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Waiting for the Fat Lady
Say what you want about Richard Nixon, he did have an opera written about him. Nixon in China, written by the estimable composer John Adams, premiered in 1987. After opening to mixed reviews, it has come to be accepted as a significant work and has been widely performed throughout the world.

I will predict right here that nothing Trump does will inspire an opera. Nor a light opera nor a situation comedy nor even a bad country and western song. I do, however, see a possibility that his sojourn in the Presidency could be turned into a daytime soap opera. Indeed, the stories coming out of this freak show right now are daytime drama ready.

As the White House Turns would have all the elements necessary for this brand of low theater. Picture Trump as the archetypal selfish, ruthless patriarch of a dysfunctional family of spoiled losers. He’d be the Don, if you will, of a mob of grifters, and somehow he has been elected President of the United States. That role would fit Donald like a snakeskin loafer.

He surrounds himself with an extended family of crooks, sharks, and spies who are endlessly tangled in webs of their own making. It’s not so much a crime family as a family for whom crime is simply in the blood. Acts of betrayal are central to the culture of this family, and it is from that fertile muck that a steady supply of petty plot lines would spring. Is that Hollywood calling?

Against this background would be paraded a succession of cheap scammers, tin pot dictators, and aging porn stars — all angling for a shot at the big time. Fred Trump, the bad seed at the root of all this ugly crookery, might also appear. He is long dead, of course, but his racism and venality live on. I can see his ghost returning to counsel everyone to resort to humiliation and self-dealing no matter what the crisis of the day happens to be.

As distinguished from the stories told by operas, there will be no high tragedy or grand, world-changing events in this tale. There will be nothing grand about it at all, unless you count the grand larceny. But could it really work? General Hospital is the standard here. It has run continuously since 1963, but to me As the White House Turns would be fated to a much shorter run. Once the thrill of the cologne has faded, people will find there is nobody to root for among this band of lowlifes. The show will go the way of Never Too Young and A Flame in the Wind — and just die.

I can imagine, however, that producers of the show (just in case a quick finish became called for) might film a last episode ahead of time. They would want to tie up the major plot lines and provide some kind of closure for those still paying attention. The process of impeachment would be too long and drawn out for one episode, so allow me to suggest an alternative plot device: a simple public hanging for the crime of treason.

It would be the perfect farewell episode. Would Melania show up or just watch from her nest in Trump Tower? Would the Supreme Court, led by Trump appointees, step in at the last minute to save his bacon? Would Mike Pence name the ghost of Fred Trump as his new Vice President? Would Congress do anything…either way? I’d prefer to miss the whole thing, but if I had to watch just one installment, that last one might be it.

No, we are not living in the middle of an opera right now, but someday soon, I hope, the fat lady will sing. The sooner we bring this tawdry drama to a close, the better off we’ll all be.

Please Note: Tim Eagan will read your comments but he is currently not publishing them.

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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon