Apologies for the crudeness of the analogy, but if you think of Donald Trump as two pounds of shit in a one-pound bag, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that sooner or later the bag has to burst. The question is when and because of what. Robert Mueller? Michael Cohen? Stormy Daniels? Or something Totally Unexpected?
I'm casting my vote for Totally Unexpected.
Trump's high wire survival act in the face of the endless waves of scandal that would have felled many a mere mortal would seem to be gravity defying, and the lifespan of your average con man typically is not long.
Indeed, Trump believes he can defy the laws of nature -- as he routinely defies temporal laws like the rule of law. As he boasted during the 2016 campaign, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters." This braggadocio stems from being a malignant narcissist who believes the earth, moon and stars revolve around him. Since only Donald Trump is up to the task, who but Donald Trump can Make America Great Again?
But just as that bag will burst, the law of gravity has not been repealed and Trump's hard landing will be a thing of beauty. As well as a joy forever.
What qualifies as Totally Unexpected?
If I knew (and I'll try to take a stab at the concept in a moment), then it wouldn't be totally unexpected. I admit that a feeling of desperation is driving this vague proposition. I mean, how much longer can we continue to live in a state of high anxiety when each new Trumpian low punches us in the national gut as our values are desecrated and our fears for country, kith and kin ratchet up and up and up?
That the threats, cover-ups, rank corruption, engineered cruelty, environmental rollbacks, incessant saber rattling, endless stream of firings and forced resignations, the use of lies and cries of "fake news!" as shields against necessary questions and unflattering news stories result in a rolling contagion of new lows that inevitably are exceeded by new new lows.
I stupidly thought it would take some effort to surpass the Trump administration policy separating children from their immigrant parents. But then came the secret order to discharge immigrants in the armed forces suddenly and falsely deemed security risks before they have served long enough to qualify for expedited naturalization.
How to top that?
It came in only a fortnight as Trump -- he of the peculiar hair, sagging chins, elephantine scowl and deathly pallor -- groveled at Vladimir Putin's feet in what quickly and appropriately became known as the Surrender Summit, the details of which are a state secret as closely held as the Pentagon's nuclear codes. This was followed by an encore presentation of the Witch Hunt Follies, with strip-mall lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz on tuba and harmonica, and another round of attacks on the intelligence and law enforcement officials who see Putin for who he is.
So here are my nominees for Totally Unexpected:
The defection of a family member, either Ivanka or Donald Jr., shatters Trump.
A news media bombshell on Trump so powerful that it provokes mass Republican defections.
And (drum roll, please) Putin's kompromat on Trump is revealed, and it is devastating.Feel free to make your own nominations. And make sure you're not downstream when that bag of shit bursts.