Donald Trump is having the latest in a long run of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weeks, and the strain is showing on his poxed, jowly face and in his raging, undifferentiated anger at everyone but himself and everything but his own increasingly evident instability, incompetence, and desperation.
Trump’s rolling, self-created disasters over Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, impeachment, and everything else he encounters are hitting him where it counts.
His approval numbers are scraping record lows and public polling shows support for both his impeachment and his removal from office ratcheting up. Republican arguments that Democratic freshmen would face blowback if an impeachment inquiry were launched in the House were clearly mistaken. There’s no polling downside thus far, and the growing bulk of the public evidence argues that the people taking the damage from this will be Trump’s mouth-breathing cadre of dumbass defenders.
Trump’s simultaneously baroque and idiotic bank-shot plan to disqualify Joe Biden in the 2020 election is backfiring, his Senate shield wall is cracking, and his crew in the House is reduced to staging dumb, desperate panty-raids into classified facilities to try and protect him. After a bump, Biden’s numbers seem to be moving up, and Trump may have given him two of the most valuable gifts in politics; the right opponent and an inoculation on an issue that might have otherwise haunted him.
In short, another great Infrastructure Week.
Of course, this isn’t stopping his fanboys, acolytes, and media lackeys from calling the fly-blown dung-heap of his political circumstances a glowing, golden pyramid of fecal excellence. It hasn’t stopped them from describing Trump’s harsh reversals of fortune as endless wins, defending the utterly indefensible, and ignoring the tidal wave of testimony, evidence, eyewitnesses, documents, and ongoing prosecutions wrapping the Ukraine Clown Posse (honestly, it’s so perfect I can’t stop using it) into a neat ball.
The gap between what’s happening to Trump in the real world and what happens inside the soft fantasy bubble of the Trump Matrix is vast and widening. It’s harder and harder to deny his peril. For a long time, Trump and his followers had a kind of fuck-you swagger, confident his Mighty Bullshit Wurlitzer would always overcome truth, decency, the law, and the rules of political physics. This week, they have abandoned that tone for one of screechy belligerence edged with Fuhrerbunker panic.
When Trump compared his current situation, involving a snowballing impeachment inquiry into crimes and abuses that he has admitted on the record to the heinous history of America lynching, it was tempting to read his language as his usual deliberate racial provocation, but underneath it was something weaker, more pathetic and desperate.
Donald Trump’s own lawyers argued with straight faces before incredulous Second Circuit Court of Appeals judges this week that he could commit the proverbial murder on Fifth Avenue and that law enforcement would have absolutely no purview. It did not go over well.
Beyond the frenzied need to hide Trump’s tax returns, there is a definite edge of wishcasting to the arguments of ultimate executive protection from justice. You practically can hear the wheels turning in that umber noggin, “Maybe I should shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, just to own the libs” and the Trumpentariat sagely then intoning, “At last we have a president strong enough to ignore these so-called ‘laws’ invented by cucks and Deep State shills.”
Obviously, Trump will appeal whatever decision comes from the panel all the way to the Supreme Court, but black letter law is black letter law, and it’s intriguing to think we could see his taxes rather sooner than later. Don’t be surprised if there’s a fire at Mazar’s, Trump’s longtime accounting firm.
In related post rule of law news, the House GOP engaged yesterday in the new brand of performative idiocy that increasingly defines The Party of Trump in the eyes of American voters. Matt Gaetz—because of course—led the Jerkoff Caucus in an invasion of the Secure Classified Information Facility (the famous “SCIF”) in a vain attempt to stem the flood tide of career federal employees who are dismantling Trump’s Ukraine defense.
Charging into a room secured against electronic and signals intelligence efforts from foreign intelligence services, these useless idiots barged in with their cell phones streaming, tweeting busily in an attempt to gag testimony against Trump. They were playing to an audience of one in the White House and to Fox bookers. They then monetized their prank by dropping fundraising emails about it.
The purpose of Gaetz and his frat rats wasn’t to bring the facts to light, or to expose some nefarious behavior by the Democrats and Republicans on the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry, who were in the SCIF hearing the testimony of yet another fact witness in what is now absolutely established as a quid pro quo in Donald Trump’s attempt to extort the Ukrainian government. Their dumb stunt—“light treason,” as my friend Molly Jong-Fast calls it—wasn’t to pin down imaginary Deep State liars.
It was a pathetic distraction, the work of a few minutes to try to put a Band-Aid on the boo-boo of Donald Trump’s fragile, shaken ego and confidence, all while compromising national security and attempting to intimidate witnesses.
Sorry, boys (and they were almost all boys): It didn’t work, and no matter how many times you show your asses, it won’t work. The testimony is detailed, damning, and can’t be spun away with a few tweets or another Hannity interview.
It won’t change that the serious people are giving serious testimony about the extraordinary damage that Trump’s use of cutouts, hirelings, minions, scumbags, and random Russian-mob connected hoodlums has done.
For the hapless Kevin McCarthy, his refusal to discipline his caucus makes him look both impotent and dumb. McCarthy’s caucus is 42 seats down since 2017, and given that 16 members have already announced their retirements, the path to taking back control of the House is so steep that the NRCC and GOP leaders aren’t even bothering to make it to lobbyists and interest groups. By the time this is over, the caucus will likely be able to sit comfortably around a table at a Waffle House.
Maybe I’m one of those old-fashioned human scum conservatives, but I missed the part in the Constitution that said absolute fealty to the president is the primary role of our representatives in the House.
This idea that members serve their individual districts seems so quaint and old-fashioned now. This frat pack of Trumpian morons could give a damn about their voters. Their entire purpose in life is to serve and service Donald Trump. They are nothing, and mean nothing; just cannon fodder in defense of the indefensible president.
In the Senate, Mitt Romney is making trouble of the best kind, John Thune is signaling his unease, and Mitch McConnell refused to back Trump’s lie that he blessed the content of the infamous Zelensky call where the American tried to extort his Ukrainian counterpart. The polling and fundraising collapse in key GOP Senate races for 2020 has McConnell pondering the ultimate triage: saving the majority by sacrificing the President.
Even Trump has enough awareness to know that Mitch McConnell is more crafty and experienced than he will ever be about the ways of Washington, and has the power to break his Administration and his future.
The panic in the Republican Party is palpable, and delicious. Trump will grow more angry that the Senate isn’t immolating itself to support him. The House GOP and the Trump media apparatus will demand louder noises, more distractions, more Trump-hadi tactics in support of a President who has already poisoned their future.
It’s going to be loud, and very, very ugly.