Shame on you if you are surprised.
I refer to the new Washington Post report which has President Dumpster Fire asking his henchmen to investigate and advise him on his power to pardon anyone who may face indictment as a result of the blossoming Russia scandal. He is also reported to be asking them to find out if it’s possible for him to pardon himself.
Are you amazed? Are you stunned?
If so, shame on you. Two reasons.
In the first place, a raft of pardons would be the most entirely predictable thing ever for the ethics-resistant 45th president. Remember that time he shoved the prime minister of Montenegro out of his way so that he could stand preening in front of a group of world leaders? Remember that time a reporter learned that he had decorated his golf resorts with fake issues of Time magazine showing his mug on the cover? Remember how people said, “This is the most Trump thing ever”?
Wrong. Covering his backside? Acting out of naked self-interest? Being the ultimate weasel? That’s the most Trump thing ever.
Which brings us to the second reason you ought not feel the least bit surprised at any of this. Namely, it would suggest that you still have expectations of this guy, that you still think there’s a bottom somewhere and eventually, he will hit it. In that, you would be like those pundits who exult that he’s “turned the corner” or “become presidential” every time he manages to read an intelligible sentence or two off a teleprompter.
In my neighborhood, we used to have a saying: “If you catch a sucker, bump his head.” It meant that if someone is a naive fool, he deserves to be conned.
Trump has been bumping heads for far too long. Meaning not just the Kool-Aid drinkers who would happily die in the bunker with him if it came down to that, but also those otherwise sensible observers who simply cannot credit the evidence of their senses, cannot make themselves believe he is this much of any empty suit. They are the ones who insist there must be some “there” there, the ones who still hold out hope he might somehow rise to at least some rough approximation of the dignity and selflessness the presidency demands.
Give it up, folks. He does not have that gear. More to the point, he has no interest in reaching it. It was always a fallacy to believe a man who was a narcissistic boor when he was only a private citizen would somehow become the soul of probity when he attained the powers of the presidency.
So let no one be surprised that he has begun talking about issuing pardons. Nor let them be surprised when he does. Or, for that matter, when he fires the special prosecutor who might make pardons necessary.
After all, there is no bottom here.