Opinion

Please Advise: Will 2018 See the End of President Trump?

Alas, despite scandal and scorn, Republicans will stand by their man.

By Steve Burgess 5 Jan 2018 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.

Dear Dr. Steve,

Looking back on 2017, it seems everything was about Trump. Looking ahead to 2018... well, I don’t expect many headlines about municipal rezoning. Can we hope that the coming year will bring about the downfall of the First Doofus?

Signed,

Resigned

Dear Resigned,

On Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address. “Now we are engaged in a great civil war,” he told his audience. The speech was only 272 words long and has stood ever since as the greatest oration ever given by an American president in time of war.

Until now, loser. Donald Trump just speeched something better. Way better. This week Trump used only 265 words to declare war on Steve Bannon — all the best words, as usual.

Anyone can try to end a civil war, but it takes a large-handed man like Trump to start one. Trump’s attack on Bannon promises to start the biggest, the greatest American civil war ever. It’s going to divide the Breit from the Bart, the alt from the right, the Emperor from Darth Vader.

Trump’s epic throwdown was inspired by a new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House. In recently published excerpts, Bannon is quoted as saying Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was “treasonous” and that when Don Jr. is questioned by the special prosecutor he will “crack like an egg.” Bannon also said the files on Jared Kushner were “greasy.” Throw in a stack of pancakes and a Diet Coke and you have IHOP’s new Killer Diller Robert Mueller Breakfast.

Trump’s statement referred to Bannon as insane, which just goes to show even a blind pig finds an apple once in awhile. But Trump is on shakier ground when he claims Bannon “has nothing to do with me or my Presidency.” After a few drinks, Kermit probably said the same thing about Jim Henson. But the two trolls were besties once. Even when Bannon left the White House last August he claimed it would free him up to fight for Trump and his policies without reservation. Now we’ll see which fights Bannon chooses. He probably sees himself as a Robert E. Lee, except instead of Abraham Lincoln, he’s riding into battle against Golfy-Wolfy, the fifth Teletubby.

As for Trump, he knows he is no Lincoln. And that is too bad for Lincoln. Trump could have taught Fake News Abe a few things. For example, there were absolutely no commercial airline crashes in the year 1863 but Lincoln didn’t even think to brag about it. Trump wouldn't make that mistake. Lincoln had a tall hat? Trump would have the tallest hat. Just 272 words in the Gettysburg Address? Trump would have cut that to three: “Remember the Alamo!”

Lincoln was self-effacing. That was stupid. Trump knows you’ve got to blow your own horn (which, according to Anthony Scaramucci, was something else Steve Bannon couldn’t do).

And while Lincoln had just one paltry war, Trump has dozens of them. There’s Trump Nation vs. Bannon Nation, Trump vs. Kim Jong Un, Trump vs. Every Branch of the Media Excluding Fox & Friends, Trump vs. the Constitution of the United States, Trump vs objective reality, Trump vs. the continued existence of homo sapiens on Planet Earth, Trump vs. your personal sanity, Trump vs grammar, spelling and syntax, Trump vs. the global strategic reserves of Diet Coke.

Then there’s the battle you are focused on, Resigned — Trump vs. impeachment. Place your bets. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power will take wagers on just about anything — English football, American football, the nuclear football. Paddy Power has set odds of 4-7 that Trump will not be president by the end of the year, meaning the bookie thinks it’s twice as likely he will be removed from office than survive the year.

Before you put down the rent money and make plans to spend your winnings on champagne and celebratory balloons, it might help to know that back in October 2016 Paddy Power paid out bets on a Hillary Clinton election victory. The bookmaker was so sure Clinton would defeat Trump it decided to pay off and close the books.

Betting on a Trump impeachment in 2018 means betting that a majority of Republican elected officials will suddenly realize that the fate of the country is more important than the political interests of the Republican Party. Care to put odds on that? I would sooner bet on Steve Bannon launching a successful line of skin care products.

Trump does seem to be unravelling. By Wednesday night, the hapless president was reduced to tweeting out: “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!,” like a moronic version of the HAL 9000 computer, spitting out random blurbs from its deteriorating memory banks.

Thing is, Trump has unravelled before. He was never really ravelled to begin with. There’s no reason to believe anything he says or does this week, or this month, will make any difference, as long as his servile GOP quislings are still vigorously boot-licking. We can expect the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller to bring forth plenty of incriminating evidence. What we can’t expect is that the Republican Party will display a single tattered shred of patriotism or any of the necessary respect for the underlying principles of American government required to inspire action against this imbecilic wannabe tyrant.

Game of Thrones fans recently got the dispiriting news that there will be nothing to hope for in 2018. But the end of that terrible and violent saga will finally come in 2019.

Likewise, Resigned, you may well have a long, dark wait until the U.S. midterm elections in November. Then perhaps the final chapter may begin.  [Tyee]

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