Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Literary Corner: The Endless Endgame

by Donald J. Trump
Somebody in my Twitter feed was saying there should be a poem in response to this, but it was too hard to find a rhyme for "criminal", a challenge I couldn't resist, so this somewhat Freudian contribution (heavily revised from the initial Twitter version):
There was an incompetent criminal
Whose castration fears were subliminal:
     "If I try to get fancy
     With creepy Ms. Nancy
The men won't kill me but the women'll!", 

I know we never stop freaking out and reaching new levels of freaking out, but I'm starting to freak out about now, watching a level of dysfunction that makes me think somehow of the runup to the English Civil War, and King Charles showing up in Westminster to demand money to do things Parliament didn't in fact want him to do, like persecute the Presbyterians in Scotland, on the other side of a very old Wall though that's not at all relevant to any analogy we might wish to construct and I don't really want to construct one, but of course it ended up being a literal war between the Executive and the Legislative branches, in which a large number of people got killed, and the King got his head chopped off, and a military dictator got installed, and eventually they figured they needed to rework the constitution, but it took decades to get there.

Or Julius Caesar heading to the Senate that mid-March day—newly appointed dictator perpetuo by the legislators, he was planning to ask them for money to invade the Parthian Empire—when some of the Senators were riled up by rumors that he was intending to make himself king. The Senate wasn't allowed to keep Julius out of the chamber, I don't think, but nobody gets into the House of Representatives without the permission of the Speaker or her representative, so that's definitely different.

At the same time it sounds as if Trump really intends to walk over to the Capitol next Tuesday if he doesn't get an invitation first, and demand to read aloud whatever idiocy Stephen Miller has composed for him, and I can only visualize it with a bunch of thugs preceding him and overpowering the sergeant-at-arms while he strides up to the dais and somebody starts rigging his TelePrompTer. A lot of people don't understand, as Trump likes to say, that the Congress is really the primary branch of government, described in Article 1 for a reason, and that Trump just can't rebel against it, but Trump is one of the ones who doesn't understand it, so you can easily imagine that he might do it anyway, only I think it's not quite physically possible, or maybe the word I want is stageable. Assuming what the president wants is a show, he hasn't got a writer or director that could realize the vision or performers or extras who'd cooperate, I don't think the thing can be made to work on television without a much better crew, and he has to see that.

The best thing he could do TV-wise would be to kill himself, I'm sorry to say, though I'm confident he's nowhere near ready for that and not likely to be ever, so I'm not that sorry. Or escape to exile in Sochi, which he'd enjoy. He could do a golf course there. What I expect him to do is stick his hands in his armpits and sulk as long as he can make that last, and maybe deliver his SOTU in some Trump-country civic venue that's willing to have him, and it will probably be a good long time, as civil servants go into debt and contract workers quit and SNAP beneficiaries starve and flying and lettuce and all sorts of things become unsafe and the FBI becomes incapable of carrying out its mission, which honestly may be his aim, if he has one.

I'm still convinced it's unsustainable, but I don't see where it ends, at all. Just getting more and more ridiculous and at the same time causing more real pain and suffering to people who absolutely don't deserve it.

Update: On the SOTU, though, he's already folded:

Without claiming a victory ("her prerogative"). Cool.

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