Leftists have been trying to get rid of President Trump since he became the Republican nominee. They have arranged a special prosecutor investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia. They have revealed tapes of him saying crass things in the distant past. They have purchased dossiers from shady British faux intelligence agents.
None of that seems to be working, so they have turned to another tactic – trying to get President Trump to do the job himself.
In recent days, there have been a spate of stories urging the president to resign, predicting he will quit any day and sketching what might happen if he did. The stories have ranged from the plaintive to the serious to the silly to the somewhat creepy.
Al Gore took the direct approach. He was taking questions on a British network to promote his new movie, “Inconvenient Sequel.” When asked what President Trump should do, he said, “Resign.”
The Bustle website offered a story on what would happen if Trump resigned – if he leaves immediately, then Vice President Mike Pence takes over, which the website did not view as good news.
Keith Olbermann got written up in Newsweek this week when he sketched out his Trump resignation fantasy and the remarkable reasons he expected it to happen soon – or not so soon.
“For a while now, I have thought the Trump presidency would end suddenly,” Olbermann said. “For weeks now I have been anticipating that Trump’s last day in office will dawn like all the others, and then around dinner time it will suddenly break that he is about to resign. I don’t know if that’s next Tuesday or next year, but I think whenever it is, that is what it will feel like.”
Olbermann was reacting to a tweet from John Harwood, a White House reporter for CNBC. Harwood, who moderated one of the presidential debates in 2016, also was among the reporters revealed to have had their stories ordered and approved by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“Prediction just in from top R strategist,” Harwood tweeted. “Trump resigns ‘once Mueller closes in on him and the family.’ Pence makes Rubio VP, ‘GOP recovers.’”
That tweet followed by just a few days a tweet from Tony Schwartz, who helped Trump write his famed 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal.” “Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and Congress leave him no choice,” Schwartz tweeted, adding later he had not talked to Trump and had no inside knowledge.
Frank Bruni of The New York Times has been having his own secret fantasies about Trump resigning. He said he had “spotted more and more forecasts” that Trump would resign, then recited the Schwartz quote and none other. “They struck me not as wishful or fantastical,” Bruni intoned. “They struck me as late.”
He then went on a rant about how Trump already had resigned when he forfeited moral leadership on Charlottesville – and in fact hadn’t even begun to be president, blah blah blah.
David Von Drehle of The Washington Post at least tried to take the assignment seriously. In a piece entitled, “Why Doesn’t Trump Just Quit?” Von Drehle said that “evidence is piling up that Donald Trump does not really want to be president of the United States.”
He doesn’t look happy in the job, Von Drehle said. Before he became president, Trump could meet with whomever he wanted and say whatever he wanted. Now, Von Drehle said, he finds himself more isolated, and the loneliness of the job is wearing on him.
“And it’s more than that,” Von Drehle wrote. “With no previous political experience, Trump’s learning curve has been even steeper than usual, and the more he sees of the job, the less he wants to do it. He balks at the briefings, the talking points, the follow-through.”
Trump loves being the most talked-about man on Earth, Von Drehle said.
Then came the old canard that Trump’s associates say he never intended to be president. He was trying to make a point by announcing, then by actually running, then by actually winning the nomination, then by winning the election and then by being sworn in.
According to these associates, Trump was a lock to resign at each of these phases. He was just showing us he could do it. He doesn’t want to do anything to help the country; he just wants everyone to bow in awe of his self-marketing ability.
“Having won the part,” Von Drehle wrote, “he doesn’t want to play it, a fact irrefutable after Charlottesville. Rather than speak for the nation – the president’s job – he spoke for Trump. Rather than apply shared values, he apportioned blame.”
So Trump doesn’t want to be president anymore, and the proof is he refused to be cowed into making statements he knew to be untrue?
A seasoned entrepreneur such as Trump should recognize when a venture is not working out or when a personnel move hasn’t clicked, Von Drehle wrote.
“The presidency is not a good fit for Trump. It’s a scripted role; he’s an improviser. It’s an accountable position; he’s a free spirit. Yes, the employment contract normally runs four years. But at his age and station, what’s the point of staying in a job he doesn’t want?”
Trump does not seem to be inclined to help the left with its project to drive him from office or this newest novel effort to gaslight him into doing it himself. He seemed absolutely buoyant at his packed rally in Arizona earlier this week, and he seems to have a lot of things he wants to accomplish, such as tax reform, healthcare reform and the war in Afghanistan.
The left thinks it hears things, sees signs. He’s tired. He’s impatient. He’s frustrated. He doesn’t seem to want to knuckle under to what the Washington establishment wants him to do, and that pressure – according to the Washington establishment – has to be too much for a man to bear.
But they must not have been paying attention on Tuesday in Arizona. This wasn’t a presidential speech. This was a 2020 campaign event. Wishful thinking/reporting on the left notwithstanding, the president is not going anywhere.