The Trump Presidency is Over
The Trump presidency is over. Donald Trump is already a lame duck. He has totally squandered any opportunity to govern. Rather than develop policies and legislation reflecting a consensus of Americans’ views, he has chosen instead to bask in the glow of unwavering support from a small group of diehard supporters - a group that clearly includes racists, white supremacists, haters of all types, and conspiracy advocates of all stripes.
This should come as no surprise to us. Given that his entry into politics was on the back of the racist “Birther” conspiracy theory, the circumstances that will lead to his exit would follow the same pattern.
It is up to the rest of us to pick up the pieces.
It is too early to see how the death of this administration will play out. Perhaps Trump will limp along through four full years and go down in a landslide defeat in 2020; perhaps, the Mueller investigation will uncover enough for Republicans to impeach him, maybe he will resign or just walk away in self-righteous indignation. But the presidency as the center of gravity of our federal system, as the platform for our ideals and values, as the beacon of America’s place in the world, and as the unifying force of our political order, is deceased so long as Trump remains President.
The death throes of the Trump Administration will be as painful to watch as its brief and stunted life, but Donald Trump will, never truly hold the office he so craved in aspiration but disgraced in practice.
For the first six months of this administration, many hung onto the view that Trump’s continued disgraces fell within the normal rules of politics, that we couldn’t rule out that he would win some grand victory and regain a measure of popularity and legitimacy.
It is clear that window of opportunity has closed. The laundry list of wrongdoing in the first six months of the administration – from tacit acceptance of white supremacists to alienating the U.S. from its closest allies around the globe, to attempting to take healthcare from tens of millions of Americans – is such that there is no series of actions Trump could take that would make up for what he has already done.
Without an effective head of state, the republic is in great danger. Many departments, including the Department of State, and the Federal judiciary, have been hollowed out by a lack of appointments, while others, behind the scenes, often in great secrecy, will continue to destroy many of the basic functions of the county. Basic environmental protections will be gutted wherever possible, immigrants and minorities will continue to be terrorized, the rights of women will be pushed back to an earlier era, voting will be suppressed and dissension mocked. Facts will be denied and total falsehoods projected as truths. The list of insults and wounds to the circulating system of the country are too numerous to name.
It is past time for ALL Republicans, including Ed Royce, to speak up, and join a movement to lead the country forward, bypassing and ignoring the outbursts, rants, and tweets of the lame-duck president.
The Trump presidency must be laid at the foot of the Republican Party, (with a major assist from a singularly focused ratings-driven media). The Republicans have spent decades demonizing immigrants, fighting every civil rights expansion, intimidating and suppressing legitimate voters, marginalizing women, destroying unions and workers’ rights, not to mention obstructionist stances on environmental issues, gun control, and financial regulation.
Even without a functioning President, the debt ceiling will soon need to be raised, a 2018 budget will need to be passed, and allies need reassurance. For the good of the nation, even our enemies, perhaps especially our enemies, need to know there is a stable government in place; in short, the business of government needs to go on.
The Trump presidency is over. Let’s make sure we save the country that gave birth to it.