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Trump’s good week



From time to time I try to imagine what happens if Trump wins this fight. It’s not hard to see how it might unfold: Trump pulls off his Korea coup, denuclearizing the Peninsula (although he might not be forthcoming with us concerning what North Korea got in return). The economy continues to chug along; his polls rise above 50%.  The coup de grâce: Mueller issues a report that exonerates Trump (and his family) from any criminal activity. And then, the last straw: Democrats fail to win either House in November, as the fabled “Blue Wave” distintegrates.

It could all happen. In fact, I’d rate the chances at slightly more than 50% at this point. Democrats would be so demoralized, millions wouldn’t even bother voting in the election. Republicans, emboldened, would increase their taunts of liberals, further dejecting Democrats. Trump, unleashed, would feel triumphant; who knows what he (and a conservative Congress) would attempt. Ruth Bader Ginsburg might retire, giving conservatives a solid lock on the Supreme Court that would last for a generation. And then rightwing extremists like Nunes turn their fury on Democrats, holding every sort of conceivable hearing, re-opening Hillary charges, impeaching at will.

The reason I’m thinking along these lines is because Trump’s had a good week–several good weeks, in fact. The Stormy Daniels scandal has largely faded from the headlines (although it could burst forth again at any time). A summit with Kim seems back on the table. Iran seems to be on the back burner, and anyway, no one likes Iran, not even liberals. There have been few if any recent revelations from the various Mueller probes: no new indictments, very little “breaking news” about the latest outrages, not even fresh rumors. Trump’s poll numbers continue to inch up.

I have to confess he’s starting to impress me with the sheer tenacity with which he fights. His unscrupulousness is breathtaking, his cunning and ingenuity positively reptilian. His self-confidence is off the charts. When he was first sworn in, people used to say, “Let’s not normalize his behavior.” Well, I think that bus has left the station. He has become the new normal and more and more Americans seem to like it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s morally repugnant and utterly unfit to be president, and I think a lot of the Republican leadership who continue to enable him should be hauled in front of a Nuremberg-style court and be forced to defend themselves—and, of course, there is no defense they can offer!

But right now I’m worried. He’s recovering, and I can see no sign on the horizon that threatens his popularity with his base. Except for one thing:


It’s scary that we’ve put all our eggs in that one basket. And yet, here we are: depending on one man, of whom we know little except that he’s supposed to be really good at his job. But even Mueller can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. It may be that what Trump and his family did was ugly, unethical, amoral, of questionable taste, and the very definition of “the swamp.” Still, it may not have been illegal. That thought haunts me.

I’ll tell you this: If he and the Republicans come out of this unscathed—indeed, more powerful—I’ll have to think seriously about my next move. We’ve waited more than a year for the majority of Americans to come to their senses and realize that Donald J. Trump is a disgusting pig. Despite all the evidence, that isn’t happening. I’ve long urged my readers to fight, fight, fight, never give up, don’t stop resisting! I still hope. But insanity appears to have taken over this country. Maybe this is how democracies and republics end. The parallels with Germany in the 1930s come constantly to mind. I’ve never seen any research, but I’ll bet that the overwhelming majority of pro-Trump Americans are of German and Western European descent. These are white, Protestant men (and the women who are subservient to them) who are used to running things, and hate seeing their power—which has been exclusively in their hands for millennia—slip away. The same people, in other words, who launched Hitler to power.

I hate to sound so defeatist, but we in The Resistance have had a horrible few weeks. Please, Mr. Mueller, do something!

  1. Bob Henry says:

    Two observations.

    One tongue-in-check. One serious.

    The former: Steve, you would do well to invoke this rule:

    “How Do Pundits Never Get It Wrong? Call a 40% Chance”
    The Wall Street Journal – Feb 27, 2018

    The latter: Steve, you and your readers should read this profile of James Davison Hunter, who coined the phrase “culture wars” in 1991:

    “The Man Who Discovered ‘Culture Wars’:
    Wall Street Journal – May 25, 2018

  2. Thank you Bob. Like most members of The Resistance, I have good days and bad days. Monday was a bad day. Tuesday–with the repercussions of the Roseanne Barr fiasco–is a good day.

  3. Bob Henry says:

    Addendum to a comment awaiting moderation:

    “Impeach Trump? History Counsels Against It”
    The Wall Street Journal – May 25, 2018

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