It was the week that everything -- and nothing -- changed.
It was the week that Donald Trump proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is profoundly unfit to be president. It was the week that he openly embraced neo-Nazis and white nationalists. It was the week that the top generals from all five military branches, as well as the leaders of Britain, Germany and other allied nations, rebuked him, and charities cancelled events at his beloved Mar-a-Lago. It was the week that business, cultural and religious heavyweights fled him in droves, and Steve Bannon, chief strategist in a White House without any, became the eighth top administration official to leave in as many months, not counting James Comey. And it was the week he kept virginally pure his record of never saying anything remotely negative about Vladimir Putin or Russia.
Things are so bad that the once-in-a-generation total solar eclipse on Monday is being widely heralded as a national moment of reflection.
"It fits the national mood disconcertingly well," as one pundit put it. "It will be unsettling, its beauty fleeting and unworldly, but in it we will see the outlines of democracy: for a few moments, a small satellite will overshadow a raging star a thousand times its size. Our current President is a man who cannot stand to be upstaged, but this is one event that he can’t control."
Yet despite events terrestrial, as well as celestial, getting rid of Trump is as remote as ever no matter how many "worst week ever" and "more isolated than ever" clichés the news media cooks up. This is because pretty much the same people who supported him are oblivious to the rolling disaster of his presidency and pretty much the same people who were outraged when he "won" still are.
There is, of course, an outside chance that Trump might resign. But absent that and even with big Democratic gains in the 2018 mid-term elections, which is an iffy proposition at best, it is unlikely there would be 66 votes in the Senate to convict Trump even if the House voted to impeach.
Only Special Counsel Robert Mueller can rid America of this monster.
Everything changes if Mueller has indisputable evidence that Trump colluded with the Putin regime in its plot to fix the presidential election, but nothing changes if the best Mueller can come up with is that Trump has had a history of shady business dealings with Russian oligarchs and mobsters and takes down a Flynn, Manafort or three.
After all, Trump's sordid career was built on lies and sleaze and that didn't keep the Republican Party from nominating him, let alone it remaining far more interested in saving its legislative ass and not rupturing the precarious Trump-GOP coalition in advance of 2018 than in saving America.
Trump, in fact, seems more convinced than ever that he doesn't need diplomatic or political allies, let alone capitalist corporate advisers, and can bully his opponents into submission because Robert E. Lee has his back, never mind that his presidency is as ignominious after 200-plus days as the Confederacy was after five years of war.
There is no better proof of Trump's isolation than his being afraid to appear in public -- be it for Kennedy Center Honors or throwing out a ceremonial first pitch -- unless it is a tightly controlled event with a pro-Trump audience.
As welcome as a right-wing backlash against Trump may be after he fired nationalist cynosure Bannon, it's not going to make any more difference than the Reset Fairy sprinkling magic dust on General Kelly's balding pate would to bringing order to the Wild West West Wing.
And a special f*ck you to Mitt Romney, who came out of his hidey-hole to remonstrate about Trump after having twice interviewed for the job of secretary of state, cautiously joining Republican lawmakers who have been harsher in their criticism of the monster they so unashamedly enabled following the outrages of the week past, but in Beltway parlance now "have no good options."
Neither, of course, do the American people.
Click HERE for a comprehensive timeline of the Russia scandal.