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In Gotham, the villainous Master Disrupter Donald Trump descended the escalator from the dark and frightening past. Long thought to be forever vanquished on the day the oceans’ rise began to slow, the McDonalds-fueled old white male of too-much girth and too-long ties sent the Washington Establishment scrambling for a plan to vanquish their great nemesis.
Pressing the button beneath desk in the Oval Office, President Obama illuminated the night sky with the Deep State Signal depicting a haloed James Comey clenching a FISA warrant in his raised fist and the words “Quae sunt circa quam est hic” (“The Way Things Are Done Around Here”).
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton responded to a question from a reporter with an ultrasonic cackle heard only by the administrative state which was understood by all to mean “Swamp Creatures assemble!”
At that moment in Moscow, Carter Page was being told by an unidentified Russian — is there any other kind? — that Hillary Clinton will “literally say anything that appears on her teleprompter.” One week later, Clinton distinguished herself by becoming the only presidential nominee of a major political party to attack her opponent’s supporters: “…you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic — Islamophobic — you name it.”
Clinton would later apologize for leaving out “intolerant.”
To the Swamp Creatures, the stakes were clear. A Trump presidency — no matter how remote the possibility — represented much more than a disruption to Washington’s bipartisan war on self-governance. If Trump were to somehow win Washington’s favorite toy, the city and all it represented would be turned upside down. The Beltway owed it to the people — that is, Leviathan — to employ all the superpowers at their disposal to save Washington and, if possible, the more leafy suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.
One thing was clear: if Trump were to somehow become president, Washington as we know it would become unrecognizable. Lying to Congress could cost you your job. Corn might cease to exist in our gasoline and start turning up in our corn flakes. Florists could not be compelled to bake cakes for gay photographers. Worst of all, individuals would be permitted to choose their doctor and their lightbulb.
On the cultural front, The State would be set back a generation. America would become a dystopia in which individuals would have to make the brutal choice of identifying as either a yellow-scaled wingless dragon kin or an expansive ornate building. Florists could not be compelled to bake cakes for gay photographers. On immigration, the United States would no longer be seen as a kind of timeshare for Central Americans.
The impact of a Trump presidency on the FBI would be particularly devastating. In response to congressional oversight, the Bureau would have to become its own uncooperative witness. It would have to carry out its duties without first consulting the polls. It would be virtually impossible to dispense with long-cherished norms such as redacting information to buy time to get its story straight rather than for legitimate national security concerns.
Perhaps most frightening, subpoenas from Congress would actually have to be responded to rather than directing Congress to simply read leaks published in the Washington Post like everybody else does.