Written by Mary Buffett
This administration cannot last; the only issue that remains is the date and time of its departure. At some point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan will make the long and painful trip to the Oval Office ― like others did in August 1974 ― to tell President Trump that he has no political future and the only option is a swift resignation.
Perhaps that day will come before the 2018 midterms; perhaps it will emerge long after Republican majorities are in ashes. But come it will. After McConnell and Ryan depart a rancorous Oval Office meeting, there will be a long night of angry tweets. Once reality sets in, he and his family will take the somber long walk to Marine One for his final flight to Mar-A-Lago. With that, the grand political experiment of “Amateur Night in The White House” will close for its final performance and the short, sad, and divisive of era of Donald Trump will come to an end.
Political commentators will lament that the Trump era ended in the way it began — as an erratic and chaotic adventure that exhausted a nation after a very short period. Scholars noted that it was a presidency that veered out of control, right at the outset, from the dystopian inaugural address to the inflated tallies of the audience that watched it. Obnoxious tweets bubbled up at hours when most reasonable people were fast asleep. Wild accusations emerged suggesting that President Obama had wiretapped Trump at his New York home. Instead of walking these inflammatory statements back, Trump would double or triple down, suggesting that intelligence services of other nations worked surreptitiously to spy on him.
In the end, it was the gravity of events that doomed the Trump administration. As Trump’s numbers fell faster than any sitting president in U.S. history and as the polls for the 2018 midterms looked more and more like headlights from an oncoming freight train, Republican leaders hoped that a presidential replacement could cauterize the damage and help them retain at least one of the two houses of Congress.
The nation turned on Trump as he broke promises faster than he made them during the campaign. The Credibility Gap, a phrase not used since the days of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, quickly became a gaping chasm. The ACHA, the Republican counterproposal to Obamacare lay in ruins, after members of the Republican Freedom Caucus refused to support various parts of the bill. White working class voters, who served as Trump’s bedrock of support, were in open revolt. Many competitive Congressional districts, now held by Republicans, felt the heat over the summer during rancorous town hall meetings, went ballistic after the Trump budget wanted to cancel funding for organizations like “Meals on Wheels.”
Politically, Trump’s administration became a gaping wound that simply would not heal. Part of being president means serving as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world; it means leading by example and not getting into endless feuds and squabbles with political regional, and international allies. In time, the evidence would overwhelm; some would talk while others would sing.
For Trump, he could only stay on script for a short period before stumbling back into his conspiratorial persona. It seemed that Trump had reversed the major lines of President Kennedy’s Inaugural speech to now reflect that he would “fight any friend and defend any foe” or “ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you.”
As historians contemplate the rogue nature of the Trump White House which began with an inauguration speech that rivaled the one Uncle Scar delivered in “The Lion King” when he paired up with the hyenas, there will still be more questions than answers. Somewhere, the progeny of Millard Fillmore and Warren G. Harding will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that their presidential ancestors are no longer the doormat of political incompetence.
However, as we pivot back to the present-day and worry about a presidential chief executive who will stoop to any level to debase the American brand, when will Republicans step up to place country over party? How would they feel about having Donald Trump roaming around the Situation Room should another Cuban Missile Crisis emerge?
In the end, the evidence of political malfeasance was piled too high and the only recourse that lay ahead was immediate resignation. While this is political prognostication our part, at some point, we all must put country ahead of partisanship and all agree that our constitution means something beyond parchment. With the daily waterfall of chaos cascading upon our national populace, Donald Trump needs to consider his own exit strategy.