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What Will Happen to The Trump Toadies?

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Look to Nixon’s defenders, and the Vichy collaborators, for clues.
By Frank Rich@frankrichny
Photo: Getty Images

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"Irony, declared dead after 9/11, is alive and kicking in Trump’s America. It’s the concepts of truth and shame that are on life support. The definition of “facts” has been so thoroughly vandalized that Americans can no longer agree on what one is, and our president has barreled through so many crimes and misdemeanors with so few consequences that it’s impossible to gainsay his claim that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. Donald Trump proves daily that there is no longer any penalty for doing wrong as long as you deny everything, never say you’re sorry, and have co-conspirators stashed in powerful places to put the fix in.

No wonder so many fear that Trump will escape his current predicament scot-free, with a foregone acquittal at his impeachment trial in the GOP-controlled Senate and a pull-from-behind victory in November, buoyed by a booming economy, fractious Democrats, and a stacked Electoral College. The enablers and apologists who have facilitated his triumph over the rule of law happily agree. John Kennedy, the Louisiana senator who parrots Vladimir Putin’s talking points in his supine defense of Trump, acts as if there will never be a reckoning. While he has no relation to the president whose name he incongruously bears, his every craven statement bespeaks a confidence that history will count him among the knights of the buffet table in the gilded Mar-a-Lago renovation of Camelot. He is far from alone.

If we can extricate ourselves even briefly from our fatalistic fog, however, we might give some credence to a wider view. For all the damage inflicted since Inauguration Day 2017, America is still standing, a majority of Americans disapprove of Trump, and the laws of gravity, if not those of the nation, remain in full force. Moral gravity may well reassert its pull, too, with time. Rather than being the end of American history as we know it, the Trump presidency may prove merely a notorious chapter in that history. Heedless lapdogs like Kennedy, Devin Nunes, and Lindsey Graham are acting now as if there is no tomorrow, but tomorrow will come eventually, whatever happens in the near future, and Judgment Day could arrive sooner than they think. That judgment will be rendered by an ever-more demographically diverse America unlikely to be magnanimous toward cynical politicians who prioritized pandering to Trump’s dwindling all-white base over the common good..."

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History will deal harshly with them -- savage them, in fact -- but they aren't looking that far ahead. Right now they're caught up in what's probably far more like a Breaking Bad situation than any of us guess, and they're afraid to cross their boss. I mean, once the Trump thing is over and there's clearance to look at what they were really doing, nobody's going to watch re-runs of House of Cards anymore because it's gonna look way too mild. I predict that in ten years shows about Trump and his crimes are gonna nudge Hitler off Discovery and The History Channel. Not that they'll be as dire -- I don't think Trump will conduct genocide or anything (but only because there's still too much of our society fighting back -- some people in America learned from watching Hitler's rise and want to stop such things), but he's building such a tangled -- and frankly absurd -- mess that it's going to take historians years to sort it all out.

When Trump leaves the White House and a Democratic administration gets a chance to look at the stuff that's currently classified, it's going to be like moving into a house where dogs and cats used to live and beaming a UV light on the carpet. Things we don't currently know about are gonna be shinin' bright green and purple, because this fool is piddling everywhere.

I think a lot of these Republican toadies are basically grabbing what they can as they run out of a house that's on fire, because they know that once all this stuff gets revealed to the public, the Republican party's gonna no longer be a thing. It's a fire sale, and they hear the clock ticking. Maybe that clock's only got a year on it, or maybe Bernie Sander's fucking piece-of-shit ass and his piece-of-shit cult buy Trump another four years (oh, he's definitely working on it, that scumbag), but, in any case, there is a clock, and a lot of Republicans know it.

I've seen this kind of thing on a local level, with Mississippi politicians like the Pickerings. They come in, they shit all over the place until someone starts to notice the smell, and then they back out to "spend time with their family" and trust their idiotic base to give them a pass... because their base is brainwashed to the bone and they always let a Republican get away with anything. They know it and they take full advantage of it.


They will be crushed and forgotten, the way their fellow cockroaches have been crushed throughout history.

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