T.S. Elliot, like the rest of us, didn’t anticipate Trump.
As I write this, Donald J. Trump will occupy the White House for 11 more days. Perhaps in those 11 days one of these three things will occur that will make Elliot’s actual words, “Not with a bang, but a whimper,” ring true.
- Perhaps he will resign and leave that House honorably and peacefully.
- Perhaps the 25th Amendment will be invoked and he will Constitutionally be removed from office, leaving that House, along with miscreant family, in shame.
- Or perhaps he will be the only president who will have the unenviable distinction of being impeached twice!
So, how will the worst presidency, overseen by the worst President in the history of the United States, end…banging or whimpering?
- Resignation is highly unlikely. The man’s ego, his whole persona, will not allow him to resign. After all, resignation is the right thing to do. And when has he ever done the right thing?
- Invoking the 25th Amendment requires the leadership of the Vice President, and then a majority of the Cabinet to agree. The current Vice President, Mike Pence, the man who, it has been reported, was the target of the Capitol stormers, whose objective was to kidnap and murder him because he wouldn’t follow Trump’s directive to illegally overturn the election, has indicated he won’t bring it up. (What will it take to make this man publicly rebuke Trump?) And never mind that Cabinet members like Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos who have resigned, like rats leaving a sinking ship, so that they would not have to vote for removal in the unlikely event that the 25th Amendment got to that point, or current sitting Cabinet members like Steve Mnuchin and others who have signaled they would vote no – proving that their allegiance is to the criminal Trump, not to they people they were sworn to serve.
- A second impeachment is a distinct possibility. But is it too late? Certainly for removal, which is really the only thing that counts; Mitch “Profile in (Un) Courage” McConnell has already stated that if the House sends impeachment papers to the Senate as early as Monday, January 11, the earliest he will bring the matter to the Senate floor for a trial is MONDAY, JANUARY 19 – THE DAY BEFORE TRUMP IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE OFFICE ANYWAY!
Now, to those Republicans reading this (yes, all two of you) who agree with what I’d call “Capitol Baseball,” the game in which three strikes does not mean you’re out, and the 45% of the rest of you Republicans who, according to a YouGov poll released yesterday, backed the assault on the Capitol Building, or to the 67% of Republicans who felt the protesters were not a threat to democracy, I leave you with this:
(Full disclosure: This video shows the Trump party watching the gathering of the crowd at The Ellipse. Trump and his gang watched the actual assault of the Capitol Building in the comfort and safety of the White House.)
And to those Democrats who believe that Trump should not be prosecuted after he leaves office because it will divert attention from Biden’s agenda items or “waste precious political capital,” I ask you to reconsider. Trump’s needs to held accountable. If the Cabinet and the Congress won’t do it, then the judicial system must. No one is above the law. Trump broke the law this week and he’s broken the law innumerable other times. He must be tried and, if convicted, punished to the full extent of the law. I know trying him is a double-edged sword. Putting him on trial will anger his base (and who knows how many more “non-base” Republican followers), potentially wreaking more havoc on the country. But not trying him…in essence giving him a “get out of jail free” card…will embolden his base. And who knows what the consequences of that will be.
Trump began his presidency four years ago talking about “American carnage.” I hate to say it but whichever way he leaves office, he will leave with those words, words that no one at the time could believe he said, coming true.