In Order To Win The WH In 2020, Will the GOP Soon Have To Find A Way To Abandon The S.S. Donald J. Trump?

Will The GOP Be Better Off Quickly Substituting President Pence for President Trump?

By David Grace (

Stay Or Go?

How do you know when you’ve reached the point where your best option is to abandon a foundering ship?

This is a critical decision.

If you jump into the raging sea while the ship can still be saved, you’ve made a terrible, perhaps fatal, mistake. On the other hand, if you cower on board too long, the undertow from the boat’s collapse will drag you with it down to its watery grave.

So, how do you decide whether to stick with the flooding vessel or leap into the raging sea?

There is no easy answer to this question.

Different people will decide at different times to either sink or swim. Some will jump too soon, some too late, and some will not jump ship at all, praying instead that hope and fate will see the stricken vessel through the storm.

The Hard Question Facing The GOP

That is the question facing the Republican Party with regard to the S.S. Donald J. Trump.

Do you stand fast and hope the beleaguered vessel will weather the storm, or do you abandon ship now when you still have a chance to guide the lifeboats over the horizon to a welcoming shore?

There will be much more clarity when the 2018 House and Senate elections are decided. Whether the GOP retains or loses control of Congress and by what margins will tell the party leaders a lot about what’s likely to happen when the Megalomaniac In Chief (the MIC) stands for re-election.

The Odds Of Re-Election

Today it seems that the odds of the WHAM (White House Addled Megalomaniac) actually being re-elected President in 2020 are pretty damn slim.

He wouldn’t have won the last time if the Democrats hadn’t exhibited a particularly rabid form of self-delusional suicide by nominating Hillary Clinton, and even then a switch of only about 54,000 votes out of 63,400,000 would have seen HC in the White House instead of the MIC.

[Hillary Clinton only needed to switch 53,650 voters to win]

After all the thunder and lightning of the first year and half of the WHAM’s administration, it’s pretty clear that by 2020 a majority of voters will probably be ready for a bit of Quiet Time. The MIC’s 38% (+/- 3%) core supporters will never abandon him, but for a guy who was barely able to beat a terrible candidate like Hillary Clinton that’s light years away from being enough.

I’m not saying this out of animus for the MIC, though I certainly have plenty of that. I’m saying it from cold reason rather than wishful thinking.

The Risk Of Loss

My point is this: Despite the public, whistling-in-the-dark proclamations to the contrary, the Washington-GOP insiders know that the MIC’s re-election as President is probably a huge long shot.

The S.S. Donald J. Trump is taking on a lot of water, not to mention that it may well be headed for the Richard M. Nixon Memorial Reef.

On top of all that, other concerns abound:

I could go on and on. The possibilities of a thin-skinned, combative, extreme narcissist, compulsively-lying, megalomaniac with enormous power and a child’s attention span doing something really politically bad are almost endless.

And who knows what will emerge from the Mueller investigation?

So, again, the GOP insiders have to be asking themselves: Can the S.S. Donald J. Trump be saved from foundering?

No one knows. Anything can happen in politics.

Maybe the MIC’s ship won’t sink. Maybe, against all odds, it will stagger out of the storm and drift into port on a suddenly calm and welcoming sea. Maybe.

But the overriding questions in the minds of the people who are staking their political lives and fortunes on the Republican Party holding power are:

The GOP Fantasy — If Only The MIC Would Disappear

If the Washington-GOP insiders could wave a magic wand and make the MIC disappear today, I have no doubt that he would vanish in a puff of smoke before you could say bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.

Hell, if they could give him a non-fatal aneurysm that was sufficiently debilitating to get him out of office they’d already be fighting over who would slip the magic pill into his Diet Coke.

A World Without The WHAM

Think about it for a moment. With the WHAM gone, the GOP ends up with President Mike Pence, whose optics are about as different from the MIC’s as night is from day.

Where the MIC is a philanderer on a par with Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton, Pence won’t even share a one-on-one plate of spaghetti with a female who is not his wife.

The terms “narcissistic”, “mean”, “impulsive”, and “compulsively dishonest” are not the first, second or even third ones that come to mind when thinking about Mike Pence.

If the MIC could be made to vanish like the victim of an alien abduction or die quickly from some malevolent but heart-tugging disease, President Pence could present the country with the apparently stable, father-figure an overwhelming majority of Americans are more than ready to embrace.

And, he could take credit for any successes a living WHAM might, if present, point to, while disavowing the multiple failures to which the MIC won’t admit.

The Big Question

So, the question the GOP insiders have to ask themselves is:

Do we find some way to get rid of the MIC ASAP and sail the party into calmer seas under the wise and stable leadership of Godly President Mike Pence, or do we man the pumps and plunge the bow into the heart of the storm, hoping against hope that the S.S. Donald J. Trump won’t founder and sink without a trace into the cold and lonely sea?

What The Democrats Shouldn’t Do

If the Democrats have a working brain among them they will daily offer up incense and prayers that the WHAM remains in good health and out of jail until the 2020 election. Impeachment is, or at least should be, the very last thing any sane Democrat would want to befall the Megalomaniac In Chief.

Prior to 2020, the MIC can, at most, be expelled from the White House. After 2020, as a private citizen, the WHAM might be put in a cage and there will be no one to pardon him like Jerry Ford did for Tricky Dick.

The Motive For The NYT Anonymous Editorial?

I can’t help but wonder if the motive for the anonymous NYT editorial was not to assure a nervous nation that dedicated patriots were standing at the ready to prevent an unhinged WHAM from some disastrous gaffe.

No, I think its real purpose might have been the same reason that picadors shove darts into the bull before the matador makes his appearance — to so enrage the beast that it makes a suicidal charge at the man with the sword hidden beneath his red cape.

There is an old saying: “He whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad” and the MIC is notoriously easy to piss off.

The NYT editorial might have been the GOP-insiders’ proverbial handful of itching powder in the tighty-whities, the plastic wrap over the toilet bowl, the nerd’s “You’re a big pussy” taunt to the school yard bully, designed to set him off into even greater craziness.

In the coming weeks, I would not be surprised to see covert GOP slings and arrows find their way into the WHAM’s ass in an attempt to spur him into some disastrous conduct that will lead to his removal so that President Mike Pence can have as long as possible in office before the 2020 election.

A Literary Analogy

Of, if you prefer a more literary analogy, if you were an officer on the Pequod wouldn’t you have wondered if you shouldn’t get rid of Captain Ahab before he incited Moby Dick into destroying you all?

If Captain Ahab had tripped over an unsecured belaying pin and tumbled overboard, Mr. Starbuck would have become captain, and the next day the Pequod would have sailed placidly back to New Bedford with barely a ding in her hull.

OK, yeah, that’s a little forced, but it makes the point I’m getting at.

Just think of Mike Pence as Mr. Starbuck and you’ll have some idea of the questions, plans and schemes that must be racing through the fevered minds of the Washington-GOP insiders as they lie in the darkness every night praying for the blessed relief of dreamless sleep.

— David Grace (

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David Grace

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 16 novels and over 400 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.