I hereby give thanks that from Jan. 20, 2021 on, the only stories I will be reading with the name Trump in the headline will be the cheesy ones about his bankruptcy or divorce filings, his depositions and tax returns (when that audit’s finally over, which I’m guessing will be soon), and any tabloid speculating on whether Ivanka is going to the Met Gala or jail, or into exile in the Xanadu she and Jared are building at the Trump golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey with four new pickleball courts, a relocated heliport, a spa and yoga complex, and an expanded “cottage” comparable to the gilded mansion they will be leaving behind in Washington.
I won’t be tempted by stories about any Trump offspring running for office because there won’t be any.
To those worried we will never rid ourselves of Trump, watch as he shrinks before our very eyes in a Washington minute from leader of the free world to a broken-down real estate developer up to his ears in debt. On Monday, Trump was just another dumpy 74-year-old man wheeling around the golf course in a motorized cart wondering how long it would be until his next cheeseburger.
Then he announced that the transition that should have started two weeks earlier could begin. With that, he looked like a beaten man as he took to the podium Tuesday. For 62 seconds, he congratulated himself for the “sacred” crossing of the Dow Jones above 30,000 that no one bought. Everyone but Trump knew it was a relief rally tied to the election of the Man He Will Not Name. Even Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, known for consorting with the president when most Manhattan CEOs shun him, had warned him to give it up. Trump left the press room without risking any "nasty" questions, without putting on a mask, and without any doubt he was as lame as a duck can be.
Which made emceeing the loss of another bird at the annual turkey-pardoning event fitting. The kind of kitsch Trump signed up for, he welcomed two gobblers to the South Lawn, this year announcing that Corn would be spared, but not his sibling Cob. It’s a festive event, despite being zero sum. Trump noted that when in an earlier year the fowl Carrot was destined to become a butterball, he “refused to concede and demanded a recount.”
Or two or three, in Trump’s case. A turkey would just be a turkey without the backdrop of the White House, the MyPillow guy a traveling salesman but for the setting of the Rose Garden. If the presidency had been more like an infomercial, Trump would have aced it. Instead there was a pandemic that required he put the country before himself, and he just couldn’t rise to it, or stop lying about it. It’s because of him that America has the worst record in the world and that going to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving turned into a deadly gamble.
The smallest man is huge behind the Resolute Desk, but what’s the size of Trump, whether as host of a talk show on his own network or at rallies he wants to charge for, if he’s a has-been. Before he became a one-term president, he was already a fading reality TV personality. In 2015, The Apprentice had sunk to 67th place in the ratings with fewer viewers than the bombs NBC cancelled that year.
Trump’s capacity to do harm once he’s at Mar-a-Lago or a country without extradition will depend on whether the media can go cold Corn and Cob. A tweet is just a tweet, or retweet of Randy Quaid, if it isn’t amplified by The New York Times.
Trump’s two-week sulk was covered like a daytime soap opera. When all the lawyers afraid of being disbarred quit, to the ratings rescue came broken-down attorney Rudy Giuliani and a supporting cast of counselors peddling conspiracies so bizarre even Tucker Carlson blanched. Sidney Powell, a Fox regular who’s since been disappeared, spun a tale of Republican ballots switched to Democratic ones by voting machines magically controlled from the grave of the long-dead Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Rudy’s nose stayed the same size as the lies proceeded, but his skull melted.
The Rudy show is on its last leg. Is it any wonder that Trump cancelled his road trip to Gettysburg with his personal attorney for a purported hearing with the Pennsylvania state Senate on election fraud when it was actually an odd setting a few miles away from the bloodiest battle of the Civil War from which the stubborn Robert E. Lee believed he would emerge victorious.
There will be a period for withdrawal as Trump follows his pardon of the treasonous Michael Flynn with others equally hideous, and tries to figure out one for himself. According to Pro Publica, Trump is trying to rush through a proposed regulation that could see federal executions being carried out by firing squads again. And he’s salving a personal grievance by loosening water-saving standards on showerheads and toilets only he has to flush multiple times.
To come as night follows days is the grifter-on-grifter grift when Trump stiffs Rudy on his $20,000 a day fee for representation that a conservative judge said presented a case as tortured as a “Frankenstein monster” amounting to an “unhinged” effort to disenfranchise the state’s voters.
The two will grow ever older together, all others having fled the scene of their many crimes against humanity. They deserve each other. Now that’s a story I won’t be able to resist reading.