbone? When one of the president’s key advisors says that our chief executive need not answer to anyone (and “anyone” includes Congress and the courts), is this not a threat to the Constitution’s separation of powers provision? When the president denounces our closest allies like Australia and Germany, and cozies up to dictators like Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan, and North Korea’s Kim Jong UN (“I’d be honored to meet with him”), might Republicans wonder if he understands the principles that undergird 230 years of American history? Perhaps President Trump has never read the Constitution. And so we ask: does he have the maturity and the strength of character to lead a great nation? Is he fit to be the president of a free people? Sooner or later, a prominent Republican will say “Enough.” He will remind us of Lincoln’s famous words: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.” And that is why, as the president continues to fire officials like Sally Yates and James Comey who swore to defend the Constitution, not to defend Donald Trump, and who understand that no man stands above the law, the president may eventually face a day of congressional reckoning. And when that day finally arrives, I predict that it will be Republicans, not Democrats, who will draft articles based on the Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4, the impeachment clause. Let’s remember: impeachment is serious business. It should never be a partisan instrument. And let’s also remember that terms like “obstruction of justice” are not always crystal clear. The firing of Comey may fit the definition, or it may not. But what is clear is that the president is skating on very thin ice. If members of his own party finally show some backbone, he won’t be able to do that for four years.

Guest columnist Gary B. Ostrower is a professor of history at Alfred University.