When exhorted on his deathbed to renounce the devil, Voltaire murmured that this was no time to be making enemies. Even a man like Donald Trump, lying on his presidential deathbed, and who is, so to speak, as dim as Voltaire was brilliant, understands that now is an especially bad time to be making new enemies and, as a corollary, antagonizing the ones he already has.
There really was nowhere for him to turn from this awful mess of his own creation. One cave for one wall is, no doubt, not what the drooling, glandular MAGA-hat wearing homunculi could have imagined was what “tired of winning” was going to look like, not by a long shot. But there it is, and what a ride it’s been! But if you can’t feel the Trump “presidency’s” drastic downward spiral in just the last few weeks then you just haven’t been paying attention.
Mr “Art of the Deal” and his wall just parted quicker than a fool and his money, no doubt particularly shocked back to reality by the recent arrest of Roger Stone. And I don’t know about you but I sense a certain permanence in this particular parting. Notwithstanding the repeated threat, that the temporary suspension of the government shutdown is going to turn into an actual declaration of national emergency should Baby T not get his way, it’s getting harder and harder to believe such a thing as a national emergency declaration will ever even be tried. And we know almost to a certainty that a weakling like Donald Trump could never pull it off even if he wanted to.
Still there are the threats. Donald Trump is big on threats. Which puts me in mind of a scene from the 1995 Oliver Stone movie “Nixon.” Nixon (played by Anthony Hopkins) is in enclave with a sinister Texas oil millionaire named “Jack” (Larry Hagman). “Goddamnit, Dick, are you threatening me?” Jack demands. Nixon replies coolly, “I don’t threaten, Jack, presidents don’t have to.” Well, real ones don’t, anyway. For Donald Trump, threats are all he has left. And impotent threats at that.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.