“A week is a long time in politics.”
— British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, 1960s
A lot can change in politics in a week. Sometimes a day. Even in an instant.
The older ones among us remember the Lloyd Bentsen/Dan Quayle vice presidential debate. Quayle, always seeming a bit of a lightweight, made a statement comparing his presidential qualifications favorably to the great John F. Kennedy. Bentsen immediately, without hesitation, replied,
“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”
Dan Quayle recoiled, dumbfounded. A true “deer in the headlights” moment. And that was pretty much it for Dan Quayle’s career. In an instant. Since then, the phrase, “You’re no Jack Kennedy,” has been used to deflate politicians far and wide.
Jack Kennedy would have stood out in the rain on Veterans Day in France to honor the 100th anniversary of the close of World War I. A PT-boat hero, a little water never scared Kennedy.
Donald Trump, five-time draft dodger, took a “rain day” off on this past important World War I 100th anniversary, citing “logistics challenges.” Rain and bad hair don’t mix. Trump sat out the event while other Leaders of the Free World stood together in the rain to respectfully commemorate.
Trump vs. Jack Kennedy. Now, there’s a comparison worse than Dan Quayle. Donald, you’re way no Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy burnished America’s European reputation. Trump has burned it. Jack drew adoring crowds in Europe. Trump is protested with flying “Baby Trumps” and topless feminists. (Fitting for Trump, actually.)
In just one act on one day, Donald Trump again further trashed America’s once shining image. America, once the beloved savior of post-World War II Europe, now under Trump, is America the undependable. We could use a Jack Kennedy about now…
But Trump was sulky and hot-bothered when he arrived in France. He’d had his Very Bad Week, and a bad week is a long time in politics. Especially when you just lost Very Bigly.
Votes are still being tallied, (yes, provisional, vote by mail, and military ballots do count and do take time to assess) – but it’s now clear that the Blue Wave crashed on Trump and Democrats have gained over 35 seats, handily flipping the Trump-patsy House Blue. And seven governorships, blue. And 300 state seats, flipped blue. An Arizona senator, blue, too. And Florida potentially bluer by the day, counted ballot by counted ballot. Florida ballot counting is like water torture for Trump. Drip, drip, drip. And we now know how much Donald fears water.
Trump really got the blues from the Blue Wave. He’s been on a terror-pout ever since. Bam, out goes Sessions, replaced with a goon. Bam, a schoolyard yelling match with reporters – twice. Bam, threatening the new House with Senatorial harassment, if that were but legal.
Trump hasn’t acted well since the election. Because Trump has now had a full week to consider his pending fate:
“Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up!”
Yes, the fate with which he taunted Hillary Clinton is likely quite the fate he fears most for himself and his family. Yes, the silver-spooned kids and the Cheater in Chief himself could actually do hard time…
“The Trump Organization” sounds like a crime family because it is. Trump acts like a mob boss because he’s a wannabe mob boss. Owner of failed gambling casinos and con-job businesses too many to list, Trump is a street-smart grifter with a mob mentality and always has been.
So, how do big-time syndicate criminals like this finally get caught? Tax evasion. Al Capone? Taxes. Trump… taxes.
Last week I predicted: “Going out on a limb, it’s very likely America decided one-party rule was running recklessly and we needed a counterweight to Trump’s radicalism. Yes, I’m betting the House flipped because Americans wanted a counterweight to Trumpism getting too far out of hand.”
Well, it happened. A lot happened this past week. And now, Trump can’t just be Trump. He’s got the House to report to. It’s like there’s a sheriff in town and the outlaw can’t just willy-nilly rob the national bank anymore.
Sooner or later, those long-hidden tax returns are going to see the light of day. Sooner or later, the Trump Organization tax fraud recently identified by the New York Times will be magnified. Sooner or later, the fate Trump fears most will come to pass.
Exposed as a felonious tax evader. Exposed as a debtor to Russian lenders. Exposed as a con-man running tax dodges and money laundering.
Knowing “your time is up, they have your number” is going to torture Trump in very slow motion. Drip, drip, drip — as the investigations get closer, closer, closer. He won’t hold up. If you think you’ve seen Trump crazy, you haven’t seen Trump crazy, Blue House edition!
This past week has been the longest week in Trump’s short political life. Plundering America without checks and balances has been flipped into life under intense oversight and scrutiny.
If a week is a long time in politics, these next two years will be an eternity for Trump.
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared on Wednesdays in The Signal since 2006.