There is life after Congress: simply become one of the president's lapdogs.
My wife and I have known each other for just short of six decades. While you’re doing the math, let me say this: if I’m ever charged with a crime and the authorities want to implicate her, I hope she has the good sense to use the Trump defense:
I hardly knew him.
It has become a running gag just how many close associates and confidants Trump hardly knew, from Michael Cohan to Gordon Sondland. As soon as one of his BFFs runs afoul of some investigative committee, Trump never knew him anymore. At the beginning of the old-time TV drama Mission Impossible, (pre-Tom Cruise) the group leader received an assignment each week, followed by this warning: "As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."
With some minor variations, that could easily constitute a sign outside the Oval Office these days, as more and more of Trump’s "force" is caught in lies, double-dealing, or outright treason. From porn stars to staff members to State Department employees who tell too many tales, the response is the same: Unfriended, denied, cancelled. Last night Rudy Giuliani began to nose his way toward the list. It's just a matter of time.
Biblical text says Peter denied Jesus three times. Three? He's not even in the same ballpark as the president.
And yet, his Republican colleagues—the ones facing the same ostracism—will not be moved, not even those who have cut ties with the party and are not seeking reelection. Why? Money.
These soon-to-be former office holders aren’t going home to a part time-greeting job at Target or Costco. They’re off to the wonderful—and very lucrative world—of lobbying. Right now 430 former members of Congress serve as lobbyists, most of them for large corporations. Current members are certainly aware of the opportunities that await, and bucking Trump would imply bucking his policies on the environment, on fossil fuels, on taxation, on health care—all topics that could cut into the massive profits of big oil, big pharma, et al. Like politicians of both parties from time immemorial, they prefer feathering their own nests over promoting the good of the country at large.
We might not have sunk quite this low before, but only because we have never before elected such an unqualified man to serve in the White House. We are coming to realize that his lack of qualifications presents a clear danger to our current security and our future wellbeing. The chance to parlay a modest government salary into a few million a year from some massive polluter is too tempting to refuse.
I suppose people have turned their back on their country for less, but usually it's not those who have sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. But then it's the Trump Era, the age of denial, where "I never heard of him" is not far removed from "I don't remember swearing to that."