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His act is getting old



Had enough yet? The breaking news, the embarrassments, the “He said whaaat?” moments, the sex scandals, the lies, the bullying and insults, the drama and incredulity, the upsetting of norms. It’s only been a year, but it seems like forever.

Once upon a time—actually, as recently as 11 a.m. on January 20, 2017–we had a president of dignity and class, a man without stain, who never had a sex scandal, whose family life was above reproach, a Constitutional scholar whose respect for the law made him a role model around the world. Now, the circus is in town.

Remember what Trump said in June, 2016? [Hillary Clinton] is likely to be under investigation for criminality for a very, very long time to come,” he alleged, referring to the Republican-manufactured faux scandal of her emails. “We’re going to be tied up in court for the rest of our lives with this deal…She will be under protracted criminal investigation likely followed by the trial of a sitting president.”

Hillary wasn’t elected; Trump was. So what do we have?

  • A president under investigation for criminality for a very, very long time (with the clock still ticking), and
  • The likelihood of a trial of a sitting president.

Trump saw the future accurately enough, but the protagonist was not Hillary Clinton, it was his own face in the mirror.

Only a month into the new year of 2018, Trump’s act is getting tired. His antics were amusing last year; they made for entertaining T.V. and gossip. Now, though, he looks more and more like a stale old Vaudevillian, with his dyed hair and faltering step, trotting out the same old one-liners: “Fake news,” “the failing New York Times,” “Crooked Hillary”—lines few are buying anymore. Washington Republicans, as we know, are standing by their man, doubling down on him—for now. I will make this prediction: When they wake up (and they will), they will turn against him, for there is no love lost between them and him. Even now, there are a few Righteous Republicans willing to take Trump on: Richard Painter, Bill Kristal, Joe Scarborough, George Will. They are the tip of the spear that will run Donald J. Trump out of town.

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