Donald Trump will never see the inside of a jail cell. Neither will any of his no-account children. He’s going to disappear through a secret door in the floor at the last minute like Al Pacino in Carlito’s Way or Kenneth McMillan in The Pope of Greenwich Village.
And not only that, any impeachment effort will be a bust too. So despite all the hype, Trump will not be removed from office by congressional prerogative or operation of law either. Democrats and progressives need a check-up from the neck-up about what is really going to happen with Bob Mueller’s investigation, Stephanie Clifford’s lawsuit and all the other sections of the tangled web of corruption and deception that defines the Trump Presidency. Because Trump sickens us every time we see his face or hear his voice we are desperate to see him suffer a dramatic and devastating fall. But let’s compose ourselves and temper our expectations. No perp walk in hand-cuffs is coming. No dramatic helicopter flight off of White House grounds in Marine One to an undisclosed location will take place. There is little doubt in my mind that Trump’s final departure from The People’s House will have an “in like a lion, out like a lamb” feel to it.
Just to be clear, I fully expect that Trump’s presidency will end horribly because he is a horrible president and an even worse person. But the awesome power of the presidency will not be squandered by Donald Trump who will use it to serve his equally powerful drive for self-preservation. He’s got a fail safe escape hatch and you can bet your last money he’ll slide right through it and dance off into the sunset like the last dude on the Soul Train line. And the key to it all is his most devoted and duplicitous dope Vice-President Mike Pence. Of course we’ve seen this movie before with the original starring Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, circa 1974.
At the last possible minute, when the walls have completely closed in on him through one of these investigations or prosecutions, Trump will martyr himself in the conservative world by stepping down from the presidency “for the good of the country.” Then Mike Pence will ascend to the presidency and HE will pass out pardons like Halloween candy to anybody named Trump or married to a Trump. Pence will also sell that “for the good of the country” b.s. and enough people will buy it to make him think he can win the presidency outright for himself. That’s what he wants anyway. And Trump will be too happy to step aside and let him try.
Either way it goes, he comes out smelling like a rose to the people that matter to him (that’s wealthy American oligarchs and red state hayseeds). What the hell does he care that he blew the G.O.P.’s back out and banged their party principles out the frame with his treasury plundering, pot-luck foreign policy and denigration of the office by trashing all political norms? He gave his supporters EXACTLY what they wanted and he did it in less than a term. Between that tsunami-style tax cut and the Fantasy Island repeal of Obamacare, Trump has already conquered D.C. Why wait around for the law to catch up with him when he can stick and move with the faithful service of President Pence?
I understand that there are legal eagles out there who will break it down and argue that the pardons won’t really save Trump and his crime syndicate. My friends from law school who still practice will tie you up in knots with explanations about civil procedure and federal jurisdiction. But I don’t think its going to matter to Joe Six-Pack, the Nascar Dads and soccer moms who adore this fool.
The appetite for accountability will wane to the point that full prosecution at the state level will be damaged goods from a public relations standpoint and the juice won’t be worth the squeeze. They’ll plead it down just to get something on the books for their trouble because judicial economy is a legitimate concern for these folks. So you’ll wind up with the equivalent of convicting a drug king-pin on jaywalking charges or a serial murderer on a D.U.I. It’s just reality so we need to brace for it. Nobody will care about Michael Cohen getting out of jail in three or four years and winding up with his own show on Fox News.
Everybody will forget about Michael Flynn rotting away in the federal penitentiary on kidnapping and conspiracy charges to save his son’s ass. He was a nutcase anyway so who will lose sleep? You know Trump won’t.
The bottom line is we shouldn’t either. We can’t obsess over when or how karma will swing back on Trump and reign down biblical justice. He’s always been an asshole and he’s always going to be an asshole. Let’s just get him and his klan out of our house and move forward. We need to busy ourselves rebuilding our election infrastructure and retooling our political strategy so that we stop rewarding assholes like him and hold them to account for their actions from now on. We can start by voting all of them out and keeping them out. In the meantime, just be prepared for Trump to escape through the door in the floor.