30° Good Morning
30° Good Morning
Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Political clocks are reset for the Trump era

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Credit: AP

A lot seems to be happening out of order.

Donald Trump has been president for all of three weeks and bookies are offering odds on his impeachment or resignation. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) said the president is “leading himself” to possible impeachment through his actions.

Sorry, but isn't such talk supposed to come after an official body has found that the president committed some kind of crime or misdemeanor? There isn’t even a realistic hint of what he could be charged with, or who would pursue any accusations.

At least Bill Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and government obstruction, on which he was acquitted, occurred in his second term — after he had time to mess up and his opponents had time to dig up dirt.

Now the political calendar seems shuffled, the sense of time compressed and scrambled. Carts are set before horses, and not all of them by anti-Trumpers.

Two days before he was even sworn in, Trump declared his 2020 re-election slogan: “Keep America Great!”

“It is going to be so amazing,” he told The Washington Post. “It’s the only reason I give it to you. If I was, like, ambiguous about it, if I wasn’t sure about what is going to happen — the country is going to be great.”

Question: Who declares a slogan for a second term when the first term has yet to begin? Answer: The first candidate in modern memory to claim the contest was fixed against him — and then win.

In another case of leaping ahead: The new Congress had barely convened when its Democrats began sounding the bugle for 2018, when they get a chance to take back power.

But check a calendar and you’ll notice that a little more than three months has passed since the Democrats were shut out of majorities in the Senate and House.

Decades ago, we heard of allegations that incoming administrations jumped the gun and dealt with foreign governments before taking office.

Those stories involved Richard Nixon’s emissary in back-channel discussions with South Vietnam in 1968 and Ronald Reagan’s aides dealing with Iran in 1980.

But those instances were publicly explored way after the fact. They never led what has since become a 24-hour news cycle.

Now, national security adviser Michael Flynn is forced out over his discussing sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador while still a private citizen. This is the quickest tenure for anyone in that post.

Polls provide another case of the new, wacky timing.

All incumbent approval ratings feel the effects of wear and tear as they endure long-term bashing from the other side. Their records are bound to include a pile of mistakes.

According to Gallup, however, just 40 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s performance so far, versus 55 percent who say they do not. Already.

Maybe physicists and political scientists can get together and concoct a new theory of electoral time warp.

They may wish to hurry.

Latest Long Island News