Exclusively Online | Fall 2020 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — Some Advice

Rick Meyer's regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: Pardon Me

By Richard E. Meyer

Pardon me, Joe. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to give you good advice now and then.

Here is what you should do with Donald Trump:

Two sources have told “A Lighter Look” that Ivanka and Jared found a crumpled-up, handwritten letter in an Oval Office wastebasket. It was on a letterhead that said “President for Life.” Trump was going to send it to you.

It said:


Dear Joe:

         Pardon this intrusion. But please pardon me.

         I’m sorry for calling you “Sleepy Joe,” “Sleepy Creepy,” “Slow Joe,” “Joe Hiden,” “O’Biden,” “Crazy” and “Corrupt.”

         And for calling Hunter the “Smoking Gun.”

         I’m sorry for being nicer to Vladimir Putin than I have been to you. He’s very smart, a great guy and a terrific person. But you are absolutely wonderful.

         And I’m sorry for falling in love with Kim Jong Un. He called me a genius. He wrote me beautiful letters. If you write me a beautiful pardon, I’ll fall in love with you.

         Pardon me for being nasty throughout the campaign, especially for all the times I interrupted you during the debates.

         And for accusing you of stealing the election.

         For trying to steal the election from you.

         And for stirring anarchy and violence.

         For ordering brown shirts for the Department of Homeland Security.

         For claiming you were scamming with mail-in ballots, and for vandalizing the Post Office.       

         For tweeting RIGGED

         For accusing dead people of voting for you. I hope they forgive me.

         Pardon me for refusing to concede and trying to instigate a coup.

         For rushing a Supreme Court appointment so she could vote for me to stay in office.

         For sabotaging the transition.

         For commissioning a seal that says “President for Life.”

         And for putting it on my letterhead.

         Pardon me for all the times I dangled pardons like hush money.

         For granting executive clemency to my allies and associates. President Ford pardoned President Nixon. You could do it for me. If it would make you feel better, you could do what Jerry Ford did – carry a Supreme Court quote in your wallet saying a pardon implies guilt.

         I know the Nixon pardon was a big reason that Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. But you’ll be such a great president that you’ll be a cinch for re-election.

         Wait a minute! You know what? I’m still the president.

         I didn’t hesitate to pardon Flynn, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Stone, Ivanka’s father in law and those guys from Blackwater. Maybe I’ll pardon some more people who worked for me. Maybe my whole family.

         At Thanksgiving, I pardoned a turkey.

         I think I’ll pardon myself.

         Yr humble svt



         Don’t do it, Joe. Don’t pardon him. If he uncrumples the letter and leaves it for you, shred it.

Whether officially or unofficially, he will be running for president again. Which means he’ll be attacking you again, and he won’t be gentle. If you pardon him, you will be what he calls “a sucker.”

Whatever he does, he is going to spend the next four years undermining you and your administration. The drumbeat will be unceasing. And he’ll have help. Don’t forget, nearly 74 million Americans voted for him.

At the same time, he hates losing. Once you’re in the White House, he might bolt. On one occasion he has been explicit. “Could you imagine if I lose? My whole life, what am I going to do? I’m going to say I lost to the worst candidate in the history of politics. I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country.”

He would have good reason. He has legal problems.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office wants to know whether fraud was committed when hush money was allegedly paid to women who said they had affairs with him. The DA also wants to know whether false information was submitted on loan applications, and whether facts were twisted to shrink his taxes. He might owe the IRS $100 million.

Then there are the lawsuits filed by a woman who says he raped her in a department store dressing room, and those filed by his niece saying he and others in the family defrauded her of tens of millions of dollars during the settlement of his father’s estate.

To say nothing of questions about whether he used the presidency to funnel business to his hotels and resorts, and whether he obstructed justice during the Russia investigation.

Here is what you do:

Take Trump up on his musings about political exile.

I know. Nobody will have him. Especially the places he calls “shithole countries.” They are building big, beautiful walls to keep him out.

So give him an island and an imperial title to go with it.

“In April 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the throne,” writes David A. Bell, a Princeton professor of history, in Politico. “By the Treaty of Fontainebleau, Napoleon agreed to leave France . . .

“The treaty allowed Napoleon to keep his title of emperor and gave him a new principality to rule: the Mediterranean island of Elba. . . . [He] would have a spacious mansion to live in, a 400-man honor guard and a large staff. As ’emperor of Elba,’ he would enjoy all the trappings of sovereignty, including a crown and flag.”

On Trump’s island, Bell says, “he could install Rudy Giuliani as Grand Chamberlain, and William Barr as his Lord High Executioner. Ivanka and Don Jr. could fight over who would inherit the crown.”

Bell suggests several islands. In addition to Martha’s Vineyard, where Trump could confiscate Barack Obama’ summer home, you might offer him Bikini Atoll, where he would refuse to believe scientists warning him about dangerous radioactivity.

My suggestion would be Rikers. It’s an island, too.



The Last Laugh:

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House is offering curbside pickup for Republican officials and other cronies who have ordered pardons from Donald J. Trump.

– By Andy Borowitz in The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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