General James Mattis clearly never wanted to work for a feckless lunatic like Donald Trump. He surely didn’t want to hang in there as it became clear that Trump was a traitor. He certainly couldn’t have appreciated the manner in which Trump abused U.S. troops by sending them to the border as a stunt and worse. Yet Mattis stuck around through it all, for the sole purpose of trying to protect America by keeping Trump in check from within. So why on earth would he choose right now to bail out? I have a theory.
There’s no doubt that Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw from Syria, at the obvious behest of his personal puppet master Vladimir Putin, rubbed James Mattis the wrong way. But this isn’t Trump’s first act of treason since taking office. And Mattis doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who quits simply because he’s had enough of Trump’s crap. I think it’s something entirely different.
We’re two weeks away from the Democrats taking over the House and launching daily nationally televised hearings exposing Donald Trump’s criminal scandals. We’re also very close to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s big endgame legal moves against Trump. We’re entering that window where Trump gets squeezed from all sides, and the American people have to decide how much pressure they want to apply on Trump to cut a resignation plea deal.
By resigning in disgust right now, just before the fireworks begin, and doing it with such a startling resignation letter, James Mattis is firing a torpedo into the side of Donald Trump’s presidency. He’s telling pro-military conservative Americans to abandon Trump. He’s telling Republicans in the Senate to stop trying to prop him up. He’s telling the media to sound the alarm about Trump, at full blast, for everyone to hear.
I think James Mattis just used his resignation to cast the first, symbolic yet incredibly influential, vote for Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal. He’s not quitting because he can’t deal with Trump anymore. He’s quitting because he thinks it’ll help speed up Trump’s ouster. If so, this may be Mattis’ most patriotic move yet. He’s staying through February, by which time Trump may be gone anyway, so he’ll still be in position to keep Trump in check, to whatever extent that’s still possible. But he told everyone to kick this guy out of office as quickly as possible.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report