That's a most intriguing idea, raised recently by Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan. What a relief that would be.
In her column, "A magic pony is the wrong horse to back," she relates a conversation with an experienced, unnamed politician who raised the idea:
He speculated aloud on a hunch he’s had that Mr. Trump might not run for re-election. Think of it, he said. Unrelenting bad news is likely coming—final findings from Mr. Mueller, a new and hungry Democratic House, more investigations, little bipartisanship, economic uncertainty. It’s not going to be fun; the outlook for re-election will dim.
So, the politician said, imagine this: The president wakes up one morning and announces that, actually and amazingly, he’s accomplished everything he set out to do when he ran in 2016—cut taxes, appointed judges, faced off with China, made better trade deals, controlled immigration, improved the outlook for financial markets. “I accomplished in four years what other guys couldn’t do in eight!” the president says: “My work is done!”
Sounds so much like Trump, doesn't it? "Declare victory and get out," as Sen. George Aiken (R-Vermont) famously said about the failing Vietnam War. Just as so many deceived themselves about winning that war, Trump warbles, claiming victory, while the stock market plunges, a trade war and a global recession of his making loom and the stink of his personality continues to drive even some conservatives to flee, along with the moderates who handed the House of Representatives back to the Democrats.
I'll be pummeled by true believers for giving voice to the idea that Trump has good reason not to seek a second term. I'm not in the prediction business like so many pundits, so I'm not saying he will withdraw or if he doesn't he'll lose.
But it's hard not to smell the stink of the mess he's making of the presidency. How many Americans can in good conscience want to vote for a scumbag who violates their own moral and ethical values? Who can vote for someone who thinks he's so slick that he can bring people on board with a deluge of deceptions, distortions, fables and fraud?
As each day passes, the bloodhounds sniff ever closer to the Oval Office door. Especially after the last couple of days of denials, guilty pleas, cross accusations and sentences involving people so close to Trump that they've caught his fleas. Are we supposed to believe that a president who has trouble finding a chief of staff because he's got to meddle and direct everything can be ignorant of communications between his people and the Russians? Or that hush money was doled out without his knowledge?
Everyday he's in office he jeopardizes the conservative agenda by losing the support of people who believe that character is just as important, if not more so, than policies.
Someone is bound to ask, "Well, how about crooked Hillary? Why is she escaping the same kind of look-see?" Well, I'm asking the same question. It puzzles me greatly why the bloodhounds aren't at her door.
But that's no excuse to let Trump off the hook.
My earlier post: Republicans deserve a choice in the 2020 presidential primary