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Bill Straub: ‘The hour of reckoning is coming,’ and it should, for the imposter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist who grew up a stone’s throw from my New Jersey hometown and has broken with his party over the comfort and support it’s providing to the interloper in the White House, asserted recently that “the hour of reckoning is coming.’’

Well, that moment may be at hand.

It’s not so much that Democrats captured an Alabama senate seat it had no business winning Tuesday night, or that the oaf leading the nation has intentionally roiled an already unstable situation in the Middle East, or that he may have sold out to the Russians, or that he continues to enrich himself at the nation’s expense by marketing his businesses and himself like so much toilet paper, or that he lies as often as most people draw breath.

No. After almost 11 months in office, it’s fair to say that the American people have grown understandably weary of his stuff — and I’m using the word stuff because I want to retain my cushy position as bon vivant and freelance distributor of political thoughts rather than face an obscenity rap – and wish President Donald J. Trump would simply slink back into the black hole from whence he emerged.

There have, of course, been indications throughout his time in office, and even earlier, that Trump would burn out like a Roman candle. The American people have never chosen a less suitable individual to lead the nation than this dude and it’s becoming more apparent to more people every day.

Nate Silver, the numbers whiz who keeps track of the polls at the indispensable fivehirtyeight.com web site has offered an assessment of survey data from numerous sources that places Trump’s approval rating at a dismal 36.6 percent, his lowest yet, and the trend continues steadily downhill. There’s nothing obvious on the horizon that could improve that status. Even the tax cut bill he has been extolling with his usual lies and deceit is receiving a thumbs down from the public.

And let’s face it, if you can’t sell a tax cut to the public, exactly what the hell can you do?

The situation may have reached a point of no return this week when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, who has been making political hay over the seemingly never-ending spate of sexual harassment incidents involving well-known figures that have suddenly come to light, called on the president to resign his office because of his own alleged peccadilloes.

In summation, at least 15 women have stepped forward and accused Trump, prior to his time in the White House, groping fondling or forcibly kissing them. And, of course, there is the infamous Access Hollywood tape that showed the now President of the United States bragging about grabbing unsuspecting women by the genitals, claiming he could do so because he’s famous.

The chances of Trump paying any heed to Gillibrand’s request to step aside were, shall we say, remote. Instead of just dismissing it and moving on, the president characterized her as a “lightweight’’ and a “total flunky’’ for Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, of New York.

And he added this delectable little tidbit, asserting that Gillibrand is “someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them).’’

The cute little “would do anything for them’’ phrase has, as you may expect, attracted a considerable amount of attention, leading some to speculate it was yet another sample of the sexual innuendo emerging from the notoriously noxious mouth of the commander in chief, which really should be covered up just like any other sewer. Gillibrand herself characterized the riposte as “a sexist smear.’’ Which it undoubtedly was.

Whatever, Trump’s words were a step over the decency line, which he has smudged on any number of occasions since assuming office. Essentially calling a U.S. senator and married mother of two young sons a whore isn’t something easily accepted in polite company, or even impolite company for that matter.

Four senators have joined Gillibrand, all Democrats, calling on Trump to resign. Fifty-nine Democratic women in the House are calling for a congressional investigation into the sexual harassment claims lodged against the imposter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The usually wishy washy as to be somnambulant USA Today declared in an editorial that Trump was “clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash’’ and that the president has demonstrated that “he is not fit for office.’’

And the paper added, “A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.’’

It is simply unfathomable that the good people of the United States of America, well aware of his misogyny and self-proclaimed history of sexual misconduct, would choose this man, this pig, to be the leader of the free world, with 53 percent of the white women casting ballots in the 2016 election siding with him for reasons lost somewhere in the ozone.

But individuals other than elected Democrats and women who have finally reached the point of “never again’’ when it comes to the humiliations foisted on the public by this president has to speak up. That means someone like Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Louisville, who has been playing an appeasement game with Trump that would infuriate the likes of Neville Chamberlain.

McConnell, along with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI, are coddling Trump, trying to march him through the thicket without success, all to further their lousy agenda, giving new meaning to the old phrase the ends justify the means. The president’s insults, crude behavior and un-American activities attract nary a sideward glance, all so McConnell can keep his precious Senate majority. It’s like Joe Hardy selling his soul to Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees, all to win a pennant for the Washington Senators.

Donald Trump is an embarrassment, an incompetent embarrassment at that. McConnell and others are keeping him afloat. Eventually they’ll pay a price, but the nation, in the interim, will pay a bigger one.

Washington columnist Bill Straub served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post. He also is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and writes frequently about the federal government and politics. Email him at williamgstraub@gmail.com.

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