After a week of Comey-firing fallout, The Leader may have been relieved to escape to Saudi Arabia, where they know how a big shot likes to be treated — with sword dances, glowing orbs, and $100 million for his daughter’s “foundation.”
Rightbloggers, sadly, were left home to try and explain why The Leader’s now much-investigated administration was not the catastrophe it appeared to be.
Some stayed 100 percent loyal to The Leader, claiming any investigations amounted to a take-over by the “Deep State” (modern conservative slang for “The Man”).
“A Coup Attempt, Not a Constitutional Crisis,” cried David P. Goldman at PJ Media. “A Slow-Motion Coup d’état?” asked John Steele Gordon at Commentary. “We Are Watching A Slow-Motion Coup D’etat,” answered James Downton at the Federalist.
(Gordon claimed The Leader’s “I hope you can let this go” comment to Comey, widely seen as an attempted obstruction of justice, was just an innocent, offhand remark: “Does it really differ substantially from ‘I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow’?”)
“With legitimacy of Trump’s presidency being openly contested by the ‘Resistance,’ there’s an implicit pretender to the throne: the status quo ante, the way things used to be,” Richard Fernandez whispered into his ham radio at PJ Media.
Oddly, the most highly placed journalist to actually call for The Leader’s ouster so far has been the very conservative Ross Douthat at the New York Times. The MSM Liberal establishment Times itself, on the other hand, officially editorialized, “Watergate? We’re Not There Yet.”
The paranoia got so thick that Instapundit Glenn Reynolds warned liberals, “You will have literal riots in the streets if Trump’s removed, far beyond anything you’ve seen from Democrat constituency groups like Black Lives Matter.” Saddle up your Hoverounds, boys! Moron labe!
Others among the brethren just plain flipped and gave their former hero the Orange-Haired Stepchild treatment. Take Matthew Continetti, who previously not only wrote loving Leader tributes like “Donald Trump and the New American Patriotism,” but also went out and ordered a well-done steak with ketchup in his honor. Last week, in “Nation on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” Continetti worried aloud that “until someone in the White House is willing or able to tell the president no…the atmosphere of paranoia and hysteria that has enveloped Washington will not subside.” If only people hadn’t listened to Matthew Continetti!
Peggy Noonan was smoother about it. Only a few months earlier, the Pulitzer Prize winner was cheering The Leader for getting through a speech to Congress without farting, even comparing him to her beloved Gipper. Now that all was chaos, Noonan put on her Sweet-Tempered, Slightly Dotty Old Lady Who’s Had Enough outfit and pretended to not quite know what was going on (“Comey, FBI, memoranda; Russia, Flynn, the Trump campaign…,” she gasped. “It’s become a blur”).
However, there was one thing she knew for sure: Both sides were to blame, but mainly you. True, The Leader may have done something or other, but never mind that; “history is going to judge us by how we comported ourselves in this murky time,” and by “us” Noonan meant “Capitol Hill Democrats” for whom “the crisis appears to be primarily a chance to showboat,” and journalists who lived in hope for “their scoop that could bring down a president,” etc.
So while The Leader was “both paranoid and oblivious,” said Noonan, those who challenged his paranoid oblivion were hurting America by not concentrating on “crucially needed reforms in taxing, regulation, and infrastructure.” Billionaires suffer while you talk ob-something of justice! What was needed, Noonan concluded, was for Republicans to give The Leader a good old-fashioned Peggy Noonan finger wag: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job….If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone.” It worked on your oldest daughter, it’ll work on The Leader!
Proving there is nothing that Jonah Goldberg can’t make worse, the National Review legacy pledge also called for Republican intercession, in his case via an open letter to Vice President Mike Pence. “Maybe you were part of the [Comey] deception,” Goldberg told the veep. “But I’d like to think that’s not the case.” Did you catch that hint of doubtfulness, Mr. Vice President? For God’s sake, act, or you’ll lose the powerful #NeverTrump constituency!
Goldberg’s scheme was for Pence to murder The Leader in his sleep, then claim he was in church when it happened — ha, kidding, he merely suggested Pence resign. Ha, kidding again — he suggested Pence merely threaten to resign “if [The Leader] plays you for a patsy again.” That’ll give The Leader second thoughts — or rather, fourth thoughts, after, “Who is this guy again?” and “Wonder if that Fast and Furious guy would like to be vice president.”
Meanwhile, The Leader began an as-many-countries-as-he-can-get-through overseas trip in Saudi Arabia, signing a $110 billion deal to help the Saudis kill whomever they haven’t killed yet in Yemen — or, as the Washington Feed put it, “Trump Strikes Deal With Saudis That Will Bring ISIS To Their Knees.”
The Leader also gave the Saudis a speech about terrorism in which he somehow failed to utter the magic terrorism-ending words “radical Islamic terrorism” — for which omission, readers with long memories will recall, he had denounced Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
The Leader’s factota knew how to handle it, though. “TRUMP, UNLIKE OBAMA, ADDRESSED ‘ISLAMIC TERROR’ DIRECTLY,” howled Breitbart, while the New York Post heads-upped, “Trump might quit saying ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ ” no big deal. To paraphrase Mario Cuomo: Campaign in bullshit, govern in other bullshit. (Later, Trump’s people said he flubbed the magic words because he was “exhausted,” and America tried not to think of the Bay of Pigs.)
The rightblogger rear guard did its best to whoop up the trip: Ann Coulter said “the Arabs” liked The Leader because he’s “a strong alpha male leader”; “ ‘Classy and Conservative’ Melania Trump a HUGE HIT With Saudi Press,” said the Gateway Pundit; “No bowing for this president!” said BizPacReview (<Ron Howard voice>There was bowing.</Ron Howard voice>).
Maybe Peggy Noonan will gush over The Leader yet again. But whatever else happens on this trip, he’ll still have to come home and face the music — unless, of course, he’s got a payload of stolen bullion on Air Force One, and a Plan B.