|PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
In another time, the overwhelming amount of crap and corruption that Donald Trump has brought to the Oval Office and the fear he has spread across our amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties and enameled plain would spell the premature end to a deeply troubled presidency. But overlooked in this festering cesspool is the one person who may be able to finally blow up the whole shebang.
Let's get some stuff out of the way from the jump. Melania long ago bled out any sympathy I may have had for her as Trump's first-string sex object and more recently as First Lady. What she has revealed is an obsession with covering up her past, which is highlighted by a murky immigration history, while floating through a Christian Dior pants-suited four-inch heels present with an incredible lightness of being devoid of original thought. Will she ever stop plagiarizing Michelle Obama's best lines?
Melania is an over-botoxed résumé-padding cipher glaring through life (the botox maybe?) who cried tears (not of joy) on election night 2016, who slaps away her husband's (small) hands during public appearances and does not even try to pretend that she isn't trapped in the (pussy-grabbing) hell of a misogynistic marriage. And is now making a staggering power play that makes activist First Ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan or Lock Her Up Hillary seem like Heidi tip-toeing through the alpine clover with Peter the goatherd.
In a move that blindsided Chief of Staff John Kelly, propagator of lies Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the rest of the backstabbing West Wing krew, the very private Melania unsheathed her own dagger and demanded in a very public statement on Tuesday that Mira Ricardel, a deputy national security adviser and John Bolton poodle with whom she clashed, must go because she "no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House." And poof! Ricardel was gone on Wednesday.
Specifics are vague, but the clash reportedly included a disagreement over who sat where on the plane during the Big White Safari Hat's recent trip to visit the lovely dark-skinned people of Africa. You know, important stuff.
I cannot speak to the veracity of Melania's claims, although any friend of Bolton's must be viewed with deep suspicion. Ricardel probably was just another unqualified Trumpkin on the taxpayer dole who like Bolton wants to blow up the world, but the First Lady's outburst reminds me of her unique power position.
We can thank Stephanie Clifford for that.
Clifford, who as the whole world now knows stars in and directs porn flicks under the name Stormy Daniels, had a fling with the future president -- but one of his many -- in a Lake Tahoe casino hotel room following a celebrity charity golf tournament in July 2006, four months after Melania gave birth to Baby Barron.
"The sex was nothing crazy. He wasn't like, chain me to the bed or anything. It was one position," Stormy explained in a cringe-worthy interview, helpfully adding, "I can definitely describe his junk perfectly, if I ever had to."It may not come to that, but of the many scandals Trump has visited on us, this one is going to continue to haunt him because the hush money payment he and Michael Cohen, his fixer-lawyer turned rat, gave Stormy is so blatantly a campaign finance law violation. As well as a continuing source of friction for the Shrew of the East Wing if not for Evangelical Republican voters since God, in their view, has forgiven Trump. Or something.
But even if the Big Guy has forgiven him, Melania has not, and overstepping her role (ie., not knowing her place) in dissing Ricardel is further confirmation that she and The Donald are deeply at odds.
In January, Melania was "blindsided" and "furious" because of the Stormy story, reportedly spent several nights away from the presidential pad at a "posh" Washington hotel and refused to join her husband on his junket to the capitalist pig summit in Davos, the first overseas trip on which she did not accompany him. She has seldom been at his side since, although she did brave the elements with him during his slapstickeshly disastrous Armistice Day adventure in France, which was marked by a new high (low?) for presidential petulance.
(A brief time out to note that Melania has had one redeeming quality: She has tried to keep Barron out of the spotlight's harsh glare on Trump's otherwise dysfunctional family,
although his odds of growing up to become a "normal" young man seem grimly long.)
Trump's attacks on women, from Megyn Kelly having "blood coming out of her wherever" to his recent attack on black journalist April Ryan as a "loser," have come with mind-numbingly regulararity. And so while Trump is shattering presidential norms, it might be time for Melania to do some shattering of her own beyond undermining the national security staff, which is to say our already shaky national security.
My suggestion -- first made after the Stormy . . . uh, storm broke in January -- would be that Melania begin the process of filing for divorce, and having done so would then make an offer Trump could ill afford to refuse: She will commit to remaining at his side as First Lady for the duration of his time in office on the condition that $1 million a month be deposited for her in an offshore account. Oh, and no showing her his junk. A nice touch to this blackmail scheme (and Trump knows all about blackmail) would be a bank on Cyprus, where Paul Manafort, another pal turned rat, and various money-laundering Russian comrades have done considerable business.
The upshot of this . . . er, arrangement could well be to do what hundreds of lawsuits, multiple bankruptcies, the Blue Wave and ongoing Republican Death Spiral, as well as arch enemies such as Robert Mueller and the small army of subpoena-wielding Democrats in waiting have not been able to do: Drive Trump over the edge.
Why would this be so?
Because Trump's ego is so pathetically fragile that he would be unable to handle not having Melania at his side if she were to leave him and could not handle losing control over her if he was to agree to being blackmailed. This is all about power and control.
There is no private Donald Trump. The golf obsessed, Big Mac addled, Diet Coke gulping sex addict we see in public is who he is. Trump is unable to control his passions and would not be able to abide not being able to control Melania.
And so it is Melania who holds the key to her future, as well as ours.