While you despair at the news of the day, take some comfort in how almost equally f*cked up things could easily be.
ALTERNATE UNIVERSE SCENARIO #122:
Hillary Clinton wins, and almost immediately Trump pursues his claims of a rigged election. At first he cites voter fraud, but slowly, as details of the Russian hacking surface, he conflates Hillary’s email kerfuffle with generalized mistrust of the “dark internet” or whatever conspiracy-theory Breitbart whips up. Trump, addicted to the rush of campaigning, barely takes a pause in his “lock-her-up” tour; Congress, of course, has launched a slew of investigations — probably around the Clinton Global Initiative, Loretta Lynch, and Syria. When he needs another argument, he blames the Electoral College, insisting he lost because he campaigned too much in the wrong states. This weirdly proves very popular with his base, and Trump makes abolishing the E.C. the centerpiece of his campaign for the NY or Florida Senate in 2018.
Hillary’s first bruising battle is about the Supreme Court — God knows what concessions are wrung from her in order to achieve confirmation by the McConnell Senate. Trump discovers he loves being a shadow king, able to summon a angry rabble who rallies around the notion of a “stolen” election. The left finds it much harder to generate the enthusiasm it has found in the current resistances, and the youngest and angriest are no fans of Clinton anyway. Her appointments are good, of course, as is her relationship with our allies, but the technocratic efficiency that occurs mostly behind the scenes provides precious little sexy fodder for the media to cover. Aleppo becomes the new Libya, blamed completely on Hillary by Trump, who insists he would have had a better relationship with Putin and a different outcome. He underlines this by visiting Russia and being treated like a Head of State. Investigations into him are minimal because Clinton does not want to be perceived as a vindictive, “sore winner,” and the investigative journalists find very little interest from their editors.
So, six months into her administration, Clinton is about 45% approval rating. Her first legislative goal is to trying to “improve” Obamacare, but she is thwarted by the GOP Congress. Deluded protesters insist Obamacare is at the root of their woes, and flood town halls. Some of the alt-rightists actually get violent and clashes with police are painted as acting on orders from “Hitlary.” Bill, meanwhile, makes inadvisable remarks all the time, and the right-wing media makes rumor-mongering about other women, (some of it true), their new favorite past-time.
In short, the overall perception is of a President besieged. The GOP and Trump lick their lips in anticipation of 2018 and 2020, probably justifiably..
Trump wins handily whatever he runs for in 2018. There is no doubt as to his next intention.
Don’t you feel better now?
Mark Olmsted’s prison memoir: “ink from the Pen” is now available on Amazon.