The rats are deserting Trump’s sinking ship, after he fomented the Great QAnon Capitol Insurrection, with two cabinet secretaries and some other officials having resigned. It is too late. The Insurrection did not tell us something about Trump we did not know. Those now leaving are perhaps attempting to avoid any messy 25th Amendment or impeachment proceedings, or perhaps they are trying to salvage what’s left of their reputations by dissociating themselves from Trump at his most insane.
There is an old anecdote apparently first told about Max Aitkin, Lord Beaverbrook, a British-Canadian politician and media mogul. It has many versions but here is how I tell it.
Lord Beaverbrook is at a cocktail party conversing with an attractive woman, and the conversation turns to ethics. He asks her if she would sleep with someone for a million pounds. She says that she would.
He asks her, “Would you sleep with someone for five pounds?”
She says, “Certainly not, what sort of woman do you think I am?”
He observes drily, “Madame, we have already established that. Now we are just haggling about the price.”
I have some questions for the resignees:
When you heard Trump say of Mexican-Americans, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best . . . They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” you still signed on to serve in his administration.
When you saw that Trump sought to ban Muslims from the United States in an act of religious and racial discrimination, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When heard Trump use the phrase “very fine people” for the Charlottesville Nazis, who chanted “Jews will not replace us,” you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you saw Trump promote carbon-intensive coal, try to lower automobile fuel standards, and try to destroy the Paris Climate Accord, wreaking 4 years of unrecoverable climate damage on the planet and on your grandchildren, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you saw Trump used military-grade tear gas and Federal forces to clear peaceful protesters from LaFayette Square so that he could stage a photo op with a Bible at St. John’s Episcopal church, violating the protesters’ constitutional right to peaceable assembly, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you saw Trump capriciously try to end SNAP food stamps for 700,000 unemployed Americans, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you saw Trump’s EPA slash regulations and permit a serious degradation of our national environment, even permitting a pesticide that causes brain damage in babies, you did not resign or even criticize.
When you heard in the room, or read that Trump asked if migrants at the border could be slowed down by shooting them in the legs, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When Trump said that the death rate from the coronavirus would be very low “if you didn’t count blue states,” you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you saw Trump try to take ACA health insurance away from millions of Americans during a pandemic when they had lost jobs and job-provided health benefits, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When Trump discouraged people from wearing a face mask during a deadly outbreak of a respiratory disease that is transmitted by people breathing on one another, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When, in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, Trump held huge rallies with crowds whom he had discouraged from wearing masks or socially distancing, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When Trump opposed state lockdowns to deal with the pandemic and tweeted out “Liberate Michigan,” and when in response white supremacists and conspiracy theorists invaded the Michigan capitol and plotted to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, you didn’t resign or even criticize.
When you heard Trump say that he won the election on Nov. 3 by a landslide, and you heard the Raffensperger tape in which he used crime-boss tactics in an effort to browbeat Georgia officials into “finding” him “11,780 votes,” you didn’t resign or even criticize.
We know what sort of person served with Trump. Now we are just haggling over their price.