As it becomes increasingly unlikely that Donald Trump can legitimately win a second term, we are left to contemplate how the final scenes in this epic American nightmare might play-out.
If he would do us the honor of resigning NOW, the nation might be spared six more months of his compulsive malfeasance. This alone might make it well-worthwhile to consider making him an offer he wouldn’t refuse. I am speaking of immunity from prosecution for himself and his two nearest and dearest children.
No Democrat would be eager to make such a deal with the Devil, but allowing him continued license to exploit his office to its vengeful limits might well prove so dangerous that such a deal should at least be considered.
There are increasing calls for his resignation, but no one can seriously think his narcissistic personality would yield to such pressures “for the good of the country” without a big fat bonus for his truly.
Why wouldn’t he simply wait until the last minute of the last hour before Biden is sworn in to pardon himself and his whole family for any uncharged crimes that may be discovered or pursued after he leaves office? It’s an excellent question, but even in his currently feverish state, he must have noticed that his brushes with the Supreme Court and with the Justice Department, even under his toady Barr, have not always gone in his favor.
Surely, once he leaves office, if Ruth Bader Ginsberg then retires to make way for another progressive jurist, and likely a more progressive Congress, he will have few if any friends in power and many, many enemies. Included in this number will be the bulk of the Republican political class who have undoubtedly chafed under the yoke of his crazy for the past four years. Even if they lacked the courage to rebel against his worst instincts while he held office, once he is unceremoniously dethroned, they will likely turn on him with a vengeance. Like him, they will only be interested in saving their own skins.
The argument for extending presidential clemency to his children, before the fact, will be even thinner than his own, as Congress moves to plug the holes in presidential privilege that his tenure has so vividly highlighted.? I think even most reasonable Republicans (if there are any left) will acknowledge that America can’t survive another abusive presidency like this one.?
Surely, even if he is ignorant of the Constitution and Congress’ ability to reshape presidential privilege (albeit with difficulty) he might be expected to anticipate vigorous challenges to any family pardon that would, at the very least, force exposure of carefully guarded Trump secrets.
Once Trump leaves office, his experiences at the other end of the stick promise to be most unpleasant.
Of course any offer of clemency should be time-limited so that we, the American people, get maximum protection from Trump’s continued malevolent incompetence, or no deal. There is only a slim chance that Trump’s juvenile obstinance will allow for such measured calculation. After all, he is increasingly given to self-harm in the pursuit of harm to others.
Surely we must give it a try.