Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, is the latest one on the band wagon. Recently she said that she expects in the weeks to come, Trump will pardon his children, allies, and anybody else who needs one, and then resign the Presidency, so that Mike Pence can pardon him. And I agree wholeheartedly with Attorney General James. Except for that last part.
It wasn’t that long ago that I agreed with her on that score as well. It was months ago, long before the election, that I floated that exact same option in an article. And it made complete sense, and to a certain extent, it still does. The best reason is that a la Nixon, having Pence pardon Trump removes the specter of a nasty court fight over a self pardon.
So, what happened since then that changed my mind? Reality. When I wrote that, it was pure speculation, based on facts as I knew them at the time, and it made sense. But since then, the election was actually held, Trump got clobbered, and promptly lost his shit. And now the entire landscape is changed.
My expectation, apparently along with most other peoples, was that if Trump lost, he was sufficiently encased in his own delusional, self centered bubble that he would successfully be able to con himself that he was robbed, therefore allowing him to look at a last minute resignation and Pence authored pardon as a legal maneuver, allowing him to believe he was showing no weakness.
Man, oh man, did I ever boink the Basset on that one! From Tuesday night through Friday, Trump performed exactly according to script. Claimed victory late Tuesday night, and spent the next three days screaming massive vote fraud, mostly mail in ballots, calling for the vote counting to be stopped, and trying to pressure local officials. Trump’s delusional hull shields were holding steady, and he was right on course to keep deluding himself right up to that Pence pardon.
And then, the inconceivable. On Saturday, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Nevada were called, and it became official, Biden was the President elect. Trump lost! And because it was so legal, so orderly, so concrete, so mathematical, so black-and-white, Trump’s delusion hull shields completely collapsed. As much as Trump could rant and rave, scream and yell, deflect and deny to anyone who would listed to him, for once Trump couldn’t con himself.
Which is why Trump disappeared into the woodwork of the White house for weeks. He spent hours on the 1-900-HAN-NITY naked chat line under an assumed name, pretending to be somebody else. He was gone so long that wags like me were about to call him President Halley’s Comet. And now that he’s finally popped up, like a groundhog, you can see how depressed, deflated, and almost robotic he is. He keeps saying the words. But you can tell by his voice and his body language that he doesn’t believe a word of it.
And that’s why Trump can’t resign, not even for a bullet proof pardon from Pence. For one thing, even though Trump himself may realize deep down that he’s a loser, it’s absolutely mission critical that his base never see him as a loser! And after his loss at the polls, and the fact that he went 0-672 in the courts, there is no excuse he could give his base for resigning that wouldn’t stink of loser!
But more importantly, Trump’s own psyche won’t let him do it. Because if he did, he would lose control of the process. After all, it’s not like Trump can have Ghouliani draw up a contract for Pence to sign that says. I’ll make you President for a day as long as you pardon me. It doesn’t work like that, Trump would have to resign in good faith, and wait on Pence to do the right thing. Which would be intolerable to Trump mentally. Which would make Pence giving Trump an act of charity. Being a loser is bad enough, but being a bum? Fucking fuggedaboudit!
So yeah, when you look at it in the calm light of day, the idea of Trump resigning in favor of Pence giving him a bulletproof pardon makes perfect sense, as well as Trump’s life easier. But when you look at the whirling maelstrom of psychoses and neuroses that are our current President, perfect sense left long ago, followed by questionable sense, and just plain dumb. What you’re left with are blind rage, self pity, and self image.
What more would you expect?
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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.