Will Trump resign — refuse nomination, or face tar and feathers?

Even without more likely incriminating evidence, everything Trump does and says from now on will amplify the growing national consensus here is the King of Presidential Corruption.

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Never has a president, or any federal official, worked so perversely hard to get impeached. That misadventure started at Day One, when he scoffed at savvy professional guidance, irrational for a total D.C. neophyte. Does not today’s outcome define a presidential death wish by a misfit who never really wanted or expected the job? The show’s finale promises a narcissistic implosion by which Trump tries to distract from a career of abuses by mounting the greatest peak, then declaring martyrdom.

What other prospect looms after this latest, abysmal defense, sounding like any transparently devious five-year old? “Everybody knows I did nothing wrong,” Trump said in a new interview. “Bill Clinton did things wrong; Richard Nixon did things wrong . . . I did nothing wrong.” Right, “everybody” but unshakeable House and national majorities.

Perhaps this celebrity clown is simply fed up with endless failures and crude coverups, spanning banished campaign promises, corrupt appointments, tariff tantrums, zero legislative wins (except grievous tax reform), and blundering foreign and military policies. What in truth “everybody knows,” at the midway point, is no mandated impeachment qualifies as “witch hunt” without a monumentally illegitimate,“witch”at large.

Making PT Barnum look good

Where’s the tar and feathers for this stumbling, third-rate PT Barnum? It hardly matters any more why Trump daily offends so many voting constituencies — virtually all but rightwing tycoons, white evangelicals and racist rednecks. Obstruction of justice and emoluments aside, there’s Ukraine, Syria, lawless re-channeling of military funding for his Wall, and endless contempt for Congress and Democrats. Does it really matter whether Trump is driven by arrogance, stupidity, derangement, or addiction to chaos-inducing stunts (what, so “everybody knows” he’s still breathing)?  Who else vilifies veteran, independent professionals (both military and agency patriots) who give damaging testimony by doing what Trumpers alleged for their hero: “telling it like it is.” Trump even denigrates GOP senators who won’t slavishly declare him “innocent” before testimony happens.   

Doubtless Trump the counter-puncher invites impeachment so he has a phony scapegoat against which to vent his rage — and rattle the cage of the aggrieved base forever convinced everything is corrupt.  Never has the nation’s top law enforcer openly scoffed at the idea of law, let alone being bound by statute, rules or history. No, Trump delusions aside, he can’t escape shooting someone on 5th Avenue, nor will he wish away constitutional House impeachment that’s already confirmed serial violations.

Who cares about that “phony” emolument clause, bellows Trump?  Only deranged liars challenge impeachment as not the best, most legitimate check against presidential abuses and epic self-dealing. What’s wrong with shaking down overseas presidents so foreigners can manufacture empty charades — not finding non-existent political dirt? Like the Bible he claims to revere, Trump hasn’t a clue what the Constitution says or means.    

Cults wither when phonies fall

The fate of the Trump presidency — indeed the future of Trumpism — is rapidly running out of options, including re-electability. The good news about cults is how fervor dies when the pompous figurehead crashes and burns.  Trump could never “alone fix everything” (or anything), but he can alone demolish his hypnotic hold on suckers. All but frantic Republicans are eyeing the exit ramps, figuring how much their hold on power depends on misguided loyalty to a thug without qualms about burying ex-supporters.

I delight so many right-wing travelers face an insolvable choice: stick with Trump and go down with the ship, careers smashed on the rocks of guilt by association.  Or exhaust themselves, scheming and plotting the ideal time to abandon ship, declaring Trump an enemy of the people’s democracy (which Rethugs then fully endorse).  After all, Trump’s promise to drain the swamp stands among his worst lies, exactly like the crooked real estate developer who thinks multiplying acreage magically obscures gross malfeasance. Perhaps Trump’s worst delusion is that, by surrounding himself by corrupt criminals, this distraction frees him to abominate the Constitution. In fact, we’re only halfway through the national march to confirm the range of indefensible abuses.  Nor have we endured yet the most desperate, violence-prone flailing by this cornered desperado.

If Trump is forced out, voters will alas miss out on the immense pleasure of routing our greatest bottom-dweller. Clearly, WH “business as usual,” even in this profoundly degraded state, is toast.  Whatever this lyingest liar and slanderer now says or does, the permanent stink of corruption will only dramatize incorrigible bad faith.

Over except for the shouting

Thus, what “everybody knows” is that Trump’s presidency is functionally over — except for epic whining and victimhood. Impeachment is as inevitable as Senate conviction is not — and that increases pressure this bankrupt president will do what the same bankrupt developer repeatedly did: run from painful ignominy and leave minefields to the adults. Re-election chances fade by the hour, despite an immense war chest and continued ability to play the tarnished Electoral College.

Sure, any president can still rampage, but now there will be far more House and judicial handcuffs. Indeed, one final piece of good news: Trump daily teaches the under-informed just how much unilateral power the White House can employ. Yes, presidents start wars on the their own, but none matches Trump’s mammoth domestic and international disruptions, especially with dire impacts on national security.  The “system” if rational must find better and quicker checks on manifestly aberrant over-reach. 

Even if no other incriminating evidence surfaces (hardly likely), everything Trump does and says for all time will amplify the mounting national consensus here is the King of Presidential Corruption. Frankly, he will be so buried in mountainous indictments  I can’t imagine he’ll enjoy staying in the White House longer than necessary — that is, until securing pardons for himself and his family. What a deserved legacy, yes, worse than Nixon’s, but also resolvable by forced resignation.  That will keep billionaire thugs from seeking power for a generation or two.

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Robert S. Becker
For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.

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