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Breaking News: Donald Trump Is President

Charlie Martin

Donald J Trump is president. Really. He won it fair and square, he was inaugurated seven — almost eight — months ago, and he very probably is going to be president for another three and a half years.

Minimum.

So, now, children, let’s calm down. All of you people over there saying Trump is unqualified and should be removed? Give it up. He’s qualified by the only qualification that matters: he is over 35, he is a native U.S. citizen, and he won the damned election. The Constitution doesn’t have a clause in it for removal by vote of the media, or because his political opponents don’t like him. The only reason he can be removed constitutionally is if someone finds high crimes and misdemeanors.

Now, I know that some people are fantasizing about the Democrats taking the House, and passing a bill of impeachment, and somehow getting the Senate to convict.

To which I say, “be careful, you’ll get chafed.”

Besides, look what we know now: the Russian collusion story is effectively dead — the famous “Golden Shower” dossier is the product of a Democratic opposition research house, talking to Russians is actually not a crime, and the case has gotten much stronger that the DNC emails weren’t obtained by Russian hackers. If you’re hanging your hopes on the Emoluments Clause, remember that George Washington ran his business while president. If George Washington could do it without hitting the Emoluments Clause, it’s going to be tough passing the laugh test with Trump.

Let’s game the impeachment out, though. Say it happened. Then there are going to be approximately 43 million Americans who are convinced that the president they elected has been removed by the people they were voting against when they elected him. I don’t care what you think of Trump, that won’t be good. And should it happen, what do you think the next election will be like?

So, stop. Stop trying to re-litigate the election. Don’t like Trump’s policies? Fight them legitimately, not by saying he should be killed or spinning silly fantasies of how you can still make Hillary president. Stop. And stop imagining that whatever hot take you’re taking on the last thing Trump tweeted is changing anyone’s mind. After the last six months, pretty well everyone has figured out that you’ll find a way to be offended about anything Trump says, down to and including “Good morning, did you sleep well?” At this point, no one but your echo chamber is taking you seriously.

Now, you hard-core Trump fanatics over on the other side of the Internet: it’s come time, seriously, to calm the hell down and grow the hell up. Trump did win the election, and overall it’s looking like a good thing — whatever he says, or said, so far he’s successfully doing the Right things, like cutting silly regulations (many of them booby traps installed in the last days of Obama’s administration), nominating good judges, coping adequately with the foreign policy land mines that have been installed by previous administrations, and succeeding in doing the essential thing, not being Hillary.

The time has come, however, to accept that he’s president. He’s not king, and he’s not God. Like it or not, he has to work with the courts, and he has to work with Congress, and all those people have their own opinions, their own agendas, their own constituencies. Like it or not. Insisting that because Trump won, all Republicans should fall in line and vote for anything Trump wants is silly and childish, on a level with crying because your favorite teddy bear can’t go into the tub with you.

That same lesson applies to Trump and his administration: you’re the great deal maker, make some deals. But don’t expect Congress to come up with a wonderful deal and pass it so you can take the credit. You, or people in your administration, are going to need to buckle down and do the damn work.

Congress is like a slime mold — it has no brain, it only moves when it has to, and then only amoebically, and it only really produces anything during election season. You want a really great repeal of Obamacare? You want a fantastic, really yuuuge tax reform? You’re going to have to hire wonks, you’re going to have to tell them what you want, and you’re going to have to tell them what you won’t accept. If that means you have to hire from the OMG establishment? Then you do. (But here’s a hint: there are plenty of people in the GOP wing of the GOP with good ideas. Show them the carrot. If you’re clear on what you want, they’ll be clear on what they’d better deliver.)

The rest of you: accept that the legacy media is trying to screw Trump over, and is not above lying outright — or, next best thing, running convenient anonymously sourced stories without checking them — to hurt him. Object to that, hell yes — but also recognize that the actual readers and viewers increasingly understand that’s happening. The legacy media is losing credibility every day, and faster than it ever has before, and whatever their biases, they know what fills their rice bowls. They will eventually come back toward reporting actual news, or they’ll starve. (Don’t believe me? Google “New York Times layoffs.”)

Oh, and by the way, legacy media? You could use a good spanking and a night in your room without supper. I’m not going to enumerate your sins, it’d take too much space, but just look at the coverage of James Damore’s essay on Google’s echo chamber, where you uniformly turned “differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech” into “a Google engineer said women may be genetically unsuited for tech jobs.”

It wasn’t true and it was never true: when whoever it was at Gizmodo wrote that headline, they were consciously lying. Considering Gizmodo’s history and ancestry, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The surprise should be that anyone with a lick of sense takes Gizmodo as a serious source. Everyone in the legacy media who parroted Gizmodo’s take was either revealing that they didn’t feel up to reading the essay with all that icky math and references to the science, or they were fine with actively lying about it too.

Legacy media, it’s like this: if you want to have your reporting respected, your reporting is going to have to deserve respect. If you keep reporting fake news, people are going to keep thinking you report fake news.

For everyone: stop using the word “treason” unless you’re prepared to show which recognized enemy with which we have a legally recognized state of active hostilities. And good luck with that.

But stop bandying it about recklessly: you’re accusing someone of a capital crime. That goes for everybody: Debbie Wassermann Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., Donald Trump Sr., basement-dwelling ne’er-do-wells whether they’re carrying a swastika or a hammer and sickle. If you want to know why accusing these people of treason is bad, read the Federalist Paper Number 43 or just look at history: “treason” is an awfully convenient way to justify killing your political opposition.

Whatever your politics, it’s time to recognize that the election is over, and what’s going on now is hurting the country and hurting the people. It’s time to start a acting like responsible citizens of a free nation.

Or at least it’s time to decide whether you want to be citizens of a free nation.

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