Yesterday, a tape leaked of Donald Trump hinting that he’d like to be President of the United States for the rest of his life. This remark was a terrible mistake on his part, and we know this because someone leaked the tape, knowing that it would make him look bad. Sure enough, the average non-political American is looking at this story and thinking “Wow, this guy really is nuts. Time to turn against him.” Meanwhile, the Resistance is busy unwittingly handing Trump a victory over it by cowering in fear over the notion that he might actually find a way to do it.
Knock it off, please. Things are tough enough as it is. The last thing we need is to start obsessing over fatalistic doomsday scenarios that don’t remotely align with reality. Donald Trump is at his absolute weakest point yet. Everything is caving in on him. His closest advisers are betraying him. His family is feuding with him. His former closest people are cutting plea deals against him left and right. Even Trump knows he’s one false move from being tossed out the door.
We saw this week Trump is now so petrified of making a wrong move, he wasn’t even willing to stick his neck out far enough to grant a permanent security clearance to his own son-in-law. Does this sound like a guy who thinks he has enough political juice left to pardon his way out of this scandal, or to somehow magically remain in office for life? Trump is absolutely screwed and he knows it. It’s why he’s clinging to fantasies like becoming Emperor. It’s what people like Trump do when they no longer have any realistic hope.
The hand wringing pessimists of the Resistance told us that Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn would never be arrested, and that even if they were, Donald Trump would pardon them before they could ever cut plea deals. The pessimists told us that Robert Mueller was going to be fired a long time ago. When Trump entered office with an approval rating in the forties, the pessimists told us that it would never drop into the thirties. Now that it’s in the thirties, they’re telling us it’ll never drop into the twenties.
Stop listening to these pessimists, not because they’re pessimistic, but because their track record has consistently proven them wrong. The real problem with all this fatalism is that it hands Donald Trump leverage he doesn’t already have. This guy is cowering under his desk, only popping up occasionally to say something brazen, and then never following up on it with action. Trump has zero political muscle remaining. Even he knows it. But when the Resistance starts handing him imaginary political muscle that he simply does not have, it gives him a bit of leverage that he wouldn’t otherwise have. The Resistance is winning, and Trump is losing. Now is not the time to get it backwards.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report