Trump resigned the presidency already — if we regard the job as one of moral stewardship, if we assume that an iota of civic concern must joust with self-regard, if we expect a president’s interest in legislation to rise above vacuous theatrics, if we consider a certain baseline of diplomatic etiquette to be part of the equation.
.. He abdicated his responsibilities so thoroughly and recklessly that it amounted to a letter of resignation. Then he whored for his Virginia winery on the way out the door.
.. Trump knew full well what he should have done, because he’d done it — grudgingly and badly — only a day earlier. But it left him feeling countermanded, corrected, submissive and weak, and those emotions just won’t do for an ego as needy and skin as thin as his.
.. On Tuesday he “relinquished what presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan have regarded as a cardinal duty of their job: set a moral course to unify the nation,” wrote The Times’ Mark Landler
.. Did he place the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the same “moral plane” as those who showed up to push back at them?
“I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane,” Trump answered.
.. he never in fact wanted or set out to be president, not as the position is conventionally or correctly defined.
.. He revealed that repeatedly as he rejected the traditional rules and usual etiquette, refusing to release his tax returns, bragging about his penis size, feuding with the Muslim father of a fallen American soldier and electing puerility over poetry at nearly every meaningful moment.
.. All that time on Twitter wasn’t principally about a direct connection to voters. It was a way to stare at an odometer of approval and monitor, in real time, how broadly his sentiments were being liked and shared.
.. Applause. Greater brand exposure. A new layer of perks atop an existence already lavish with them. Utter saturation of Americans’ consciousness. These were his foremost goals. Governing wasn’t
.. He made clear that conflicts of interest didn’t trouble him, drawing constant attention to Trump properties
.. members of Congress who met with Trump about the repeal-and-replace of Obamacare were aghast at his ignorance of the legislation and of the legislative process itself.
.. A president is supposed to safeguard the most sacred American institutions, repairing them if need be. Trump doesn’t respect them. He has sought to discredit and disempower the judiciary, the free press, the FBI, the Congressional Budget Office. He even managed to inject politics into, and pollute, the Boy Scouts. This is the course of a tyrant.
.. I kept coming across variations on the verdict that he had “failed to lead,” and that phraseology is off. “Fail” and “failure” imply that there was an effort, albeit unsuccessful.