Lame Ducks Hit the Road

Israel is a popular destination for lame-duck politicians.  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went right after the November election, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien just returned, first son-in-law Jared Kirshner stopped by this week and Vice President Mike Pence is flying off on January 6 in Air Force 2 right after he presides over officially certifying that he’s out of a job.

They’re not the only administration officials taking advantage of their last chance to travel in luxury on the taxpayers’ dime, just the highest ranking. Nor is this the first time it’s ever been done. But the timing is questionable.

There is no urgent crisis requiring their presence abroad, particularly in time of a rampaging global pandemic, shutdowns across Europe and an economic crisis, and with an unstable president obsessed with trying to overturn his election defeat at the expense of all other business of running the country.

These trips, which are victory laps for losers, are less about their current jobs than in lining up clients and contacts for the next one in both the private and public arenas.

Pompeo and Pence are 2024 presidential wannabes who will be appealing for support from fellow pro-Israel evangelicals and deep-pocket Jewish Republicans, so another trip to the Holy Land is their prayer for future blessings.  They’re also praying Trump isn’t serious about running again because they and many more want the job.

Other administration officials, including those hoping to get an early start on 2024 presidential runs, are also heading out of town as fast as possible, many carrying freshly updated resumes. And that’s not surprising. With their more-volatile-than usual boss in meltdown, the Oval Office is looking more like the OK Corral than the seat of the presidency.

The failed, impeached and deranged president has been talking about appointing conspiracy monger and wacko attorney Sidney Powell as special prosecutor to investigate how Joe Biden “stole” the election. Her client, the discredited former NSC advisor and confessed felon Mike Flynn, was there urging the president to declare martial law and order an election do-over.  Also, on the defeated president’s agenda was naming a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.

Has no one explained to Trump that his obsession with going after Hunter Biden to smear his dad is what got him impeached in the first place?  He has Rudy Giuliani to thank for that, and now this demented duo are at it again.  Rudy, with hair coloring running down his face and parking lot press conferences on his face, has been peddling his failed conspiracy theories about the “stolen” election.

No serious person is buying, especially in the state and federal courts, including judges appointed by Trump himself and a Supreme Court justice picked for the purpose of voting to throw out a Biden victory.

Trump’s post-presidency will be marked by an obsession with revenge, poisoning the well for his successor and monetizing his presidency.

He will quickly try to match Ronald Reagan’s $1 million for a single speech in Japan the year he left the White House and sign a book deal for a memoir that libraries will have to put in the fiction section.

He has set up a PAC that so far has raised about a quarter of a billion dollars.  His appeals to donors stress helping overthrow the election and aiding GOP candidates in the January 5 Georgia senate runoff, but that’s another Trump scam. Only a small fraction of the money, if any, is going to either cause — most is for Trump’s personal slush fund to pay for his own political activities.

In addition to speeches, he’s expected to continue holding the rallies he thrives on and peddling his MAGA swag. He’s even spoken of starting his own cable network.

So, look for a Donald Trump superspreader rally near you.  But they’ll no longer be free.  He needs the money because you taxpayers will no longer be footing the bill for his golf outings.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.
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