Donald Trump

For Trump, the Beginning of the End Has Begun

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National Library of Australia Commons/ Foter.com

This is, from everything I have been able to gather this week, the beginning of the end of Donald Trump.

The New Yorker and Slate, longtime impartial observers of our 45th president, declared the man who "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters" has been done in by nothing more than the Comey memo.

The memo that no one, including The New York Times, which reported its existence, has seen but is sure to bring about impeachment proceedings.

"A Presidency of ideological meanness and unsurpassing incompetence has moved into another, more recognizable realm," New Yorker editor David Remnick opined gravely. "The usual comparison is with the Watergate era."

And we all know how that turned out.

Why, it was only last week the firing of the author of the phantom memo, former FBI director James Comey, was the beginning of the end of Trump and his administration.

"The White House," a sanguine Frank Rich speculated, "will be outwitted and outmaneuvered at nearly every turn by the events to come. Let's not forget the good news that came out of the Comey firing: It turns out that Trump, who has no idea of what is required to be a competent president sitting on top of the vast federal government, also turns out to have no idea of how to be a competent gangster sitting on top of what increasingly seems to be a somewhat-less-vast Trump-Kushner family criminal enterprise."

Last month, it was the Russians and their possible meddling in the presidential election that marked the beginning of the end and so much more for politicususa.com. Robert Mueller, the new special counsel digging into that Russian relationship, has some pretty important questions to answer.

"The questions will be answered in due time, but the situation could be worse than an illegitimate president," Jason Easley wrote. "It is now possible that Donald Trump is a ticking time bomb that was put in place by Putin to destroy democracy from within.

"The United States of America can't have a literal Manchurian president."

But if this beginning of the end of Donald Trump was followed in order by two discrete beginnings of the end, when, exactly, might the beginning of the end have begun?

To find out, you must go back to June 16, 2015, the day Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president. While current technology makes it nearly impossible to trace to the minute the first declaration of the beginning of Trump's end, it was clear by early July eminent journalists and politicians were warming to the task.

I'd like to thank Judd Legum, editor-in-chief of Think Progress, for doing my legwork for me. Between July and October of 2015 no fewer than 33 people predicted Trump's end had just begun.

"Since the day that Trump's presidential campaign started, pundits from across the country have declared the "beginning of the end" of his run," Legum said. "So far, they've been wrong every time."

Being wrong has deterred very few.

Entering primary season in 2016, Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at Tufts University was certain Trump had enough of the right stuff to become the Republican nominee, but never president.

"The man remains a spectacularly unpopular presidential candidate," Drezner wrote. "Within a crowded GOP field, Trump's jerk persona and heterodox ramblings clearly draw enough support for him to do well. In a general election, he's such an undisciplined, unmitigated disaster that there's talk of Democrats retaking the U.S. House of Representatives."

In June it was Trump's insensitive comments about the mass shooting in Orlando that were sure to do him in. A month later it was the speech he gave accepting the Republican Party's nomination for president. Not only was Trump soon to be finished but it was the start of the demise of all of conservatism, according to the dispassionate Salon.

Something as simple as an insensitive comment to a mother about her baby in Ashburn, Va. could bring Dana Milbank to the conclusion that "Maybe this is how it ends for Donald Trump: not with a bang but with a child's whimper."

Six weeks before the election, the estimable Arianna Huffington said historians would mark the moment of the beginning of the end with Trump's non-committal answer to a question at a town hall meeting

"There are few things as absolute in damning a candidate as a refusal to acknowledge simple reality — especially a candidate who says he'll be tough with our enemies but refuses to even stand up to his own supporters," Huffington huffed. "Refusing to acknowledge that Obama was born in this country is the equivalent of refusing to say that the earth is round."

And just two weeks before the election, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin, in a sort of pre-postmortem, wrote that as things turned out, she knew all along the preamble to Trump's history had been written with his performance in the first presidential debate.

Give it a couple more news cycles and you can be sure someone will author another beginning to Trump's end. Should there actually be an end, premature or otherwise, the line to take credit for the beginning will be endless.

But maybe the lesson with this president, to cadge from Ben Stanley just before the inauguration, is that none of this is the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.

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  1. You’re not supposed to notice that their heads have been exploding for over a year.

  2. There aren’t enough fainting couches in libertopia to handle this article.
    Fasten your seat belts, partisans. It’s going to be a bumpy impeachment.

    1. Did you…read it?

      1. No, don’t.

      2. Yes. That’s what makes it so fascinating!

    2. lol. retard.

    3. Everyone, take a moment to point and laugh.

      1. ^ Hahahahaha.

        1. *

  3. There is no beginning or ending in The Cycle of News, but it was A beginning.

    1. God, the last thing this needs is some Robert Jordan longwindedness.

      1. Far too late for that.

    2. It’s more like an Ouroboros, really.

  4. So, the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning of the end?

  5. Needs moar bolding.

    1. I think you broke it.

    2. Hihn’s on the case!

      1. Careful! Zeb mentioned H**n in a comment last week and the man himself appeared within seconds.

        1. Also: Bully!

          1. See if you can steal my #1 status, Number 6.

            1. How did that happen? You must’ve calmly and rationally contradicted him at some point while i wasn’t around.

                1. Hihn’s not so bad once you realize he grew up in a generation before ‘trolling’ became mainstream. For his time, he’s actually quite forward thinking.

            2. Watch out, I’m gaining by ground on y’all.

  6. Who’s this fuckin’ guy?

    1. Mark Lisheron is the managing editor of Reason.com.

      I think he’s the managing editor but I’m not sure

  7. I never knew there was such a strong desire for a President Pence. But, seriously, a memo that no one has actually seen? Sure.

    1. And why hasn’t Comey produced it? Is he in a coma or what? How freaking long would it take you to produce a memo? Of course, I know why: lawyers, lawyers, lawyers must be consulted first. One mis-step and he’s going to be in Scooter Libby’s old cell.

      1. I think Comey is wisely staying the fuck out of it since he could end up in jail, so it’s best to just shut up until the subpoena.

        Then again, it’s Comey so I’d give it a 50/50 shot of him publicly shoving his entire leg down his throat.

      2. Oh, and P.S. it’s a Federal memoranda therefore it’s the property of the United States and ostensibly the American people. I don’t even know why they would need a subpoena for literally their own records, but hey I’m no bureaucrat and this type of thing is how you create jobs, so I’m told.

      3. If Comey truly believed that Trump obstructed justice and didn’t report it in a timely manner, then Comey a crime. Comey also testified that many times people above him give their opinion that he should drop something. Therefor, Comey didn’t think anything of Trump’s suggestion.

  8. From now on all articles with the word “Trump” in them should be bolded. Make it so.

  9. So what you’re saying is, it’s beginnings of the end all the way down?

  10. Jesus fucking christ, 3 “impeachment” non-stories in a row?

    1. Did you read it?

    2. ok, i read it now.

      FFS tho, you’d think this story would have been a lot more germane BEFORE the mag ran a series of Trumpeachocolpse stories. Because its pretending to see the ‘big picture’ while the rest of the magazine is gleefully joining in the same fray that this piece mocks.

      1. If you admit you jumped the gun, I will.

      2. Examples being:

        -a piece that Dalmia wrote for another outlet and decided to promote here

        …What else?

        1. and the one right after it?

            1. All i got from the video is that “impeaching the president” is an awesome metaphor for butt stuff.

              1. Wait, I thought a peach is a metaphor for female parts.

            2. (sigh)

              you’re asking a lot, you know.

              1. Spoiler: it’s mostly a humorous video about how impeachment and the 25th amendment work. And it ends by warning against ousting a president with no better cause than that you think he’s an ass. So, very much in the same vein as this piece and Nick’s from last night.

                1. Indeed, although I get where you’re coming from Gilmore. For the last few days Reason has put out quite a few articles that apparently believe that anonymous sources from leftist rags qualify as indisputable proof of not only collusion, but also treason. Soave, Dalmia, and Chapman all predictably pushed that narrative as if it has teeth.

                  I suppose reporting on what the administration is actually doing is just so much less interesting than having a collective shit-your-pants competition.

                  1. I get where you’re coming from Gilmore

                    Of course you do, because you already believed it.

                    Define “quite a few” articles. Robby blogged about WaPo’s report, and his trousers looked clean by the end of the post. His only mention of treason is quoting someone else, and in a way that suggests the charge is exaggeration. Then he reiterates the sketchiness of the information so far. Chapman’s last article – commissioned by a different outlet but republished here – was a week ago, about how Trump makes himself look guilty. You’re salty about that?

                    Consider that you folks developed a narrative about this website. A narrative that sometimes appears accurate, but one that sometimes leads you to wrongly evaluating the evidence to fit the narrative.

                    1. Consider that you folks developed a narrative about this website

                      You’re right. Robby and Shikha and Chapman are awesome and all the people who’ve read the magazine for ~14+ years are mistaken for thinking the content has gone to the dogs. That makes a lot of sense now that i think about it. Thanks bro.

                  2. For the last few days Reason has put out quite a few articles that apparently believe that anonymous sources from leftist rags qualify as indisputable proof of not only collusion, but also treason. Soave, Dalmia, and Chapman all predictably pushed that narrative as if it has teeth.

                    That’s pretty much what i’m talking about.

                    What’s @(#*$(-ed up is that Nick’s piece (and this) are actually ‘unexpected’ in that context.

            3. REEDING WATCHING VIDEOWZ IZ 4 FAGZ

  11. Beginning in your end would be an interesting euphemism.

  12. I find it funny that most of y’all apparently didn’t read the article. The build is slow, but it pays off, sort of.

    1. There’s more words beyond the headline?

    2. Too subtle for many, I suspect.

    3. it took a minute.

      i think we can be forgiven, considering the other headlines running below it.

      1. Forgiveness? No. This is Hit’n’Run.

        1. Surely there must be some reason that poor Gilmore is worthy of the forgiveness that he would give nobody else.

          1. forgiveness that he would give nobody else.

            I’ve been incredibly kind to you. For shame.

            1. [savors the moment, like a perfectly ripe peach]

              1. You however can die in a fire.

                1. “You however can die in a fire.”

                  That’s the Gilmore we all know and love!

                  1. That’s the Gilmore we all know and love loathe!

                    FTFY

        2. No forgiveness, no mercy.

    4. too bold, didn’t read

    5. I actually liked it. The sarcasm is obvious by the second paragraph. But you’d have to read that far to see it.
      Nicely done, Mark.

      1. If you’re not tipped off by the second sentence, you oughta get yer friggin head examined!

        1. Yeah, I got it right around the words “longtime impartial observers of our 45th president”.

    6. The build is slow, but it pays off, sort of.

      Only a hamster could pull off being more tongue-in-cheek.

  13. Is this the beginning of the beginning for Managing Editor Mark Lisheron? I don’t recall seeing that name before. Maybe an intern got the short straw?

    1. This dude is THE managing editor. He ain’t no low life associate editor or editor-in-chief.

  14. These Taboola ads are fascinating: why do the Amish keep these practices a secret?

    1. ‘Cause you English can’t be trusted.

  15. There must be a lion here somewhere.

  16. I don’t trust Reason when they try to so satire. What are they hiding? How is this not a pro-Hillary piece? Is this really TDS disguised as proggie insouciance? Why am I asking you?

  17. The only beginning of the end is for the media. Can’t wait until all those hack institutions go bankrupt.

    1. They are effectively immune from bankruptcy since most of them were bought out by billionaires who use them as mouthpieces. Not that it wasn’t that way before, but their lack of anything resembling a business model or profits is a dead giveaway that they’re being kept on life support for a reason. Specifically, you pay for the vestigial prestige your opinion gains when you say it through those particular ancient mouthpieces.

      P.R. 101. They teach you these things in media ethics classes, but of course they try to tell you that this kind of thing is something journalists must guard against. Which is pretty stupid, because what they’re really saying is ‘do this if you want to succeed while giving zero shits’.

    2. From what?

      Certainly not a lack of consumers.

  18. conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin

    Uh, i think she stopped pretending a while ago

    1. I see a lot of skepticism of Trump (he’s not a conservative, btw), but nothing that suggests she isn’t a “conservative”, at least in the modern sense.

      1. I mean, if we’re going to call Progressives ‘liberal’ then yeah I suppose you’re right.

        1. She’s pro free trade, pro Israel, believes in American Exceptionalism, pro limited government. I’m not sure what else your average modern Joe P. Conservative is looking for unless of course you think criticizing Trump is a disqualifier.

          1. nothing that suggests she isn’t a “conservative”

            except everything she’s written for the last few years.

            I’m not the only one who finds it unconvincing

            Before moving into opinion writing, Rubin was a labor and employment lawyer in Los Angeles, working for Hollywood studios, for 20 years. She now describes herself as a “recovering lawyer”.[5] Commenting on working with her from 2000?05, Hollywood animator and trade union leader Steve Hulett described her to Media Matters as “always funny, with sharp observations. I never got the impression she was anything but a Democrat … she was mildly critical of some of Kerry’s campaign moves during the ’04 campaign, but she wasn’t in the Bush camp … it’s somewhat startling to me that she is now hard right.”[6]

            ‘hard right’ = Maybe by LA labor-lawyer standards. I can’t quite see her rubbing shoulders with yokels @ CPAC.

            her recent take on tax-reform is sort of her par-for-the-course M.O. = chide republicans for trying to hand tax breaks to corporations, and lecture that this isn’t what their voters wanted.

            She talks about the 1980s tax reforms as though they were a horrible thing. And that (shudder) corporations might get more profit!? quelle horreur

  19. You lost me at the idea that Slate.com is impartial.

    1. That was the brilliant sarcasm!

  20. The troubling lack of alt text aside, this was a fun read.

    1. “No room in Trump’s America for shovel ready jobs”

  21. This article kinda makes up for Dalmia’s shit-screed.

    Kinda.

  22. Mark Lisheron is the managing editor of Reason.com.

    Can anyone explain the hierarchy of editors? I have no idea what these titles mean.

    1. They’re drawn from a hat by all employees anew every Thursday. Last week ‘editor in chief’ was the janitor.

  23. ‘Huffington huffed.’
    Ha! I like this guy.

  24. So, what are everyone’s thoughts about President Pence?

  25. This post didn’t age well. Talk about an overreaction. See also, Henny Penny, “The Sky is Falling”.

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