Archive for November 16th, 2017

Sitting Around Writing Headlines For The Daily News Would Be A Fun Job

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Columnist Forecasts One, Two, Many Mongos; Heroin Futures Soar

For many, if not most, Americans, the only pleasure to be had from Donald Trump’s presidency is to imagine his premature eviction from the White House. Impeachment, the 25th Amendment, pick your poison. My own scenario places Trump on Richard Nixon’s Watergate resignation timetable, fleeing next August to Mar-a-Lago as federal bloodhounds close in on him, his son, or his son-in-law (or all three) and his party’s Vichy regime on the Hill at last mutinies in the face of what could well be an apocalyptic Election Day in 2018.

But don’t celebrate just yet. Once Trump exits—whenever and however he goes—then what? It’s a continuing liberal blind spot to underestimate the resilience of Trumpism, which, if history is any guide, will easily survive both the crack-up of the GOP and the implosion of the Trump presidency. Whether Trump lasts another three weeks, another three years, or another seven years, our troubles won’t be over when he’s gone. They may well get worse.

What we should be worrying about instead is the remarkable staying power of the American voters who put these guys in office. They’re in for the long game no matter the fate of the current administration. Trumpism predates Trump and Pence by decades and is a more powerful, enduring, and scary force than either of them. The toxic anger that defines Trumpism—a rage at America’s cultural and economic elites in both political parties as well as at minorities and immigrants—will only grow darker and fiercer once its namesake leaves office, no matter how he does so. If Trump departs involuntarily, his followers will elevate him to martyrdom as the victim of a coup perpetrated by the scoundrels of “fake news” and “the swamp.” If Trump serves one or two full terms, his base will still be livid because he will not have bestowed the lavish gifts he promised, from a Rust Belt manufacturing comeback to a border wall. His voters won’t pin these failures on Trump but on the same swamp creatures they’ll hold responsible if he’s run out of office. They’re already blaming the cratering of “repeal and replace” and other broken Trump promises on what Bannon and his allies call “the McConnell-industrial complex.”

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