There’s a saying—often attributed to Sun Tzu but probably from James Clavell—that if you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by. In many ways, that’s a pretty apt description of Never Trumpers and the Trump presidency.
Don’t get me wrong. Our democracy is under threat and we need to do everything to actively combat that threat. But we can also take comfort in the fact that MAGA’s stupidity and incompetence always reveals itself in the end. The mill of reality may grind a little slowly sometimes but it grinds incredibly fine and, when it comes to the MAGA world, often with hilarious results.
You may dimly recall that in the before times back in 2020, Nancy Pelosi made brief headlines for tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech at the State of the Union address. What you probably don’t recall is MAGA world’s reaction to that moment.
If Trump broke this law the Democrats would try to impeach him… https://t.co/X5PQNDN7us
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 5, 2020
Matt Gaetz even filed a formal complaint with the House Ethics committee and asked that Pelosi be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
Her conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071).
Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable. pic.twitter.com/dXPPWQNtI8
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 6, 2020
To cap it all off, Donald Trump himself condemned Pelosi for her “illegal” actions.
“Well, I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech. First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed—it’s illegal what she did.”
Of course, all of this outrage was misplaced because the copy of his speech that Trump handed to Pelosi was not an “official record.” As a legal matter, it was simply a piece of paper and her personal property.
And now, almost exactly two years to the day later, President Trump has been referred to the Department of Justice for—and I have tears in my eyes as I write this—ripping up official documents.
Donald Trump is incontrovertible proof that God loves America and that He has an excellent—if slightly dark—sense of humor. When most countries face a wave of populist authoritarianism, it’s being led by an Orban or a Mussolini. Ours is being led by Elmer Fudd, a leader so incompetent and so . . . actively stupid that it almost beggars description.
We Never Trumpers still have a hard fight on our hands. But we know that, in the end, MAGA’s alternate reality bubble will collapse and that Donald Trump and all the rest will eventually float by on the river of history. And on that day, when the history books are written, the final verdict on Donald Trump will be, “What a maroon!”