The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump

It is a stunning turnabout. A party that once spoke with urgency and apparent conviction about the importance of ethical leadership — fidelity, honesty, honor, decency, good manners, setting a good example — has hitched its wagon to the most thoroughly and comprehensively corrupt individual who has ever been elected president. Some of the men who have been elected president have been unscrupulous in certain areas — infidelity, lying, dirty tricks, financial misdeeds — but we’ve never before had the full-spectrum corruption we see in the life of Donald Trump.

.. And the moral indictment against Mr. Trump is obvious and overwhelming. Corruption has been evident in Mr. Trump’s private and public life,

  • in how he has treated his wives,
  • in his business dealings and scams,
  • in his pathological lying and cruelty,
  • in his bullying and shamelessness,
  • in his conspiracy-mongering and appeals to the darkest impulses of Americans. (Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, refers to the president’s race-based comments as a “base stimulator.”)

Mr. Trump’s corruptions are ingrained, the result of a lifetime of habits. It was delusional to think he would change for the better once he became president.

.. Some of us who have been lifelong Republicans and previously served in Republican administrations held out a faint hope that our party would at some point say “Enough!”; that there would be some line Mr. Trump would cross, some boundary he would transgress, some norm he would shatter, some civic guardrail he would uproot, some action he would take, some scheme or scandal he would be involved in that would cause large numbers of Republicans to break with the president. No such luck. Mr. Trump’s corruptions have therefore become theirs. So far there’s been no bottom, and there may never be.

.. the Republican Party’s as-yet unbreakable attachment to Mr. Trump is coming at quite a cost. There is the rank hypocrisy, the squandered ability to venerate public character or criticize Democrats who lack it, and the damage to the white Evangelical movement, which has for the most part enthusiastically rallied to Mr. Trump and as a result has been largely discredited.

.. Mr. Trump and the Republican Party are right now the chief emblem of corruption and cynicism in American political life, of an ethic of might makes right. Dehumanizing others is fashionable and truth is relative. (“Truth isn’t truth,” in the infamous words of Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.) They are stripping politics of its high purpose and nobility.

.. A warning to my Republican friends: The worst is yet to come. Thanks to the work of Robert Mueller — a distinguished public servant, not the leader of a “group of Angry Democrat Thugs” — we are going to discover deeper and deeper layers to Mr. Trump’s corruption. When we do, I expect Mr. Trump will unravel further as he feels more cornered, more desperate, more enraged; his behavior will become ever more erratic, disordered and crazed.

Most Republicans, having thrown their MAGA hats over the Trump wall, will stay with him until the end. Was a tax cut, deregulation and court appointments really worth all this?

O’Reilly’s Behavior Said to Have Helped Drive Megyn Kelly Out at Fox

“Look, it’s open season,

.. “Let’s whack the Fox News Channel. I’ve had enough of it. It’s a good place to work. All right?”

.. Ms. Kelly, who sent an email to Fox News executives complaining about his behavior and the chilling effect it could have on women at the company and beyond

.. Despite Ms. Kelly’s complaint, and a plea from a producer that Mr. O’Reilly not be allowed to make similar remarks on his prime-time show, Mr. O’Reilly delivered a second public scolding on the program that night.

.. “If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave,” he said.

.. it is apparent to any objective observer that Mr. O’Reilly is being subjected to a malicious campaign intent on harming his reputation and family through speculation and innuendo.”

.. the Murdochs are awaiting the results of an investigation into Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior by the law firm

.. Mr. O’Reilly’s contract with Fox News was extended even as the company was aware of several settlements that had been reached with women who had complained about his behavior.

.. “Give Please a Chance,” his new children’s book about manners.

.. Ms. Kelly said that a man with Mr. O’Reilly’s history had no business publicly lecturing women inside or outside the company about sexual harassment

.. Ms. Kelly added in the email that the push for blind loyalty was the reason the network had gotten into the mess with Mr. Ailes.

To understand today’s politics, look at Yale in the ’60s

We still live with this 1960s legacy — controversy has acquired a “razor’s edge,” and “venom and vehemence” have become fashionable.

.. The law, the dean said, “verbalized aggression,” taming it through an adversarial system that requires each party to listen to the other’s argument.

.. Wilkinson is a splendid anachronism, a gentleman raised by a father who “came to Saturday breakfast in his coat and tie” and who believed that “manners fortified man against his nature.”

.. He locates the genesis of today’s politics of reciprocal resentments in “the contempt with which the young elites of the Sixties dismissed the contributions of America’s working classes.”