The Never-Ending Drama

Author: Gary Hart

Relying, as usual, on something called a “tweet” whose brevity seemed to suit his attention span, the incumbent president, one month ahead of his Constitutionally mandated departure from the White House, let it be known that he was in no hurry to leave, the Constitution and the regular order be damned, and that he might just linger on until it suited him to depart.

This characteristically obstreperous behavior was implicitly justified by his continued insistence that the national election was “rigged” (no evidence offered), that the president-elect, though certified by the electoral college, was essentially an imposter, and that he, the incumbent, remained president and thus held the keys to the White House until he and he alone decided to move on.

As with much else in the last four years, this made interesting theater, with the American people holding their collective breath to determine what drama might ensue.  Though the departing first lady let it be known that she was packing her bags, would it be the Federal Marshalls Service or the Secret Service left with the duty of packing the defeated president’s impressively large luggages.

Would the ever-loyal Rudy Giuliani be given the task of barring the doors, possibly with the promise of one of those get-out-of-jail all-purpose pardons soon to be handed out willy-nilly to any and all who might find a way to contribute to a return engagement in 2024.

Would a convoy of Proud Boys and QAnon form a human chain inside the increasingly higher walls surrounding the White House.

Would family members become de facto hostages to a defeated president in his King Lear mode.

The possibilities for drama are constrained only by one’s imagination.

And then there is the issue of the Constitutionally elected and sworn in President Biden and his family.  If the defeated but barricaded former president replicated the behavior of the departing President George W. Bush, who lodged his extended family in Blair House across the street in 2008 thus forcing the newly-elected President Obama to move into a hotel, a quite nice one called the Hay-Adams, until the Bush entourage decided to vacate the White House and its proximate guest quarters.

There are still further avenues for historic adventures.  Suppose the current incumbent finally decided to move on, perhaps an hour or two past the noon, January 20th, swearing in of his successor, took Air Force One to Mar-a-Lago, took the keys after cleaning it out and finding a nice suite for the crew, and decided the plane was still his.  More Proud Boys and QAnon to stand guard.

Tongue in cheek all this may be.  But the subject himself has demonstrated over and over that he sees political life as just another game show and alternative reality can still attract 74 million voters.

[Author’s note: In an age where politics is a daily parody of itself, parodying it becomes impossible.  The defeated incumbent president and his administration daily produce a parody of themselves.  Even as you envision comic tragedy of a president who refuses to leave the White House, the incumbent announces that he may not leave the White House.  So, he occupies center stage, a cross between King Lear and a down and out comedian.

Which leaves us only to scratch our heads as everyday brings a new outrage, and to warm our hearts with warm wishes to each other of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas and a shared prayer that we will all redeem our souls next year by being kind, caring, humane, honorable and decent.  God bless.  GH]



4 Responses to “The Never-Ending Drama”

  1. Neil McCarthy Says:

    You may be the perfect person to comment on this last act. It takes a novelist and a historian to fully capture the bizarre (and burdensome) reality of Trump. You have been both.

    Merry Christmass to all my friends at Matters of Principle.

  2. Eric C. Jacobson Says: (“Sigh in the Night”) (Medley)

    As he has so often since he started his project in 2017, Don Caron (all four of him!) stands and delivers us tragicomic levity this Christmas season.



    Merry Christmas and Happy new Year to our host,with humour cherished,in this article, and many yet we shall all enjoy,and to all, indeed, our friends here!

  4. Martin Meenagh Says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It may be irrelevant to the comments, but you inspired me years ago to study and write about American history, and I was very glad recently to come across your excellent book on President Monroe. I hope that you and your family are enjoying all the best of the holidays, and good luck–a nuanced thing to say to a gentleman of senatorial years, I know–with 2021!

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