But let’s pretend that Trump could hollow out, that an N-word tape would finally be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Let’s pretend that Trump’s approval collapsed among Republicans. What then? He’s not going to resign. He’s not going to be impeached and removed from office. The #Resistance fantasy is that some deus ex machina will make Trump disappear. This is not going to happen. The only way Trump leaves is if he loses re-election in 2020. For both good and ill, President Trump is our reality and he will continue to affect the world around him.

So now we must imagine what a weakened Trump would be like for the next two years. Do you think he’d knuckle down, start acting like a statesman, and try to unite the country? Or do you think he’d push for more chaos and division in the hopes of somehow drawing to an inside straight (again)? Assuming he does, the only possible downside of such a strategy, from Trump’s perspective, would be salting the ground of American political life for any potential successor. And he would view this not as a bug, but as a feature.

If you look at the Trump administration and think it can’t get worse, then you haven’t contemplated what a scorched-earth Trump might be like.