Most of us have experienced the sinking feeling that comes with looking at the clock after a fantastic time with friends at your favorite bar, and realizing you're just 10 minutes away from closing time. It might take a second, but eventually the reality of the situation — that pending some sort of afterparty or other illicit shenanigans, your frivolity is nearing its end — begins to settle in, and you resign yourself to the harsh inevitability of what comes next.
Now, take that sinking feeling and multiply it by some galactically large number, and you might have an inkling at the kind of crappy week President Trump is apparently having. The party is ending. The fun is almost done. The pomp and circumstance have run out, and all he has left is the sobering realization that it's all over.
Per a new report from CNN, Trump's final days in office have been marked by the sort of depressive rancor you might expect from a man fueled almost exclusively by ego and spite. He obsesses over his potential post-presidency legal exposure — just this week, the attorney general for Washington, D.C., asked to depose Donald Trump Jr. over allegations that the president's 2017 inauguration funding was not-quite-legit — and allegedly raged over daughter/employee Ivanka Trump's since-canceled decision to attend Joe Biden's swearing in. He's reportedly taken to "lashing out at aides, allies, and lawyers trying to protect him from criminal exposure following his role in inciting rioters during last week's insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol," and is apparently having a pretty tough time landing lawyers to defend him in his historic second impeachment trial.
In a particularly pathetic example of just how petty the president has become (or, at least, how his ever-present pettiness has manifested this time) of late, CNN claims Trump has fully banned the mention of Richard Nixon's name in his presence, going so far as to scream vulgarities at one aide who brought up the former president. He later heaped an extra layer of spitefulness on his particular instance of cancel culture by allegedly complaining that even if he were to go down the resignation path cleared by the 37th Oval Office resident, he couldn't count on Mike Pence — whom the president's supporters tried to lynch just one week ago — to pardon him the way Gerald Ford did for Nixon.
Perhaps understanding that his government-subsidized ego-boosting rallies are nearing their end, Trump has also reportedly asked for one last "major send off" on the morning of Jan. 20, as he leaves the White House on his way to Florida, where he's expected to live after moving out of Washington.
Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One. He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Trump is even allegedly debating whether he will even leave a letter for his presidential successor, as has been traditional during administration transitions.
All of which is to say, while Trump may not have appeared to like doing much in the way of presidential duties, he certainly seemed to like being president in general. Now the gild is off even that last remaining rose for him. All he has left is the existential understanding that for the rest of his life, he'll never do any better, and it's just downhill from here on out.