As writer Samuel Johnson astutely remarked in 1775, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

The pandering photo of President Donald Trump hugging an American flag has a clearer meaning now, as he fights an ugly fight to cling to power. Likewise his photos at Mount Rushmore, where he no doubt would like his image placed, ingenious hairdo solution and all.

We should consider that "patriot" is a term better bestowed than assumed for oneself, just like "hero." So, after four-plus years of working ugly crowds into a frenzy, the sorry Trump saga winds down to an ugly and rather predictable conclusion. Cheap Trump banners, likely bought out of the back of a van at some rally, have been brandished inside the nation's Capitol, and people are dead. (Yes, folks, that's exactly who a lot of us really are, and always were.)

Johnson also said that, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully."

Impeached and voted from office after a single term, leaving the presidency and both houses of Congress in the hands of the Democratic Party, a sulking Trump now gets to meet reality in whatever form that takes.

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Meanwhile, his congressional apologists can decide if they finally need to rinse the lingering whiff of Trump shoe polish from their breath. So ends the Pax Americana. It was mostly fake anyway. Farewell to the Ugly American. So was he. We will never have to look at his golden Oval Office drapes again.

Donald Dass