I’m often asked why “nothing is being done” about Donald Trump and why he’s “getting away with everything.” I’m never quite sure how to answer the question, because I haven’t seen him get away with anything yet. It may appear that way from afar, and he may be delusional enough to think it’s the case as well, but if you take a look at what’s really playing out, he hasn’t gotten away with any of this.
Imagine a student a who skips out of class every day, never does his homework, never shows up to take the tests. He might spend the semester bragging that he’s getting away with it. Other students might wonder why he’s being “allowed” to get away with it. In reality, he’s not. At the end of the semester he’ll get a failing report card, and he’ll face whatever discipline or suspension that comes with it. Donald Trump simply hasn’t received his report card yet, because it’s not the end of the semester yet.
When is that coming? That depends on the Republicans in Congress. For now they’re betting that if they try to prop him up, they can keep his approval rating out of the politically fatal twenties, in the hope of not getting totally wiped out in the midterms in November. If he keeps sinking, they may change their minds and decide that their least bad option is to dump him, take credit for dumping him, and run against his awful legacy. But they know they have no good options. It’s why so many Republican committee chairs have announced they’re not seeking reelection. They know how bad their own prospects are.
So maybe Donald Trump gets his report card soon, and maybe he gets it right after the Democrats take the majority in the November elections. In the mean time, he’s a lame duck who’s crippled by his own toxic unpopularity. We keep hearing about how he’s going to magically save himself by firing Robert Mueller or invading North Korea, but there’s a reason why he hasn’t done these things. Even his deluded mind seems to partially understand that he doesn’t have the political muscle to punch his way out of this. In the mean time, he hasn’t gotten away with any of his crimes and misdeeds. It’s simply not his reckoning day yet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report