Play the tape to the end, Donald

Various reports point to Donald Trump’s bizarre Taliban stunt having been some combination of desperately trying to manufacture a foreign policy “win” by any means necessary, and an instruction taken from Vladimir Putin. Now that it’s predictably blown up in his face in spectacularly awful fashion, it’s time for Trump to think about where this is all really headed.

If Donald Trump and his handlers think that an absurd low-percentage desperation play like meeting with terrorists is the only shot Trump has of pulling off a win in 2020, then it means they’re aware of just how screwed Trump is as he heads into the election. If Trump loses, he can expect to be arrested immediately. New York State charges should come within hours, while federal charges could come after the transition period ends.

In short, Donald Trump’s life is very probably over. That’s not hyperbole. It’s over. Because he’s an obvious flight risk to Russia, he’ll either be in prison or under guarded house arrest until the end of his trial. And because so many different kinds of felony charges will be brought against him – some of them of the slam dunk variety – it’s a near guarantee that Trump will be convicted. He’ll go to prison for the remainder of his natural lifespan.

In other words, Donald Trump is about to lose everything. He can either keep trying absurd stunts aimed at breathing life into his dead presidency, none of which will work, or he can play the tape to the end and see that he has no future. Trump’s only rational move at this point would be to seek a resignation plea deal that includes reduced prison time. It’s the only card he has left to play in an otherwise empty hand.

Trump probably won’t do it; he’s too far gone to make a rational decision. Instead he’ll stubbornly lose the election, whine like a baby about how it was somehow rigged against him, make noise about refusing to leave the White House, realize the U.S. Marshals will drag him out by his heels if he doesn’t leave, and then he’ll be indicted and arrested and he’ll never have another day of freedom in his life. So be it. But if anyone around the idiot had any sense, they’d be pushing him to cut a deal right now and surrender himself for arrest. It’s his only chance of potentially getting out of prison before he dies of old age in solitary confinement.

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