Amidst the disgusting flurry of pardons yesterday, there was a message of hope. It was a true gift to those who love freedom, the law, and America. President Trump acknowledged that he lost and that he’s going to be gone in a few weeks.
There is no other reasonable interpretation of Trump’s many Christmas presents to child murderers, serial fraudsters and foreign spies. These pardons will not sour the Trumpist base on him; nothing will do that save time and distance from the seat of power. They will guarantee a further drop in his approval among the general populace. All of the shallow images of the “good” he’s done, promulgated to those who cannot or will not recognize duplicity, cannot hide the corruption evident within these pardons.
Again, to his fervent base, it won’t matter. To them, Trump is fundamentally honest (even if in specific deed or word he might not be… those deviations are accepted because he’s working toward a pure and righteous goal which happens to be the goal they most care about, even if he hasn’t made actual steps toward that goal for four years). In their minds, the pardons are necessary to help protect the many who were unfairly pilloried for their defense of the noble President. This is merely the latest in a string of offenses which will not (at the moment) shake their faith.
To the rest of his supporters – the many who’ve had doubts, or the “always R” who have supported him to stop the terror of an upcoming Democrat administration where all guns will be seized, taxes will go to 98% and new words will be forbidden on a daily basis – these pardons will cause them to go silent about “draining the swamp” and “law and order”. By their silence they will be recognized as having doubt and possibly even quiet contrition.
This is the obvious result of the pardons, and even the perpetually vapid Trump could see it coming. They fall into three categories: purchases from those with cash for Trump, payoffs to keep his associates quiet, and a small handful of traditional pardons which are to be used by his promoters as political cover. Trump’s problem is that he’s so fundamentally corrupt that the first category was going to be large (he’ll grab the cash he can, when he can) and the second category was going to be even larger (he has many associates to keep quiet.)
These signal the end of Trump’s long-shot legal attempts to remain in the White House. Like a pesky fly from the cabin of a moving car, his dreams have finally been sucked out the cracked-open window. He is being left behind as the car of state speeds forward without him.
He will undoubtedly remain open to the notion of an actual coup. This isn’t to say that it will happen; I feel the likelihood of even any serious attempt to be ridiculous. Trump himself will want it and he will encourage it to his supporters but the government will ignore him and the overwhelming bulk of the citizenry will either laugh derisively or grumble.
Whether the pardons are an attempt to keep himself and his family out of prison or he is simply looking at 2024 and trying to show that any crimes committed in his favor, including slaughtering innocents, are guaranteed a pardon is uncertain. But they are a concession that he’s abandoned the illusion that he can legally remain in the office, and that, if nothing else, is a relief.