This week we heard a lot of pundit talk about how Donald Trump is finally, fully taking over the United States government in a totalitarian or king-like manner. There’s no doubt that this is what Trump wants to do. His words today about Article 2 of the Constitution give that away. But in reality, Trump is coming off his worst week yet, full of failures and things that have made him more vulnerable.
It started off when Donald Trump’s friend Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking of minors. That should be a terrible enough scandal for any President of the United States. But then media began focusing on Trump’s history of wild parties with Epstein, and Trump’s decision to give a cabinet job to the prosecutor who initially let Epstein off the hook.
By the time the week was over, Trump lost a cabinet member over the Epstein scandal – and that still isn’t necessarily going to insulate him. Even Trump’s top henchman William Barr is sufficiently wary of the Epstein case that he announced he was recusing himself before announcing a day later that he’d changed his mind. Trump and his people seem to understand just how ugly this one is going to be for them. But that’s only half the battle.
Donald Trump lost the 2020 census battle, then he vowed to defy the Supreme Court, then his DOJ limped into lower court and ineptly lost a pair of rulings, then he decided to cave entirely. Yes, he then issued an Executive Order to try to save face, but no, the Executive Order doesn’t do anything. Trump simply lost. He put a lot of chips down on his census battle, presumably in the hope that it would allow him to seize power – and instead it’s left him with less power.
None of this makes Donald Trump any less dangerous. In fact, now that he’s losing his biggest political battles, he’s losing even more of his own people, and his scandals are getting that much worse for him, Trump may take things to a newly elevated place of derangement. But make no mistake: this week went horribly for him, and he’s not “winning” in any sense of the word. If anything, this week left him a wounded animal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report