Russia is not a stand-off whatever trump may think. The process is in order. Proof mounts. There can be little question Russia will be shown to have had a determinative effect on Trump's paper-thin win. He won among iffy voters who were disposed to believe the propaganda about Hillary. The only thing necessary if to prove the actual collusion.

Wizard territory

That is the first Oz — meaning it is the first thing Trump feels is Oz but is not. That means he will suffer the fate of the Wizard and be deemed forever humbug, a fake, one who could not deliver.

It is no wonder that the current news is that Trump simply cannot abide the disconnect between his wonderful win and the picture of a phony win helped along by Mr. Putin.

Wounded agenda

The second Oz is the vaunted substance of Trump's agenda. It was not going to be just Gorsuch. But it is looking that way. His health bill was always a loser and now the chances of getting the terrible result passed are minuscule. There will be plenty of blame. But everything was going to follow from successfully robbing people of the funds needed to give a bump tax cut to the topmost rich. Whatever does or does not happen, the notion that Oz 2 will hold up is more and more a long shot.


The Wonderful Wizard did not have a volatile base as Trump does.

To date, this has been his weapon to gain points when he was down. But as I noted a few days ago, his approval is not being bumped by Europe and is, in fact, a trifle threatened. Rasmussen now has him at 39 not far from the 538 average. It is almost impossible to see Trump redeeming his presidency by turning to his base.

Could Trump turn toward the middle?

The question logicians ask is precisely this -- could Trump turn things around? Could he revert to times when the things he denies saying are actually admitted? Could he become a canny, deal-maker between the two wounded parties? It is doubtful that such words ever penetrate far enough to be heard by the president.

It is more likely that Oz 1 will eat away, inducing further apoplexy and raising the boredom index.

The show could be over

If Oz 2 is likewise headed for a cliff we are looking at a double whammy. Maybe Ivanka will see the light and tell him to get smart. And maybe he will listen. But there might emerge a general Oz problem which overshadows the two specific doom points. Who will believe Trump no matter what he does? I think he may be tapped out. That hurts.

Winners never are tapped out. People forget that Nixon was a mean poker wizard in his day. He got tapped out and still was able to lead a productive life after being pardoned. Maybe history will repeat itself.