“If after ten minutes at the poker table you do not know who the patsy is—you are the patsy.”
The last two years have been a political roller coaster for anyone still in the Republican Party, but, even given all the deep divisions revealed in the last two years, there’s clearly one thing that everyone can agree on. The political landscape is different than it was two years ago and will likely never be the same again. For better or worse, the Republican Party has placed all their bets on Donald Trump, and the fate of the party is inextricably linked with his. If he rises, they rise. If he falls, they fall. Their cards are on the table. They’re all-in. There’s no turning back now.
Like a bad flop on the table, the news for the last few weeks have missed every beat. When the economy, free of the shackles of taxes and regulation, should be headlining, instead we find a market downturn, a school shooting, and a politically inconvenient document drop. With every card, the GOP hand gets weaker and weaker and their collars get hotter and hotter. The next card lands like a dud, another plea deal for a ranking member of the Trump campaign team, and it really starts to look like the Republican’s future depends on the river card.
If they are being perfectly honest with themselves, at this point, what’s the chances of a winning hand coming on the river? That depends entirely on everyone else’s hands.
“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.”
It’s a bad feeling when your fate isn’t in your own hands anymore, when you no longer control your own destiny. In every way that counts, that’s where the Republican Party stands now. Whether they’ve got a pair of pocket kings or just a pair of jokers doesn’t even matter if anyone else is sitting on a better hand. At the other end of the table sits a the Democratic Party, the Robert Mueller, a hostile press, and a disenfranchised political base, all playing their own hands with their own agendas.
The Democrats want to retake political ground lost at the state and local level to the GOP over the last decade, and, if recent election results are any indication of how they will do in 2018 and 2020, they’re sitting on a good hand indeed. If we can take their word for anything, they’ve got the political equivalent of a royal flush, so it doesn’t even matter what the river card is when it falls. When, and it is looking more like “when“, not if, with every passing day lately, the Democrats take the House, and possibly even the Senate, an impeachment is guaranteed.
As far as the Mueller investigation, any chance of yanking on Mueller’s leash is gone. Too many plea deals and too many charges have been made. With every new round of announcements from Mueller’s team, the Republican “Fake News” echo chamber of denials and dismissals rings more and more hollow. The chances that Mueller has bluffed a hand past a grand jury, resulting in five plea deals, is zero. Let’s make this crystal clear, the people that have plead guilty in course of the Mueller investigation wouldn’t have done so if Mueller had nothing. Where there exists a possibility that the Democrats are bluffing, it is a cold, dead certainty that Mueller is not bluffing.
“You got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.”
–Don Schlitz, songwriter
Whatever hands the press and a disenfranchised electorate hold are, for all intents and purposes, utterly irrelevant. The GOP shoved on what they thought was a sure hand, and when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter what the last card is. They’re all-in. No amount of bluffing matters. They can’t spin their way into one more hand. They won’t have any chips left on the table for another hand. As they make the long and lonely walk away from the table, they’ll only have themselves to blame.
They’ll always be the party that bet it all on a joker.
Liberty is For The Win!