by Shelton Bumgarner
I’m reluctant to say we’re in any type of late-stage Watergate situation just yet. Watergate’s conclusion came about because of a very specific set of circumstances that, because of a lack of precedent, we’ve come to believe is a forgone conclusion.
As I’ve written before, this is not 1974 and Trump is not Nixon. Republicans have no shame and crave power for power’s sake. As such, even though every other metric could be against Trump, Republicans could simply deny it all and stand firm. It’s hard for a liberal democracy to have a functioning Constitution when one of its major parties believes you can only impeach a president if they gain from it politically.
I guess what I’m saying is — the entire fate of the United States rests on Trump, well, being Trump. I would go so far as to say at this point it would actually be out of character for Trump not to do something so completely indefensible, so completely and demonstrably beyond the pale of any type of normal human behavior, that Republicans will find themselves at last defending the absolutely indefensible. If we’ve gotten this far into this situation and we’re not thinking that maybe the Deep State might be the good guys, well,oh boy.
In fact, I will go so far as to say we’re looking for the wrong signs. We’re looking for a major Republican to be Barry Goldwater. Nope. The best we can maybe hope for is a surreal version of The Pence Pivot. If Trump gets the whistleblower murdered, or tweets out a dick pic or tweets the n-word to Obama, Republican leaders will simply say they REALLY voted for Pence and why are you asking the question.
Even then, they won’t even hold an impeachment trial in the Senate.
Having said all that, I would like to tell AOC and a few other people floating around that there’s a chance that things are going to get so bad, so surreal that they are going to be given a masterclass on leadership in real time. I watched on 9/11 as then President Bush simply deflated. He ran away. The nation, for a moment, was leaderless. For a few crucial hours, Rudy was our president.
All I’m saying is, if things get as absolutely surreal as they look like they may, history is watching. They say one’s character comes out best in extreme situations. A few of our elected leaders may be given the opportunity to tell us who they really are, for better or worse.
But we’re not quite there yet. Maybe Bill Barr has proof TrumpUkraine is all an evil plot on the part of the Deep State. Again, at this point, Chris Wallace might suggest the “optics” on that one might not be so great for House Trump.
Maybe the Deep State is like the Second Foundation? Maybe they’re protecting the Constitution? We’ll see.