One of the very few silver linings about the disastrous, treasonous, calamitous, embarrassing illegitimate presidency of Donald Trump is that it’s teaching us a lot about civics and history. For instance, until the Trump scandal came along, I never knew that Richard Nixon’s last ditch effort involved offering to let a nearly deaf Senator listen to the Watergate tapes. It explains a lot about what we’re now seeing with end-stage Trump.
Donald Trump is a lot of things, all of them negative. He’s mentally deranged. His decisions are driven by paranoid delusions. He’s at least partway down the road toward senility. But not a bona fide idiot. He’s not devious enough to figure out how to get out of this mess, but he’s just devious enough to figure out how to have survived this long. So now that his back is up against the wall, why is he betting his remaining chips on a memo written by an idiot about another idiot?
The Trump-Russia scandal has been popularly dubbed “Stupid Watergate” because so many of the people involved have proven themselves to be inept. But if you were to pick two names who represent the biggest idiots in this entire idiotic scandal, there’s a good chance you’d come up with Devin Nunes and Carter Page. If these two were fictional characters, they’d be rejected for being too unrealistic.
Nunes tried to cover his tracks by hopping out of an Uber ride and hitching another one while on his way to the White House to leak classified intel to Trump. Page keeps going on television and confessing to things. Why on earth is Trump betting on these two weaklings? In short, it’s all that he has left. The competent and upstanding people he’s appointed, like Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray, have predictably refused to do his personal bidding. So he’s left relying on the only people he can find – just as Nixon was ultimately left relying on the nearly deaf Senator – even though they’re punchlines. Send in the clowns.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report