William B. Turner
In retrospect, it now seems obvious that Donald Trump’s downfall will come from his total inability to recognize and take responsibility for his own role in causing his problems.
We now have reports that Trump is mad at his press secretary, the good Christian, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of a good Christian minister, who badly undermined his attempts to deny any truth to the claims by Stormy Daniels that she had an affair with the Donald by saying that the matter had been settled through arbitration. Arbitration only occurs between parties who have a contract of some sort.
Ms. Daniels has filed suit against the president (!) claiming that the alleged contract buying her silence about the affair that she claims she entered into just before the 2016 election, for which she received $130,000 in compensation, is not valid because Trump himself never signed it. One thing a court of law would have to establish in that case is that any such contract ever existed. Ms. Daniels will have to produce a copy of it, or some other compelling evidence for its existence, although in the case of contracts, it is very hard to prove its existence with anything but the contract itself. She could, in theory, file her law suit in the absence of any such contract, in which case, the judge will just throw the suit out.
Arbitration is different. It only occurs if both parties acknowledge the existence of the contract to begin with. Many contracts contain arbitration clauses requiring the parties to submit any disputes to arbitration. For the matter to have seen resolution via arbitration, as Sanders claimed at a press conference, there must have been a contract that both parties acknowledged.
This is, admittedly, a pretty big screw up on Sanders’ part. Either she made that up entirely, which she should not do, or she is telling the truth, but was supposed to lie about it, as she does routinely for her boss, the Liar in Chief.
But ultimately, this is not really her fault at all. It’s Trump’s fault for lying all the time and expecting his staff to be able to cover for him as fast as he lies, which is essentially impossible, given how obvious many of his lies are, then getting mad at them when they fail to keep him covered. This is sort of what happened to James Comey, who refused to put loyalty to the Donald ahead of his professional commitment, which made the Donald mad at him, so the Donald fired him.
Sean Spicer, Sanders’ immediate predecessor as press secretary, resigned, but did so after a number of more or less public spats between him and the Donald, including the Donald’s alleged dissatisfaction with Spicer’s suits and the impersonation of him by Melissa McCarthy on Saturday Night Live.
What the Donald does not seem to realize is that he will soon run out of people who are willing to work for him. He is already scraping the bottom of the barrel of remotely competent staff people and the more his White House continues to look like a mad house, the less people will be willing to work there. This has already happened once, when a retired general, Michael Harward, refused to replace Michael Flynn as National Security Director very early in the Trump administration. Harward himself, a paragon of diplomacy, chose not to say so, but reports indicated that part of the problem was Trump’s insistence that crazy loose cannon K.T. McFarland could keep her job on the National Security staff even after the new person took over, which Harward would not accept.
So apparently we will have to endure the unhappy spectacle of the White House slowly falling apart before our eyes, as more and more people leave, until the Donald is there, all by himself.