The official word in Washington is that the loathsome Donald Trump is already history and on his way out, enmeshed in scandal, self-inflicted wounds, abandoned by staff, utterly alone and powerless. How convenient for all concerned is that he’s leaving on an eight-day trip overseas on Friday. Some will call it an escape into exile. And in case he decides to come back, the usual suspects on the 9th Circuit will be rounded up to cancel his return visa. As the song used to go, he’ll be the man who never returned.
As America’s democratic order is destroyed — he is after all the man who won election to the presidency last November 8 and was duly inaugurated on January 20 and now the only acceptable next move is his extremely premature ouster — what will we be left with? A nominal two-party system in which only one of the parties plays to win or is granted any standing. Already Republicans are being enticed to go along with Trump’s overthrow on the promise that he will be succeeded by Vice President Mike Pence, a genuine conservative favorite. Any bets he’s more likely to meet the fate of Spiro Agnew? He’s lily-clean, no doubt, which today means he’ll be done in even faster than the deeply soiled Spiro was when his time came. And Pence about as likely to put up a fight as a pacifist in sniper training. From Politico comes the gentle warning that Pence will have “the baggage of having campaigned for and champion[ing]” Trump. In the current climate, the only way he’ll be able to regain his good name is to join Trump in walking the plank. Many others will be asked to follow, including all prominent Republicans in Congress not named McCain and Graham (though Lindsey may have jeopardized his survival when, without coordinating with the Mutt to his Jeff, he initially defended the ouster of James Comey). So politically unimaginative is the Republican majority that its members won’t even know what hit them.
In their dimwittedness, they never understood what they had in Trump. Essentially they were in a coalition with a third-party candidate who proved much more compelling than anyone in their own party in winning the presidency. It turned out to be a great deal for them, especially since in most areas he committed to appointments and policies that pretty much amounted to a dream Republican agenda.
But something about him made them feel uncomfortable regardless. Too icky, too tabloidy, too reality TV like, with a Slovenian wife who speaks with an accent (and besides, who’s ever heard of Slovenia?). And boy was he being savaged by the whole smart set on television and at the big scary papers.
They now seem to be taking their cues from the likes of two conservative boychiks at the New York Times who in what are being praised as the greatest columns they’ve ever written have essentially condemned Trump as a “man-child,” with such deep-seated psychological and characterological problems that removal from office will come as an act of mercy and save the day and the country and the world (oh, and the salons of Washington, D.C., while we’re at it). They think they are better and more virtuous than the man others elected president. And this is based on? The skinny-dipping one of them engaged in with a prominent conservative early in his career? A twenty-three year age difference the other has with his new bride — maybe he’s simply competing with Trump?
At Enemy Central we don’t expect to find much virtue in politics. But we do not look kindly on hypocrites, bullies, lynch mobsters, and group-think cowards. It’s not clear who deputized the Trump-loathing posse, but they are way more than just EOWs. Hard to find the exact words for them. Their achievement will be that they’ve damaged our country and its politics irreparably, all the while thinking they’re on the side of the saints. Kind of makes you miss the good old days of the ever honorable Pharisees.