The idea of losing is beyond him, unless he can blame a rigged election. We knew that, too.
What we did not know — and what is playing out now — is that, in the waning days of his presidency, his courtiers would all pay homage to the fallen king as he ransacks the government on his way out by firing key public servants like the defense secretary whom he considers disloyal, further rattling national security by refusing to share intelligence briefings with the incoming president, and weaponizing the Justice Department to look for mass voter fraud where none exists.
As he sits in the Oval Office, you’ve got to wonder: What is the President actually thinking? Is he concerned about his followers? About democracy? About his legacy?
Nah. He’s thinking about himself, of course. One source who knows the President well makes this case: “He’s not worried about the Republican Party. He’s worried about how he can commercialize and monetize all of this.”
Ah, of course. Post-election King Trump rallies across America (with paid attendance no doubt). Can’t you just imagine the former president claiming his rallies are bigger than Oprah’s motivational gatherings? A TV show! A big book deal, worth millions! (He’ll want more than Obama, but won’t get it.) Another run in 2024!
And worst of all, the secretary of state, occupying a once vaunted position, goes to the podium to declare the transition will be peacefully made — to Trump. We know he wants to be president, and wants Trump’s blessing — but this way?
Luckily, history will record all of this.
If there’s an analogy to this way of leaving the White House in US history, it doesn’t come to mind. There have been disagreements over counts, sure. (And the Election 2000 recount was about 537 votes in one state, and not fanciful claims of fraud nationwide.)
After all, this is a democracy, not a kleptocracy — in which leaders simply try to loot their citizens. Keep that in mind. But it still might be a good idea to keep an eye on the President’s bulging pockets as he exits the back door.