Bob Franken




The price for having dealt with Donald Trump at any level is everyone’s personal wreckage. In fact, he’s left human debris behind him for his entire adult life. It’s no surprise that his post-presidency is mired in the same rubble imposed on the nation the whole time he inhabited the executive mansion.
But it was the legislative mansion, so to speak, that was so badly damaged at the very end of his term. During his desperate reach for continued authoritarian power, he set off an invasion of his most fervent zombies, who marched to the Capitol building to his monotone but clearly understood orders to violently disrupt the certification of the presidential election.
So his impeachment (his second, as you remember) — fighting off the consequences of the death and destruction, even after he’s left office — is the perfect metaphor for Donnie’s entire existence and the severe direct damage he rains down on associates. Still, he has somehow managed to avoid appropriate accountability for his malicious stupidity.
Clearly he deserves to be convicted and banished from ever holding office again. The impeachment accusation against him is that he incited the rioters to a fatal frenzy that caused them to attack the very symbol of American democracy. Trump’s only plausible defense is that he was such a moron that he had no earthly idea how dangerous his words were. But it wasn’t his first touch with ignorance.
The Covid pandemic was, to a significant extent, exacerbated by the fact that he, personally, was in charge and in way over his head. So were most of the people chosen to be his foremen and women. The result is that the United States of America leads the world in tragic results when it comes to dealing with this public health crisis. The continued fallout from that is the logistical nightmare that the distribution of vaccines has become. No wonder the Trumpsters refused to cooperate with the incoming Biden administration, per the usual transition. They must have been too embarrassed, or ashamed.

If there was a more ill-suited president to deal with America’s shameful history of racism, it was Donald Trump. His bigoted demagogic responses, as one instance of deadly police abuse against blacks overlapped into another, were a model of insensitivity and intolerance. He dithered as the streets filled with protest. Last summer, his pettiness made it worse. Who can ever forget that night, when his people gassed the protestors to clear them away so he could leave the White House and cross to a church and then hold up a Bible for a photo op?
It was some twisted pandering to Christian extremists, who were cynical enough to deal with him in spite of the fact that he had a history of philandering, sometimes with strippers, and various other obscenities in exchange for his cooperation in establishing the theocracy they wanted.
That doesn’t even account for his bombing of the world stage. Every alliance was antagonized, and about every totalitarian regime embraced by Trump — most enthusiastically, the expansionist Russian government of his comrade Vladimir Putin. The full story hasn’t been written of their relationship, but the Donald certainly filled Vladimir’s dance card, pirouetting for him like a trouper in the Moscow Ballet.
As for impeachment, the Democratic House managers have presented an airtight case. Not even Trump’s legal team can sweet-talk his way out of this one. Oh, wait: His legal team is an embarrassment.
The only thing that can save him from this brush with the law is that the timid Republicans in the Senate are so frightened of him, they cower into their “don’t confuse me with the facts” posture.
He’ll wiggle out of another one. Meanwhile, his successor Joe Biden’s agenda is to clean his messes up, until the two face off again four years hence.

© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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