Hey, don’t get mad at ME, righties. I have never said anything like that about a president barely six months into his first year, and never will. No, these days, that’s apparently the kind of statement that seems to be reserved for the president’s best friends. That title is a quote from longtime Trump strategist, Brietbart News Executive Chairman, and BFF Steve Bannon last week as he was pretty much avoiding being hit in the rear end on his way out the rapidly revolving White House door. (Full quote: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.”)
An ever-increasing number of people and organizations seem to be coming to the conclusion that the Trump presidency is not only over, it is too toxic to be associated with. GOP senators and congresspersons, companies in his business roundtables, members of his business advisory councils and HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel, organizations holding charity events at his properties, and now even trusted advisers are jumping off the Trump train.
It should be clear to any Trump voter that things are not going as they hoped when they held their noses, put a Trump casino chip on “weird,” and spun the wheel. In a Marist poll last week, two-thirds of registered voters in the states Trump won in a hat trick in last year’s election (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan) now say they are embarrassed by him, and overall support for the president has plummeted to the mid-30s.
Righties are in a tough spot. If your idea of a Trump presidency was that the entire American social and bureaucratic systems would be torn down and rebuilt in the image of an earlier, “greater” era (say, post-WWII or, heaven forbid, 1900’s Jim Crow America), things are definitely not headed in that direction.
Club for Growth president Grover Norquist famously said, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” (helpful hint: if ever invited to visit the Norquist home for a few days: take showers instead of baths).
But the (dark) analogy that we’re seeing play out is less “drowning it in the bathtub” and more of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” — the “baby” being irreplaceable public services, social norms, and, now, ever increasing attacks on legal immigrants, transgender individuals, gays, anti-fascist protesters, the environment, and… well, I only get 750 words here.
The Republican party is in an especially tough spot. If Trump ultimately resigns from office or is removed by the party itself, Americans will be correct to acknowledge the GOP’s complicity in knowingly putting our nation at risk to further their own agenda social and political agenda. And, in case that was the plan all along, there’s more than enough tar in that brush to cover Pence as well, should he become president.
That’s because there is nothing that Trump is now doing that is any different from the way he acted during the campaign: attacking the weak and innocent, equating totalitarianism with strength, championing the corrupt, and… 750 words, remember?
When you factor in that Republicans seem so intractably engaged in battling amongst themselves that they can’t get anything of substance done for the country (health care, the budget, tax reforms, infrastructure, etc.), the conclusion is irrevocably drawn that they only seem to be able to come to agreement for the easy no’s rather than the hard yeses.
Looking down the road, to any rightie getting prepared to spout palliatives like “he was a good man hounded mercilessly by a corrupt left-wing media” — you clearly do not understand the enmity and intent of America’s enemies. Any president that can be felled by the feckless losers Trump continually portrayed the press as being is one who will be easily manipulated by our foes, perhaps leading this country into a nightmare.
And, my God, I hope that’s not what’s happening.
Thanks for reading. See you next time.