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Former President Donald Trump announcing he is running for president for the third time at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. Unless, he suggests, he is just spontaneously named president through some undefined supralegal process.

Andrew Harnik, AP Photos

Not my Constitution, buddy

Why are we ignoring Donald Trump’s call to suspend the rule of law?

You know we’ve sailed off into the stratosphere of national dysfunction when the former president of the United States, citing the same imaginary voter fraud he’s been raging about for two years, can suggest the Constitution be suspended, along “with all rules, regulations and articles,” through some equally imaginary process, so he can be returned to power, through notional governmental machinery that also doesn’t exist, and it’s not the main topic of conversation in the following days.

But here we are. He said this on his Truth Social platform Saturday. It was the third headline on the Washington Post web page Sunday, under an article about sick leave among railroad workers.

“So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party ...” begins the latest lie.

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The funny thing ... not funny ha-ha but funny sad ... is that Trump still can’t even vaguely offer a plausible theory of how this uppercase wrongdoing might have unfolded, never mind provide evidence.

He then muses whether “you” (the American people, I suppose) should “throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER” (him, I assume, again through some process that isn’t there, assuming he doesn’t mean violence, which of course he does) “or do you have a NEW ELECTION?”

That’s cute. Because if you sincerely thought the election was stolen, in some obscure way you couldn’t articulate never mind prove, then what would be the point of calling for a new election? Wouldn’t George Soros just smile and tap a few figures into his phone, again, and that would be it? We wuz robbed again!

Or gee, maybe Trump really doesn’t believe it himself and is just a grifter working a con. Letting his deluded faithful do the dirty work for him. Which is why nearly 1,000 Jan. 6 insurrectionists have already been arrested and charged, with hundreds pleading guilty and dozens going to prison. All except the ringleader, who struts around, trying to reprise his crime, with greater success next time.

We’re all supposed to cough in our fists and ignore him? Because Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will prevail? Believe me, I tried. I sat down and began a column for today on the Respect for Marriage Act, and how it panders to the supposedly religious who want to continue using their alleged piety as a smokescreen to discriminate against LGBTQ people and shun the laws that apply to everyone else.

“How many marriages have the legalization of gay marriage destroyed?” it began. “Because if I remember correctly, that was among the big harms posited by those who opposed gay marriage: It would somehow undermine straight marriage ...”

Now toleration is being cast as a form of religious persecution.

But that column just didn’t quite jell, maybe because the leading Republican presidential candidate is calling for the foundational document and current source code of the United States of America to be cast aside so he can go back to flying on Air Force One.

Trump was president less than two years ago. He has announced his candidacy. Is leading the polls. Likely to win the GOP nomination if he runs against a field of 16 bumblers, like last time.

The man should be in prison already. Between incitement to riot and dereliction of duty, conspiracy and God knows what else is sitting in a file on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s desk while he takes his sweet time building an ironclad case, or is just scared, or negligent himself, eager to offload his duty onto a special prosecutor.

Let me apologize to all those readers who draw back as if struck when the former guy is mentioned. Who let out a shriek like one of the sultan’s guards in those Sunday morning Sinbad movies leaping off a palace wall, “Aieee! You’re mentioning him again! You’re obsessed! Trump Derangement Syndrome! Make it stop!”

There, there. Here’s a tissue. It will all stop eventually, and nobody will be happier than I. In the meantime, I’ll make you a deal: When Donald Trump is pacing back and forth in the yard at Spandau Prison, or, better, sealed in a windowless cell on some fortress on the moon, I’ll eagerly turn to other topics and never mention him again.

Until that happy day, however, I’m not turning my back on that thing. So stop acting surprised.

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