A Week of Reckoning


Where is he taking us? Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images
We have become, at this point, inured to having an irrational president in an increasingly post-rational America. We’ve also come to tell ourselves that somehow (a) this isn’t really happening, (b) by some miracle, it will be over soon, or (c) at some point the Republican Party will have to acknowledge what they are abetting, and cut their losses.

By Andrew Sullivan | New York Mag

And yet with each particular breach of decency, stability, and constitutionality, no breaking point seems to have arrived, even as the tribalism has deepened, the president’s madness has metastasized, and the norms of liberal democracy are hanging on by a thread.

But surely this week must mark some kind of moment in this vertiginous descent, some point at which the manifest unfitness of this president to continue in office becomes impossible to deny.

Compare it with any other week in modern political history. Day after day, the president has publicly savaged his own attorney general for doing the only thing possible with an investigation into a political campaign he was a key part of: recusing himself. And the point of the president’s fulminations was that the recusal prevented Sessions from obstructing that very investigation. The president, in other words, has been openly attacking his own attorney general for not subverting the rule of law.

He is also complaining that Sessions is not investigating his former opponent, Hillary Clinton, even though an extensive FBI investigation has already taken place and no charges were deemed sufficient for prosecution and even though the president himself said, after the election, that he would oppose such an investigation. What special kind of madness is this?

Then we were subjected to the spectacle of the president going to the Boy Scout jamboree, of all places, and delivering a series of partisan jabs, campaign-rally catcalls, and completely inappropriate personal ramblings to a crowd of thousands of boys. The speech was, in some ways, a metaphor for everything Trump is and has done. He took a regular, civil, apolitical American gathering of mainly children and turned it into diatribe of deranged and nakedly partisan narcissism. He is actively despoiling our civic culture.

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