The almost endless stream of news stories and articles about Trump, to say nothing of the streams of tweets from Trump, about Trump, in support of Trump, against Trump, makes for depressing reading but there is an appalling fascination in it all.
And then there are the questions. Why are the Republicans so spineless? What are the so-called Grown-Ups in the White House doing? When will the Democrats get their act together? Will Trump be impeached? Will he jump before he is pushed? What is happening to democracy in the US?
My take on it all is this.
The Republicans are doing nothing – because they are secretly hoping that Trump will blow up (possibly entirely the wrong term) before the Midterms next year, allowing Pence to step into his shoes, steady the Republican ship, and prepare for 2020. Two years is a long time in politics.
The Democrats are doing nothing – partly because they are still looking for a candidate who has a chance of success in 2020, and partly because they would like Trump to remain in the White House for as long as possible, to deny Pence any opportunity to fight 2020 as a sitting President. They also believe that the more egregious Trump’s behaviour is, the more likely that the Republicans will find themselves mired in the failure of his presidency.
The Grown-Ups in the White House are doing nothing – because of who are they are: generals, placemen, and family. The family will stick with Trump as there is no alternative; the placemen will stick with Trump as they owe Trump their position and won’t survive his departure; and the generals are the generals. For them, the habit of following orders is very deeply ingrained.
But the political calculations for both Republicans and Democrats are difficult. If the Republicans leave it too long they may find themselves stuck with Trump as their candidate in 2020, against a candidate who will be a lot harder to beat than Hillary. Equally, if the Democrats do nothing, they may find the Republicans move early, get Pence into the White House, and then they will have to unseat a sitting President.
And as for the Grown-Ups? It is probably already too late for them to do anything. They accepted the ride and the hand cart is gathering pace.
And all we can do is sit and wait and watch the reputation of the US get trashed.