In some ways, the similarities between Richard Nixon and Donald Trump are spooky and in other ways, they’re just not there. Nixon was actually, like, smart and stuff, while Trump is a pretty big moron. As I have said before, Trump is kind of like the movie Being There’s Chancy Gardner on mushrooms. He’s weirdly politically adept in a horribly divisive way.
I have Watergate on the brain because it’s the 45 anniversary of the weekend the original break-in took place and it’s pretty obvious that we’re not even in the second act of this tragedy. The story started on Nov. 9th, the inciting incident was the firing of Jim Comey and now we’re waiting for something to push the protagonist into the second act. The thing that comes to me off the top of my head would be Trump firing Bob Muller. That seems to make the most sense. But we’ll see.
Remember, Watergate took two full years to play out and that took place in the context of far less partisanship, much different technology and a president who had the good sense to at least keep his bizarre ramblings to himself — if albeit on tape. One thing about TrumpRussia that makes it worse than Watergate is the foreign aspect. But just look at the parts of the scandal we have to wade through in the coming years.
1. Possible collusion between Trump’s “satellites” and Russian hackers
2 What is the deal with Flynn?
3. The firing of Jim Comey.
4. All sorts of weird money issues.
5. Enormous, epic and glaring violations of the emoluments clause.
One thing is for sure, we have at least a year of this bizarre drama ahead of us. I give it a year because about a year from now is when the 2018 mid-term elections will really begin to heat up. So it seems as though there is a real chance — if the Access Hollywood tape is any indication — that Trump may very well apologize to the nation for what happen, admit that his “satellites” did collude with the Russians and then pardon everyone he can think of while firing Bob Muller. That would be one tactic he might use to get himself out of his sticky wicket.
If he doesn’t do something like that, the he may very well just drag Bob Muller’s reputation through the mud to such an extent that in the eyes of the center-Right at least, there won’t be any credibility to anything the says. If something like that can happen to John Kerry, then it can happen to anyone in Washington.
One interesting thing is I have a feel that at the very moment that people like me — the center-Left and people on the other side — the center-Right — can agree that Trump has to go, the center-Right will, without blinking, do a “Pence pivot” and say no matter what, it was all worthwhile to get a President Pence. That is mind boggling and so outrageous — and so easy to imagine to happening — that I have to say it makes me kind of depressed. We won’t have any moment in time when both sides agree that Trump was a tragic mistake that could have been avoided.
Within moments, we’ll go from fighting over Trump to fighting over Pence without the center-Right missing a beat. Some about the “Pence pivot” is so intellectually dishonest that it makes me white hot. People don’t really vote for the veep, they vote for the president. All of this tragedy that we’re wading into could have been avoided if people had just seen Trump at the time for what he is — an existential threat to the Republic.
It is all very sad and unsettling and makes you wonder how history will view TrumpRussia 20 or 40 years from now. Will it be seen as “worse than Watergate,” or something more along the lines of Iran-Contra or Whitewater. If Trump plays his cards right, he definitely go go the Ronald Reagan Iran-Contra route, even though Trump is no Reagan and TrumpRussia is a lot worse than Iran-Contra.
One thing The Resistance really needs to keep its eye on, instead of risking outrage fatigue, is the agenda that Trumplandia is pushing through while we’re all busy being upset over the details of TrumpRussia. We need to keep an eye on how Trump is attempting to pack the Federal bench with insane people. We need to keep an eye on the secret efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare in the Senate. We need to keep and eye on the effort to generally destroy the social welfare state that, ironically enough, many Trump voters desperately need.
Regardless, there are no easy answers. As I have said, history doesn’t go in a straight line. We’re barely in the middle of the TrumpRussia scandal era. We’ve got, at a minimum another year of all of this ahead of us and it could be much longer than that if you through in a major terrorist attack or a wag the dog war with Iran or North Korea.
All I can say is keep your emotional powder dry. Stay energized. Stay engaged. Don’t get overwhelmed. Vote. Be willing to talk to someone you disagree with, even if you think there’s no chance of changing their mind. It’s the only way we’re going to make it through this tragic event.