The President Lost Handily and He Hates the Job Anyway. He Should Resign.

Jack Holmes
·5-min read
Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

From Esquire

Now that he's sending Rudy Giuliani into an actual courtroom to represent him, where the Artist Formerly Known as America's Mayor will face an actual judge rather than Jeanine Pirro, it may just be time for Donald Trump to give it up. Just quit, my guy. Resign! You and everyone else will be happier, and we might then begin the work of actually trying to fight a pandemic which is currently ravaging the country as people prepare to gather for the holidays amid mixed messages from political leaders, including Democrats. The sooner we start, the sooner we can develop the kind of testing infrastructure that one expert told me will serve as "vaccination for the economy" in 2021, which we'll need even amid the promising news on actual vaccines.

Or we can continue with the Hail Mary lawsuits—and, it increasingly appears, a sprawling and dubiously legal ratfucking effort by overeager apparatchik Lindsey Graham—while the president gorges himself on cable news, golfs, and tweets completely embarrassing shit. "I WON THE ELECTION," he cried on Sunday, the same day he wailed that Joe Biden "won because the Election was Rigged." The weekend was an absolute festival of lunacy, as the president retweeted anyone who would cast doubt on a result that, again, was not close. On Friday evening, it was even more pathetic, like a child upending the Monopoly board: "700,000 ballots were not allowed to be viewed in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh which means, based on our great Constitution, we win the State of Pennsylvania!"

His heart's not in it anymore, even if the damage he is doing to the American body politic is very real. Millions and millions of people listen to this guy, eager to erase the notion that a majority of their fellow citizens have rejected The Leader. They desperately accepted the conclusion—it was RIGGED—before any evidence was supplied. Now the informational flotsam is drifting in from the darkest corners of the Internet sea, as each new hunk of crap—mail ballots! no, signature match! no, DOMINION!—is seized on for a moment or two until everyone realizes it's not going to make a damn bit of difference. The president lost comfortably even in just the states that mattered thanks to the banjanxed Electoral College system—forget his massive repudiation in the popular vote—and the lawsuits his campaign is bringing would not overturn the results anyway. They're getting laughed out of court all the same. There's nothing there. It's just another scam.

Meanwhile, the guy is not actually doing the job. He has never had much interest in performing the duties of the presidency—it's always been about the attention and the money. (Yes, he has made a show of donating his salary, a sum he's more than made up by relentlessly monetizing the office via dubiously constitutional means.) Now he's gone into hyperdrive, particularly on the pandemic. He hasn't attended a task force meeting in months, and he seems to have left the public messaging to his Chief Crank, Scott Atlas, who's taken to saying you should have Thanksgiving with your grandparents because it might be their last. He seems determined to make it so, even as his patron university has begun sprinting away from him.

Photo credit: BRYAN R. SMITH - Getty Images
Photo credit: BRYAN R. SMITH - Getty Images

And yet virtually no one is calling on the president to resign. It is fashionable among Savvy Political Sophisticates to dismiss the notion on the basis that Donald Trump, a degenerate narcissist who may face significant legal jeopardy when he loses the protections of the presidency, would never actually do so. But it matters that, for years now, virtually no Democratic officeholders have called for the president's resignation despite an abject and continuing failure to do the job. This is a bar set significantly below those that previous presidents had to clear. You don't even need to focus on his rank corruption, or his assault on the separation of powers that undergirds our constitutional structure. He just doesn't do the job, and in an age of pandemic disease, that calls for a resignation. Of course, the Democrats so far cannot even bring themselves to conduct much meaningful oversight of the Trump regime, so all this is little more than a pipe dream.

The question before the rest of us is whether we are willing to put up with a couple more months of next-level lameduckery while the government could easily be taking action to try to avoid the worst-case scenarios until we have a widely distributed vaccine. Are we all going to accept 60-plus more days where the entire nation is held hostage to the president's all-consuming egotism, where we don't build out our testing infrastructure because he thinks testing creates cases—that's to say bad headlines for him? Are we going to sit by as the delay in the presidential transition possibly delays the effective distribution of COVID vaccines? Will we demand that, now he's been rejected by a majority of the people from whom his authority derives, and he is not using that authority to do anything at all during a once-in-a-century disaster, that he be stripped of it in favor of someone who does not have a personality disorder? Can we get someone in there who will sign a damn stimulus bill?

The same Congress that has so far completely failed to come up with that economic stimulus will need to take a hard look at this situation in the Executive Branch. How many new cases per day will we be at by the time we get this guy on the slow boat to Mar-a-Lago? How many hospitals will be overrun? If he won't resign, those with the ability to remove him must be prepared to do so. Wait for the states to certify their elections, or for the Electoral College to vote if need be. But we need him out, and to get someone in who will do even the bare minimum. Even Mike Pence will do at this point. Bring him back from vacation.

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