Follow me, please, in what Einstein would have called a “thought experiment.” His were all in the interest of serious science. This one may propel you into actual stomp-down laughter.
Imagine President Richard Nixon telling the TV lady, “If I am impeached, the stock market will crash and folks will be very poor.” And at that point he puts his finger to his head and adds, “If they get rid of this, mind you, everybody will be very sad!”
Play around with it. Take away Nixon and substitute Lyndon Johnson or Gerald Ford or Bush the Elder or Bush the Younger pulling off such a self-serving ego blast, all the while indicating with his finger the source of his roaring civilization-saving genius.
Yet that’s exactly what President Donald Trump did in the middle of last week, when one headline after another made Trump look more and more not like the swamp-cleaner, but rather like the swamp-maestro, pumping more high-octane sleaze into the swamp itself.
And I loved it!
I loved it not because a president I’m quite openly tied to is the star of so many negative headlines, but because the industrial-grade audacity of Trump’s performance reminded me of how this man – whom I openly preferred – made every other politician in the land look like a predictably uninspiring bureaucrat. “Have you no shame?” asks the fussbudget caucus of my friends. Get back to me on that if Trump gets indicted, tried and convicted. Meanwhile, give me more of his uncontrollable bragging. Being bragged at is so much more exciting than being bored.
Meanwhile the real picture becomes more starkly clear with every accusation, confession and grant of immunity.
What should now be clear is that some people want to get rid of Trump’s presidency, and they’d rather not wait until 2020 to do so. That coalition festering for regime change is made up of scoundrels, those who imagined wealth and power would surely be theirs under President Hillary Clinton, those who wanted the presidency of Barack Obama to marvel at rather than the sensational upset scored by Donald Trump.
That anti-Trump coalition also houses some idealistic, well-meaning Americans who sincerely believe Trump is unfit for the top job in the free world and – By Golly! – they’re going to sally forth and dump Trump and save the nation! But sincerity is no excuse for stupidity.
That interesting band of adventurers failed to deny Trump the Republican nomination, failed to prevent Trump’s victory last November and failed so far to get rid of Trump by proving collusion with the Russians and other evils on the menu of the Trump-trashers but which seem to never come out of the kitchen and reach the table.
So what do they do now? Even though nothing in Robert Mueller’s indictments and convictions have anything to do with Trump, they suppose that carpet-bombing will do the trick, since precision bombing seems to never hit Trump. Massive crimes committed by players with close ties to Trump can make Trump’s administration seem like a crime family broad and deep enough to make Trump’s 2016 voters say, “Gee, we thought he was good and he did some good things, but who could tell that the whole Trump machine was corrupt? We’re disappointed in Trump. Who’s the cleanest conservative out there now?”
This strategy, given a few more indictments, convictions and immunity pleas, might work, and thus jab a rusty harpoon into the entire Trump achievement. How dare we allege that getting rid of Trump is this ad hoc coalition’s motive? Easy. The selectivity of prosecution tells us so. If there were a Mueller looking for high crimes on the anti-Trump side of life, it would be even easier to produce, indict, prosecute and jail dirty big fish on that side. Also, the fact that illegal aliens accused of murder are treated better in our legal system than Mueller’s victims suggests the kind of bias that naturally accompanies motives far darker than a lust for the triumph of the law!
Egos breaking out of their cage and swallowing the countryside can be entertaining. Once, Notre Dame’s legendary football coach Knute Rockne (to say his name correctly, pronounce the first “K”!) accompanied his first-string center to court when the player was called as a witness in a trial. Under cross-examination the player was asked if he was a good center. The young athlete replied in the affirmative. “Are you the best center on your team?” was the next question, also answered in the affirmative. “Are you the best center in all of college football?” pressed the attorney. “Yes,” the young man replied, “I’d say that I’m the best center in all of college football!”
On their way back to the college, Rockne turned to his player and asked, “What gives you the right to tell the court you’re the best center in all of college football? That made you sound ridiculous.”
“I know, Coach. I hated to do it,” replied the player. “But you see, Coach, I had no choice. I was under oath!”