With eyes wide open, Mike Pence eagerly auditioned for the role as Donald Trump’s poodle. Now comfortably leashed, he deserves the degradations that he seems too sycophantic to recognize as such. He did Trump’s adolescent bidding with last Sunday’s preplanned virtue pageant of scripted indignation — his flight from the predictable sight of players kneeling during the national anthem
.. No unblinkered observer can still cling to the hope that Pence has the inclination, never mind the capacity, to restrain, never mind educate, the man who elevated him to his current glory.
.. no one can have sustained transactions with Trump without becoming too soiled for subsequent scrubbing.
.. Hell is truth seen too late
.. instinct to pander to those who adore him as much as he does
.. they are impervious to the Everest of evidence that he disdains them as a basket of gullibles.
.. He gives his gullibles not governance by tantrum, but tantrum as governance.
.. The faux nationalists of the “alt-right” and their fellow travelers such as Stephen K. Bannon, although fixated on protecting the United States from imported goods, have imported the blood-and-soil ethno-tribalism that stains the continental European right.
.. Trump’s election has brought back to the public stage ideas that a post-Lincoln America had slowly but determinedly expunged.
.. the alt-right sees society as inevitably “a zero-sum contest among fundamentally competing identity groups.” Hence the alt-right is explicitly an alternative to Lincoln’s affirmation of the Founders’ vision. They saw America as cohesive because of a shared creed.
.. some of the president’s senior advisers have recently begun a study of the Democratic administration of former President Bill Clinton, examining how it managed to push through major, bipartisan budgets and reform bills, despite being the subject of an independent counsel’s probe for five of its eight years... Mr. Trump’s aides have also been pressing for more restraint by the president on Twitter ,and some weeks ago they organized what one official called an “intervention.”.. In that meeting, aides warned Mr. Trump that certain kinds of comments made on Twitter would “paint him into a corner,” both in terms of political messaging and legally.. A coterie of former campaign associates, including David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci, Jason Miller and Corey Lewandowski, were spotted.. described the White House currently as a “toxic work environment.”.. “The president goes through moods where sometimes he wants to blow everything up,”.. the administration hasn’t lined up successors for the people Mr. Trump has considered firing.. The aides’ recommendation to Mr. Trump: cite the continuing investigation, then pivot to the economy, health care and taxes... Ken Duberstein, a former chief of staff to former President Ronald Reagan, said in an interview that he used to urge the GOP president not to respond to questions that reporters might throw his way involving the Iran-Contra scandal.“You can’t go off on a tangent. You can’t answer the sound bite gotcha questions,” Mr. Duberstein said.
He said Mr. Trump should not “take the bait of a shouted question or the shiny silver dollar of being able to tweet. Because then the rest of the agenda gets left on the cutting room floor.”