I will state this as plainly as I can. I do not believe trump has love for anyone but himself. His effusions attached to that word have no substance. He is facing doom in three ways: Mueller, legislative failure, and Shutdown of the government. It is the last of these I see as the most doom-laden. It won't be a momentary shutdown of the Ted Cruz variety. That was bad enough. The Texan accounted for tens of billions down the drain. Trump faces an unprecedented stoppage.

How likely is this? If you agree its advent will be intensified by Mueller and legislative failure, then I would say the odds are even.

Add in the fact that time is always being wasted, prodigally so, and the evenness intensifies.

Who cares?

A shutdown hurts the little person. I doubt that the GOP really cares whether Trump stops or progresses. The last piece of the president's legislative program is primed to bite the dust. I mean the tax bill which is also a deficit bill, an Obamacare repeal, and a scam on the middle class.

Trump, in the final analysis, does not care what happens as long as he can believe he is unhurt. We are always saying he is hurt. That doesn't matter. So far he has never admitted to a failure of any sort. Even when he has had to pay very embarrassing damages.

Who is to say that Trump's fabled base will not resonate to a tweet about closing down the swamp for real?

What we see as petulance and spite will be seen as the stuff of heroic martyrdom. Who needs government?

We bought it, sort of

The Mueller narrative, if and when it emerges, may comfort Trump opponents a bit.

He may suggest that Trump did not win the Electoral College by fair means. We may have to write a new narrative. Clinton will not return. Trump and Pence could go and there could be some compromise solution. That might be the result of the shutdown I am surmising.

Trump most probably would see a shutdown as doom but never admit it.

If Mueller and legislative failure kick in, he might see a shutdown as the last stand. He could lose everything as a result.

More than temporary

I can see a stoppage serious enough to require a change in leadership that removes both Trump and Pence. No analysis that is wise can find any difference in risk attached to either man. If a shutdown led to Congressional action it could be both bipartisan and unprecedented. We would be in completely uncharted territory. Trump's greatest protection lies precisely in the huge ball of wax that would emerge if everything came to a stop.

My guess is that only if we could see both Trump and Pence gone would there be hope of reaching a bipartisan basis for carrying on the country under something like a working government. That may be the issue that sticks in the craw of Trump opponents.