A Christmas Carol is a classic story of redemption. In a single night, Scrooge experiences the past, the present, and the future. When the future is presented to him, he learns that it is not written in stone. It is a possibility which he can alter if he changes his ways. Given that exposure, he repents his ways and becomes a better person for it. In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray also becomes a better person after a single day, a day he lives over and over and over again until he sees the light.
I first thought of this when watching the imprisonment of Paul Manafort. Here was a person who took pride in the clothes he wore and the hair he groomed. Over time as he shuttled back and forth between prison and court, one noticed a significant change in his appearance. Obviously prison attire differed vastly from the expensive clothes he was used to wearing. So too his hair changed: he was no longer able to spend the time and effort on his grooming that he once had. Prison simply did not afford him the materials he needed to maintain his appearance. I wondered then if someone seeing what had happened to Manafort might think of him as the spirit of Christmas future.
A similar thought occurred to me with Jeffery Epstein. Here again was some used to the life of luxury. He hung out with the 1%. While his hair may not have been in quite the same league as Manafort’s, clearly we were dealing with a person who led the good life materially. He traveled well and lived well. Exactly how he managed it will be more fully documented as that life unraveled. Putting aside the tawdriness of that life, simply on material basis, the life he led was a far cry from the life he would lead in prison.
Epstein was not someone who grew up with and was familiar with prison life. It was not as if prison was standard operating procedure for the people of his family and neighborhood. It was not as if he routinely visited friends and relatives in prison. His main contact with prison may have been through Law and Order if he watched the show or some other Hollywood production. It is reasonable to conclude the physical reality of the prison experience was like a visit to an alternate reality that violated his sense of way life was supposed to be lived.
And it did not fare any better once he was there. New details, revelations, charges against him emerged as he languished in a small concrete world that challenged his will to live. His whole life was being exposed in a way that showed he was a truly reprehensible human being. I wondered what would happen to him in prison, I wondered how he would adjust to this profound transformation of his physical life from one of luxury to one of prison. Even before that question was answered, I wondered what the impact being confined in a small barren world devoid of luxuries would have on him. Would it sap his will to live?
Now we know the answer. So again the question can be raised: is he the spirit of Christmas future? What happens to a person when his entire degenerate and illegal legal life is exposed for all the world to see? What happens to a person when the superficial veneer of the lifestyle of the rich and the famous is ripped off and disgusting truth is visible to all? When happens to a person when he realizes is game over and he is the greatest loser in American history? Prison can do that.
Our immature child president has very limited mental necessities. They preclude his ability to connect the dots. It is quite possible that when he sees what happened to Manafort in prison, it means nothing to him. It is quite possible that when he sees what happened to Epstein in prison, it means nothing to him. It is also quite possible that seeing what happened to Manafort and Epstein delivers a message that prison is to be avoided at all costs…especially for an octogenarian who spends considerable time on grooming his hair to hide his Trump spot.
So far during his life his legal issues have tended to revolve around civil issues. His most common punishment has been fines not prison. But it is possible that the nature of the ongoing investigations may change that dynamic. Michael Cohen is in prison too, and theoretically the unindicted co-conspirator might join him once his loses his DOJ protection.
At some level, he is aware of the possibility. When the Special Counsel was first announced, his reaction was “This is the end of my presidency. I’m Trumped.” At that moment he saw Christmas Future and it was a grim and foreboding one. He saw everything in his sleazy tawdry life from a con artist real estate developer to his submissiveness to Putin being exposed. Imagine if everything that was in David Pecker’s file on him was revealed as well. In his vision of his future he saw that all might be lost.
Like Scrooge, he saw an ugly future that horrified him. Like Scrooge he acted to avoid that future. But unlike Scrooge and Bill Murray, he did not seek to better himself as a human being. Instead he fought back with everything he had which as President of the United States was and is quite a lot.
He drew a line in the sand about what could and could not be investigated.
He faked having early dementia where the person with the world’s greatest memory suddenly remembered nothing.
He unleashed his Flying Monkeys, the loyal people who took an oath to prevent the witch hunter from slaying the wicked witch of the White House.
These efforts worked. So far instead of the Special Counsel meaning the end of his presidency it has been a nothingburger for him.
That storyline may change. Investigations continue in the State of New York. Investigations continue in the Southern District of New York. Investigations continue in the House of Representatives. So far he has successfully resisted the disclosure of his tax returns. So far he has resisted having key people testify under oath before Congress. So far nothing has happened. Fox has moved on to reporting on the investigation of the Deep State. Duped-by-Russia Hannity proclaims practically nightly that the DOJ is moving in for the kill on the greatest conspiracy in American history. They are so close, he can scarcely wait.
But the documents from Deutsche Bank have arrived at the House. The documents from the other financial institutions who have been part of the scams, the cons, the money laundering keep arriving. More will come. The investigations that many people hoped Mueller would conduct but did not are now occurring. These investigations involve not merely civil offenses but criminal ones. These investigations mean not merely fines but jail time if convicted. These investigations mean Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and Jeffrey Epstein may be the spirits of Christmas future for THE DONALD.
Impeachment is not the true goal although it could happen. The Democrats know that the Trumpican Senate will not support his removal from office regardless of what is discovered. There could be a chip in his body linked directly to the Kremlin and he still would not be removed from office. He will remain in office and be on the ballot in 2020. It is what happens if he loses that is of interest to the Democrats. All the investigations by the House, SDNY, and New York mean the movement he leaves the protection of the DOJ guidelines is the moment his life as a criminal suspect subject to the courts begins. That is what the Democrats are aiming for.
I was not the first person to realize this scenario. Defeat at the ballot box followed by criminal prosecution, that is the Democratic plan. When Nancy Pelosi said (6/5/19) “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison” she showed that she may not be progressive but she is ahead of the curve.