Trump Whines Away Last Act Of His Awful Presidency
Donald Trump is falling apart, like a house infested with racist termites that hate democracy. The New York Times ran a piece this weekend titled “Trump's Final Days of Rage And Denial," which says the Trump presidency's lame duck period has “taken on the stormy elements of a drama more common to history or literature than a modern White House." Barack Obama promised us “no drama" and delivered, but Trump's currently starring in a doomed revival of Sunset Boulevard.
Here's how Peter Baker describes our protagonist, who is astoundingly still president for another 44 days.
Moody and by accounts of his advisers sometimes depressed, the president barely shows up to work, ignoring the health and economic crises afflicting the nation and largely clearing his public schedule of meetings unrelated to his desperate bid to rewrite the election results.
In The American President, Andrew Shepherd declares during his climactic speech that he was so busy trying to keep his job, that he forgot to do his job. This admission was part of a moral epiphany, but Trump has no morals and is incapable of experiencing a sudden intuitive grasp of reality. He's spiraling further into deranged despair. I'd normally pop some popcorn but this fool has access to the nuclear codes.
Trump is reportedly now holed up in his bunker, plotting vengeance against his personal enemies, which has expanded to include Republican governors, his second evil attorney general, and even loyal slavering propaganda outlet Fox News. The reality of his defeat is too great for them to deny or alter, and Trump's diseased mind considers this betrayal.
Only 25 out of 249 Republicans in Congress are willing to say that there are four lights, but Trump isn't satisfied with such a pathetic display. He's making a naughty list, but he's too lazy to read the Post article that provides the names of the “25 RINOS."
[Trump's] rage and detached-from-reality refusal to concede defeat evoke images of a besieged overlord in some distant dictatorship defiantly clinging to power rather than going into exile or an erratic English monarch imposing his version of reality on his cowed court.
But this isn't "The Tudors." Our mad King Henry still commands the powers of the presidency, which he's never wielded honorably, but now he's taken up recreational sedition. He's actively trying to overturn a free and fair election, and just because he keeps walking into rakes like a common Sideshow Bob, that doesn't make him less a threat to democracy.
The Times seems to play dumb about why Republicans are remaining quiet. Baker notes that Trump's "relentless campaign to discredit the election could undercut his successor," but in the very next sentence he asserts that "many Republicans would like to move on." Why? It's in their best interest to weaken Biden, who, like Obama in 2008, is entering the White House with an overwhelming popular mandate.
Read this--@BarackObama's birth certificate "cannot survive judicial scrutiny" because of "phantom numbers" http://t.co/DIv9sLI2— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1343076282.0
Trump led the birther brigade against Barack Obama and claimed, also without evidence, that the sitting president was illegitimate. Republicans said nothing and Mitt Romney even "joked" in 2012 that no one had asked to see his birth certificate, as though that was a testament to his personal integrity rather than evidence of Republican bigotry.
At times, Mr. Trump's railing-against-his-fate outbursts seem like a story straight out of William Shakespeare, part tragedy, part farce, full of sound and fury. Is Mr. Trump a modern-day Julius Caesar, forsaken by even some of his closest courtiers? (Et tu, Bill Barr?) Or a King Richard III who wars with the nobility until being toppled by Henry VII? Or King Lear, railing against those who do not love and appreciate him sufficiently? How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless electorate.
Baker quotes Jeffrey R. Wilson, a Shakespearean scholar at Harvard who wrote the book Shakespeare and Trump and describes Trump's disintegration as “classic Act V behavior."
Fuck that noise: Trump is a gangster. He's not a noble figure with a tragic flaw that causes his downfall. He doesn't have a single character defect. He has all of them. He's every negative personal trait made disgusting flesh. And we can't be rid of him soon enough.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."