Will He Or Won't He?
By now, it is well understood by most that truth is to '45 as lox and bagels are to peanut butter and Jalapeño peppers. In other words, they are both strangers and bipolar opposites. Indeed, the past few years have seen the emergence of a cottage industry which keeps track of every one of '45's exaggerations, mistruths, and outright lies. In comparison to his immediate predecessors - Obama, Bush and Clinton - '45 is in a class by himself. However, in the same breath, it must be admitted that even before his election, the future POTUS told two major, major truths which we, the American public - ignore at our own peril:
- First, on January 23, 2016, nearly a year before his eventual inauguration, then-candidate Trump proudly Tweeted that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters." In a grotesque, off-the-wall way, this has turned out to be true; for regardless of whatever outrageous, puerile, mind-numbing things '45 has done, said or Tweeted over the past year or more, his most ardent supporters (his "base") have remained steadfast. In the main, they are as deaf, dumb and blind as Dr. Pangloss' most ardent disciples who believe - despite everything they've seen, heard or experienced - that this is indeed, "the best of all possible worlds."
- And second, as early as 2015, when pressed as to how we could expect him to deal any of the nation's most difficult problems - rising healthcare costs, climate change, the gross disparity of wealth and the Middle East to name but a few - Trump told Fox News that he wished to be "unpredictable." The Latin response to this statement would be rem acu testigisti - namely, he "hit the nail on the head." For in going over '45's actions, statements and Tweets during his first year in office he has been - as per his 2015 promise - completely unpredictable. Regrettably, as we've learned, his unpredictability is more often related to his last source of information - generally Sean Hannity, the sage of St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary high school, than to his Chief of Staff, members of his Cabinet or even his own family.
These two truths lead inevitably - and lamentably - to a question which has, over the past several weeks been uppermost in the minds of many: will the POTUS fire special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III because his investigation is giving him both shpilkis and heartburn? Although on this, the day before Christmas 2017, no one - including '45 himself - knows if the man insiders call "Bobby Triple Sticks" (that's after the 'III' which appends his name) will be sacked . . . that's anyone's guess, it could very well happen. But then again, it might not. That's where '45's obsessive unpredictability comes into play. Of course, in order to get to the point where Mueller is actually canned, the president would likely have to first terminate Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein, appoint and anoint a replacement who would then act as lord high executioner . . . . unless he fools everyone and refuses to do the dirty deed. Virginia Senator Mark Warner has already warned '45 that "Any attempt by this President to remove special counsel Mueller from his position or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability or shut down the investigation would be a gross abuse of power and a flagrant violation of executive branch responsibilities and authorities . . . . These truly are red lines and [we] simply cannot allow them to be crossed."
Would this potential "Saturday Night Massacre Redux" cause even a tiny tremor of rejection - let alone revulsion - amongst '45's most ardent fans? Probably not. Remember, these are the very folks that '45 predicted wouldn't lose faith even if he "stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody." And while reasonable, rational people can take comfort in the knowledge that the blindly "epoxied faithful" represent, at best, a third of the American public, this is still a large enough number to put a systemic roadblock in the path of public unity. Do remember, that interwoven throughout this third are racists, anti-Semites, homophobes, highly-armed 2nd Amendment gun nuts, supporters of authoritarianism, Randroidian Objectivists (many of whom sit in '45's Cabinet) and people who want to secede from the Union.
Another "Will he, won't he?" deals with '45's love of misdirection; of turning public attention - if only for a day or a week - away from the house of cards that is about to collapse all around him, his family and his presidency. Remember such acts of temporary misdirection as Obama's having wiretapped Trump Tower? Or how about the canard concerning the Clintons, Russia and Uranium? Or barring transgenders from serving in the military? Or first declaring that shortly, America would be relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, and then threatening to take retaliatory action against any and every country that voted against us at the United Nations? Then there's the issue of how reliable and amateurish the FBI has become. Is it possible that if things get so incredibly fraught and legally untenable that '45 will initiate some large-scale military action against North Korea? Unlike the other acts of misdirection, which have been largely buoyed by rhetoric and hot air, this one would be backed up with the largest, most lethal nuclear arsenal on the planet. And what if, for the sake of supposing, the Joint Chiefs of Staff simply said "NO! WE WON'T DO IT!" What then? A mass incarceration of admirals and generals? Instituting martial law from Caribou to Carson City? The mind simply boggles.
There is one "Will he, won't he?" that I can highly recommend to our Commander in Chief: that he, or Mrs. Huckabee Sanders, or his private physician, announce that most regrettably, as a result of an aggressive something or other, he must resign his office, give the keys to Vice President Pence (who could very well be in legal jeopardy himself) and return to Trump Towers where he will live out his remaining days in therapeutic splendor.
Sound impossible? Perhaps . . . but then again, this is the season for giving gifts . . .
337 days down, 1,121 days to go.
Copyright©2017 Kurt F. Stone