Don’t Run Against Trump

This post was written two months before the general election. Was I right, or what?

When Democrats go to sleep at night, they dream of sticking it to Donald Trump in November. But that’s not how you win elections  — or at least, not how you should win elections. While the media outrage machine often feeds the idea of impeachment as the ultimate endgame, there is a great deal more to governing than replacing a sitting president before his time, just as there was a great deal more to governing than goading angry mobs in red hats to chant of “Lock her up!”

If you spend time on Democratic Facebook, you have been seeing a lot about impeaching Donald Trump since — oh, about January 20, 2017, when he took the oath of office. That was the day on which the president-elect had, according to an insider, his first small disappointment. As Omarosa Manigault Newman recalls it in Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House (Simon & Schuster 2018), he had imagined that he might be the first person to be sworn into that office, not on the Bible, but on a ghost-written trade book. “It’s not mandatory that new presidents swear in on a Bible, but most have done so,” she writes:

He asked me, “Omarosa, what do you think about me getting sworn in on The Art of the Deal?” I said, “Instead of the Bible?” “Yeah. The Art of the Deal is a bestseller! It’s the greatest business book of all time. It’s how I’m going to make great deals for the country. Just think how many copies I’d sell — maybe a commemorative inauguration copy?!” “I know you’re not going to be a traditional president, but that’s just too crazy. Whatever you do, don’t repeat that idea to anybody else,” I said. We laughed. He wanted me to believe he was kidding.

Actually, the Bible is a bestseller too, but never mind: I read these books so you don’t have to. This is the kind of story that circulates, at the hand of people like Omarosa, who is making a lot of money from it, and your Uncle Bob, who is making no money from it, but searches the Internet constantly for new evidence in the Russia probe.

For the rest of this post, published on August 29 2018, click here.

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