“God himself could not sink this ship.”
That was how the public viewed the Titanic when the amazing new vessel captured the imagination of the world. The White Star Line publicity brochure claimed that the Titanic was “designed to be unsinkable.”
But on April 14, 1912, four days into her maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg. The ship’s captain had been warned six times about sea ice in the region on that fateful day, but the boat was traveling at maximum speed when look outs spotted the iceberg that would destroy the so-called unsinkable ship. Because of the captain’s failure to foresee coming danger, the vessel could not turn quickly enough. The ship’s starboard side was ripped open and 5 of the 16 compartments flooded quickly. After that the Titanic took on water in one chamber after the other until it could no longer stay afloat. It sank. And along with it, 1500 souls were lost.
Donald Trump has been a very lucky man in his rise to the presidency. He has had a charmed ascent to the highest office in the land. He also created a lot of his luck by working with Russians to help him win, understanding how to appeal to the forgotten working-class voter by fear-mongering and divisive tactics, and facing off against Hillary Clinton, who brought enough baggage with her to be a convincing villain for some people who probably weren’t ready for a woman president anyhow. Time and time again during the campaign, Trump was said to have gone too far, only to rise again out of the smoking ruins the pundits assigned him to. Moments like the Access Hollywood Tape reveal and other campaign enders for any other candidate, did not touch him. Trump was amazing, made of teflon in the eyes of the voters and the press, who covered his every move and added to the myth of being unsinkable. A year and a half into his presidency, Trump has taken over the Republican Party and made it his own. Many think Trump is unsinkable.
Trump seems to believe in and also work hard to create these myths about himself. Terminator myths. He will reign supreme. Supremely narcissistic and certain he is right, Trump has been listening to his minders less and less. Those people who have been guardrails and tempered his responses have been leaving the scene. White House counsel, Don McGahn is the most recent casualty. He met with Mueller for 30 hours and that seemed to be the kiss of death. Trump tweeted his “good-bye” ushering him out the door and maintaining his position as the one with the power to expel those who displease him. But McGahn is only the most recent of a long line of advisors that Trump has dismissed.
There are rumblings inside the White House about other staff leaving. It is exhausting to work for this president. Washington Post calls it the “brain drain.” We can expect General Kelly and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to duck out the back door pretty soon, for example. The White House Counsel’s office used to have a staff of 35 attorneys. It is now down to 25 and 3 or 4 more senior lawyers are leaving along with Mc Gahn.
Lawyers are like look outs. They warn and foretell about danger ahead. They act as guardrails and compliance nags. Trump doesn’t like anyone to tell him about the rules. He doesn’t believe in or abide by laws. He doesn’t think laws apply to him. But even Trump seems to understand that if the Democrats win the House in November, impeachment could be coming for him because of all the corruption and all the criminality he has engaged in with impunity. His solution? He believes that if he gets out and stumps across the country, he will turn the Blue Wave into a Red Wave. He alone can fix it. He doesn’t even seem to understand how “red wave” brings to mind a full and final victory for Putin and Russia in the attack on our country and defeat of our democracy.
Eventually Trump may come to understand how much he is hated. Never by his cult. But by everyone else who reads and watches the real news. He has a 60% disapproval rating at this point with 41% strongly disapproving of him. The economy is good. Trump and his circus is the problem. Trump is going to defeat himself in the end. And people who have fully intact frontal lobes understand the tragedy that is coming. The most recent polling shows growing support for Mueller, now at 63% of Americans wanting a continuation of the probe and 29% opposed to that. When it comes to the Cohen plea, 61% of Americans believe that if the president “directed” Cohen to commit the felonies he confessed to, the president himself is guilty of a crime or crimes. When it comes to Manafort, 66% of Americans would oppose a presidential pardon for him and only 18% would approve. As for obstruction of justice, 53% of Americans believe Trump has been guilty of obstruction with 35% saying he has not. Perhaps most important of all is that Independent voters who make up the largest group of voters in the country are slipping away from this president in larger numbers with a 9 pt drop in approval for Independents from 44% to 35%. Trump is even losing market share with Republicans going from 87% approval in July to 78% now.
This is a president and an administration under seige because of the meanness, corruption and lawlessness of this president. Trump knows what he did and therefore knows what is going to be uncovered. He is afraid because until now he has been able to keep his violations hidden from view, but there are a large number of criminal and civil cases that are going to reveal his secrets to the world. Trump’s fear is fueling his bad judgement as he digs in and digs in. He insults McCain with his flag at full staff then half staff antics; he calls the press the enemy of the people again at his rally; he claims there will be violence if he is impeached. This is a man who is heading full speed ahead into the iceberg that look outs have told him is out there. He does not listen.
No one is beating down the door to work in this White House. Any lawyer with a brain will not want to work in this White House. Not only do you have a rogue president who will not take your advice and eventually throw you under the bus, you have to hire your own lawyer to defend yourself, at great expense because Washington DC lawyers do not come cheap, from the many investigations coming ever closer to the Oval Office. You may also be ruining your reputation and the chance to practice law in the future. Ask John Dean.
Like icebergs in the path of the Titanic, there are a lot of real threats out there, but the captain of this ship is not taking precautions, not listening to the look outs. I for one, am glad of that. That’s how the Titanic goes down.
We are at the moment right before the Titanic struck the iceberg. It has not struck yet. That impact is coming in the form of the numerous investigations, lawsuits, immunity agreements and plea deals that will reveal the truth about Trump. It is coming in the number of people turning on him and telling the truth about him. How many people, groups of people, countries and war heroes does he have to insult to cause people to reject and turn against him? How many children have to be separated from their parents and suffer that life-long trauma for people to understand how despicable Trump is as a human being? How many chambers will need to fill with water before this president goes down?
We are going to see. Trump is not unsinkable.