Donald Trump is heading back to the White House from Asia after a trip highlighted by the memorable line, delivered to CEOs, that “there’s no place like home.” His last leg has been The Philippines and his meeting with its President, Rodrigo “Rody” Duarte.
"All I can tell you is this, there was no collusion, there was no nothing," Donald Trump said, this time on his way to Asia. The use of a double negative, normally, is read as an affirmation, but it doesn’t matter much what Trump says about Russia. No one believes him, anymore, not even Republicans.
As the White House waits to see which, and how many of its present or former, employees made Robert Mueller’s indictment roll, consider Mueller’s end game. It isn’t Trump, per se, though many would hope otherwise. It’s Russia. The FBI, which Mueller once headed, has always been at the forefront of combatting communism in America.
Army Sgt. La David Johnson was a brave hero who died protecting his country far from home. That his death has been politicized is an insult to his memory. The turmoil started with a condolence phone call from President Donald Trump to Johnson’s widow, Myeshia, relayed over a speakerphone. Thereafter, a verbal firefight started. Days of bad press followed, even ensnaring White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired 4-star Marine General. There’re a lot of things to complain about regarding the President, but this isn’t one of them.
The president of the United States is the voice of the American people, chief proponent of our values, and democracy’s best salesman to the world. Donald Trump falls short in each category. He speaks for a shrinking minority of the country; mocks traditional value; and shows a disturbing disregard for pluralism. To Trump, political opponents aren’t alternate voices, they’re enemies to be squashed. Not even the first amendment to the Bill of Rights is immune from this president’s scorn, and frequently unhinged attacks.
Time magazine ran a front-page photo of a saint-like Jared Kushner the week of June 1, 2017, identifying him as “The Good Son.” When it published a cover with Donald Trump Jr., the identifier was “Caught Red Handed,” with a dark, moody, picture that resembled a mobster’s mug shot. The disparate treatment was extreme, though Kushner, so far, is unlikely to bring the Administration down.
Some say one man’s madness is another man’s strategy. Vanity Fair is calling it “Moron-gate,” except the dotard in the cupboard isn’t Donald Trump, it’s Rex Tillerson who takes the dunce cap for his flip, petty, slap at the President, by calling Trump a “moron,” for one thing, or another. If “Moron-in-Chief” becomes as quintessentially defining of President Trump as “Crooked Hillary” is of his nemesis, it’s on Tillerson.
It was “a lovely visit, a first, too,” the President said. No doubt, Donald Trump was the first U.S. President to throw rolls of paper towels into a tepid crowd of puzzled people the way a low-rent concert promoter tosses out second act t-shirts. What made it even stranger was that Trump hefted them to victims of drenching hurricanes. Golf towels would’ve been a better choice, especially since Houston got very nice, hot-boxed lunches. Whoever stage-managed this inept trip needs to quit because they ruined another chance for Trump to look good again.
The President dedicated a golf trophy on Sunday to the citizens of Texas, Florida, and the lazy, broke, infrastructure-challenged Puerto Ricans who want everyone to do everything for them. Devastated, homeless, foodless, waterless, powerless, and despairing, Donald Trump blamed them for their own woes in the same breath he used to praise himself for helping these American citizens. Would that this were true.
President Donald Trump’s irresistible impulse to take on everyone, and anyone, over anything, consequential or not, is a detriment to Republican values and leads to the inescapable question of whether Trumpism needs Trump, any longer, to advance its mission.