Just as we’ve never seen a giraffe swim, we’ve never seen a “smart” Republican criminal. They all seem to be idiots.
Let’s start with Watergate. I was privileged enough to be a first-hand observer of that scandal. Working as a literary agent in Washington, D.C., I sold many of the best-selling books of that era. I represented Bernstein and Woodward, and White House Council John Dean. I therefore had a historical front row seat for the dramatic fall of Richard Nixon and All of the President’s Men.
The one takeaway from that experience I’d like to share with you is something that John Dean told me just after being released from prison. He said that doing time wasn’t as hard as he’d imagined, but the disdain and scorn shown to him and the other former White House staffers by the inmate population was brutal. They didn’t care that these men had tried to subvert the democratic process. No, what they cared about was how moronic the plan had been. One told Dean, “I thought Nixon was a smart guy, but he’s the dumbest criminal I’ve ever heard of. I mean who gets his whole crew sent to prison for messing up a f****** third-rate burglary? The guy hasn’t a clue on how to be a criminal.”
Indeed, Richard Nixon’s best-known defense to his supporters was the admonition “I am not a Crook.” No, he wasn’t; he was an idiot trying to be a crook.
Now let’s flash forward to Donald Trump and his merry band of seditionists. Over these past couple of months we were presented with a stark roadmap of what these morons had in mind. First, call the faithful to D.C. on January 6th to “kick some ass and take no prisoners.” Second march on the Congress and take the building over. Next, have Trump lead his followers through the building until they could find Vice President Pence and his family and force him to enforce the lunatic John Eastman’s plan.
This plan of replacing duly selected electoral voters and replacing them with Trump supporters would have meant to these simple minds that the matter was now settled and Trump was still the President. Lastly, Trump, on the steps of Congress, would promise to bring those who tried to steal the election to justice and then bring America back together again for a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Had the Secret Service not refused to drive the irate Donald to his rendezvous with destiny, we might well be witnessing the greatest crisis America has faced since the civil war. Instead they took the fuming commander and chief of the United States armed forces back to the White House. There he hopefully watched as his people streamed all over the halls of Congress searching for the Vice President.
Trump, never one to be cited for his extraordinary patience, finally couldn’t stand it and tweeted to his people that the Pence problem had to be dealt with. In moments the chant of “Hang Mike Pence” rang out. In sworn testimony, certain Proud Boys have confessed that they would have done Trump’s bidding. They missed by less than 40 feet of cornering Pence and his family.
General Flynn, Bannon, Eastman, and especially Giuliani were almost giddy before the Jan. 6 storming of the capital. They were sure that their genius plan would return all of them and their fearless leader back to power.
Thankfully we’ll never know if their harebrained scheme would have worked. We also will not have to look at the potential bloodbath that might have been unleashed by the President and his men that day. His gang was armed and ready, the only thing they lacked was a leader to scream “Open Fire.”
That leader instead sat staring at his TV for hours, waiting for some kind of report that his people had reached Pence and the plan was successful. The reason he didn’t send help was that it would have killed his plan. The reason the plan failed was because it was really stupid.
Like Nixon, Trump felt that because he wanted something to happen it would. I mean look at how far that kind of thinking had taken him?
My guess is that because the idiotic plan to grab the government was so terrifying dumb and didn’t make it past part two, Trump will not go to prison. As the noose begins to tighten on him, he’ll strike a deal with the Republican leadership to promise not to run for elective office again if he’s pardoned. A deal similar to one offered to Richard Nixon. Because of the national trauma that a Trump trial would bring to this already harshly divided land, it might be the only non-stupid move left.