Has there ever been an administration that sank into disarray and paranoia as quickly as that of Donald Trump? Everything Trump has done as president has been reactionary and divisive, and designed to elicit protests. Congress is reeling from phone calls, emails, polls, and demonstrations aimed at removing Trump from office, yet GOP “leaders” have hesitated to take action, as usual, fearing the reaction of their far-right base, who reportedly supports everything the president is doing, no matter how harmful it might be.
The Trump administration is political theatre at its most idiotic and ridiculous, and not designed to last four years. This is probably why, in the waning days of the campaign, no one on the GOP side was criticizing Trump. The establishment allowed him to assume office and muck about for a month or so, and once he’s figured out how to leave and save face, he’ll be gone. At this point, professional wrestling has more credibility. When Pence is president, remember the term “bait and switch”.
Signs that Trump has no intentions of sticking around include the fact that his wife has chosen not to move into the White House, and the frantic pace at which he’s issuing executive orders. He’s trying to fulfill all his campaign promises as quickly as possible so he can claim to have been successful when he’s gone. Once he finds a way to step down and still look like a martyr, he’ll do it. Otherwise, he’ll continue to act erratically until a member of his administration or Congress takes action against him. Sooner or later, he or someone in his administration will make one colossal blunder, and much of the administration will come crashing down, hopefully sparing the country, though that’s not assured.
I believe the narrative being developed is for Pence to come in and save the day. Pence is a politician, and knows of the tools at his disposal to effect an orderly transition of power, and Congress would fully support him. The Flynn situation is just the sort of provocation he needs to step up and look like a decisive leader. Pence is constantly being portrayed as the cool head in this administration, loyal, but sometimes wary of the president’s actions. Now, he finds himself put on the spot, vouching for Flynn when he didn’t have a clear understanding of Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador. If it turns out Flynn committed a criminal offense, Pence can use his outrage at being deceived to make his break from the actions of the administration, and the 25th Amendment gives him the means to do something about it.
We shouldn’t put much hope in the opposition party to lead “the resistance” against Trump. Democrats weren’t able to defeat a loutish reality show huckster who catered to neo-Nazis and was openly endorsed by the KKK. To now expect them to somehow arise as champions for the common individual is as ludicrous as the spectacle of Trump portraying himself as a working class hero during the election. If the Democrats had been able to connect with average individuals, they’d now be in control of the White House, and both houses of Congress, as they were in 2008, and the Supreme Court wouldn’t be in jeopardy. They’ve spent the last twenty to thirty years trying to outmaneuver the Republicans by being the party of cooperation and bipartisanship, while all but their hardcore base has dismissed them as ineffective. For eight years, they sat on the sidelines, scolding Obama for not being progressive enough, while he endured some of the most racist propaganda attacks hurled at any president. Along the way, they lost both houses of Congress and did little to prevent the US from electing one of the worst individuals it’s ever put in the White House.
The protests which have arisen in the wake of Trump’s election demonstrate that there truly is a progressive opposition out there who are tired of business-as-usual politics in the US. Many politicians who aren’t afraid to identify with the Left have added their voices to the chorus demanding change. There’s also evidence that many left-leaning individuals have grown tired of the Democrats constantly waffling on how to deal with their right-wing counterparts. Elections in the US are stuck in a cycle we keep repeating over and over, which grows from dissatisfaction with the process. The sad reality is that we have no real choice. The Republicans have shown time and again that they know how to defeat the Democrats, so that even if they gain power, as in 2008, it’s short-lived. We need to develop strategies for defeating the extremists with or without the Democratic party. Instead of wasting energy helping the Democrats retake Congress, we should focus on what we, as citizens, need to do to save our democracy.