This might be my last blog post with Donald Trump as President of the United States. Chances are, its not. Regardless, the fallout from Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey last week has been both dizzying and winsome. The revelation of Trump blurting out classified information to Russian officials, while not technically illegal, was certainly annoying to DC insiders but alienating to several key American allies. The narrative is less about cohesion with Russia the possibility of corruption and more about incompetence and ego. And yet, somehow Trump might still persevere.
Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that most Trump supporters aren't feeling too much buyer's remorse. The vicious cycle of conservative blogs, each regurgitating the same shallow bullet points while creating half-truths and exaggerations about their liberal opponents, are manna for angry fools. Let them blame the mainstream media for doing their job, or cast off late night comedians for their right to satirize and skew public figures. A former president attempted to censor the media via executive order, and it blew up in his face. (I'm aware that President Trump doesn't know his history, but the point stands.) The "bubble" or beehive mentality that might have cost Sec. Clinton the election works both ways. The sad thing, even if Trump goes his ardent supporters will not give it a rest, doubling down on the internet-born, nonsense conspiracy theories that attempted to hound --and still try to vex-- Presidents Clinton and Obama. Right-wing outsiders have cherry-picked Trump as their man, and they're backing him to the bitter end.
Regardless, the rural whites that saw Trump as a shining white knight 6 1/2 months ago must be seeing some sort of rust in the armor now. This was a man who both took advantage and navigated through a weak but excessively large crop of candidates for his party's nomination. He constructed his agenda in saying the things that other Republicans allegedly think but won't say out loud --more conspiracy theory-- and in the process dragged the GOP into the mud. Despite what some liberal bloggers have implied, the Republican Party is not built on racism and isolationism, but he dragged those two ugly ideas into the voting booths. His four months in office have matched his bluster, defined by a litany of executive orders in the early going, but only getting one bill (AHCA) passed through Congress. In blogs past, I letter-graded the Bush 43 and Obama administrations; in the very hypothetical situation that Trump leaves office before 2021 (or June), I don't know if I would give him a grade higher than D-.
Nearly four months in, the Trump administration's greatest achievement its the most scandal-plagued since Bill Clinton's, and at this rate it will eclipse Whitewater, Paula Jones, and whatever else our 42nd president deflected two decades ago. The people that feared and loathed "Crooked Hillary" are stuck with "Bungling Donald." It would make sense for President Trump to resign, but his pride and various past indicators suggest it won't happen. No elected Republican in either house will be breaking rank with Trump or their party anytime soon. The possibility of up to 11 1/2 years with a President Mike Pence (not a typo) may not seem palatable to many, but at least we can all concur that he would be a far more competent and even-keeled presence in the Oval Office. At the moment, for many Americans its just a pipe dream.
Next Week: my annual high school graduate "memory list."