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'Wulf at the Door
From the very beginning, we thought the Trumpmonster would trip over its own missteps. But each time the monster said something or did something that would have immolated another politician, it was somehow able to pass through the firestorm untouched by the flames.

Its base, which holds the entire Republican Party in its grip, would only shrug at the monster’s behavior. “That’s why we like him. He says what he (and we) believes.” Never mind that what it believes is repellant and wrong.

As its campaign went on, there seemed to be a new outrage every week. And each time we expected that story would, at last, be the one that destroyed the creature. I don’t want to name all of those stories, nor enumerate each of the torrent of lies that spill from its puckered maw, nor count every revelation of its callous selfishness. I’m sick of it, and tired, and I have almost stopped hoping that people will finally wake up to the awfulness.

Pundits went broke predicting the demise of the creature, and each time I believed them because I wanted it to be true — and because it would have been true for anyone else. But on it went, a monster spewing and threatening and laying waste to the hard-won gains civilization had made. Finally, I stopped believing the pundits and dared to let despair creep into my thoughts.

Then came last week, and this time the story felt different. First came the op-ed piece in the Times written by someone on the inside of the White House. Then came Fear, Bob Woodward’s carefully researched book of presidential reporting. The monster itself did its part by dishonoring the 3000 dead lost to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Michael Cohen, the President’s longtime fixer, was now openly shopping his tales of Trump secrets. Kavanaugh was accused of attempted rape as a teen. And then, the big one: Manafort flipped.

Now, nothing will come of any of this immediately. Just as with all the other transgressions and unmaskings of the monster, no immediate price will be paid. Still, there seemed to be something different about this blitz of bad Trump news. I am trying not to be duped by hope again, but this time I cannot help but feel that a corner has been turned, and now we are beginning our long journey back to The Good.

It is the Manafort plea agreement that makes the most difference. Robert Mueller, as cold and relentless as the mythic hero Beowulf, has now made this bold thrust toward the underbelly of the Orange Grendel. The monster, alone with its TV in the White House, went uncharacteristically silent, and I could imagine it trembling at the prospect of his own inevitable undoing.

This Beowulf will not dispatch his Grendel with the swift certainty of his namesake, but I believe that the end for this monster will be just as remorseless and sure. Mueller and his retainer of implacable prosecutors are moving steadily and with great care toward their goal, and neither the monster nor anyone else knows when and where and how they will deliver justice.

So I have new hope, but I must wait. "The Wheels of Justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine,” the saying goes. I am content, even as the ugliness continues to worsen and our democracy becomes more strained, to look forward to that return to The Good — or at least to The Normal.

The truth will out as it always does, and we will go to work to repair the damage. The Orange Grendel will be nothing but a bad memory — and a dark reminder that it truly can happen here.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon