* Is it too much to ask, even by the lying, “fake news” media, that the president of the United States at least act, well, somewhat presidential? To other heads of state as well as the Boy Scouts. And to anyone privy to disturbing, impulsive tweets–and that’s, of course, all of us. Could he at least not dishonor the office that transcends the individual occupant? The primaries are over, even if West Virginia will never act like it.
When Trump tells cops to “Please, don’t be too nice” to those they arrest, he was just channeling his inner open-mic-night temperament. Prudently protecting the head of someone entering a cop car who has just been arrested for, say, a heinously violent crime can seem ironically incongruous, even darkly humorous. But not coming from the president in front of an audience of police officers.
When Trump unpresidentially talks down to the president of Mexico and the prime minister of Australia, it can only hinder American prestige and, more importantly, influence. Those recently leaked transcripts provide unsurprising insight into his priorities and duplicity. Whether it was the wall or refugees, Trump, it is now confirmed, wanted to save face from a campaign stoked in bumper-sticker rhetoric and whiskey promises to his gullible nativist base.
* Frankly, if there’s anything that can bring bipartisanship to this polarized Congress, it’s Russia. The sanctions legislation was one sided and veto proof. And if Trump were to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller over Russian collusion and/or obstruction of justice, there are serious signs that this would ignite a congressional firestorm of Watergate proportions.
And speaking of Watergate, let’s not forget that the final push for Richard Nixon’s resignation was, indeed, a bipartisan effort.
* It has hardly gone unnoted that Mueller will be using multiple grand juries–common vehicles to subpoena witnesses and records–and has assembled an extremely formidable team of (16) attorneys. Mueller, a squeaky-clean, decorated war veteran and former F.B.I. chief, is highly thought of–as opposed to Trump–and has recruited some of the best and brightest. Arguably better and brighter than their counterparts. Game on.
* Another ripple effect from having Donald Trump as–it’s still oxymoronic to write–president: Political insiders are credibly discussing the actual possibility of Rick Scott running for president. WTF! And that, with a wink and nod to Sen. John McCain, doesn’t stand for “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot.”
* We now know that Gen. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, reads the same book after every promotion. It’s C.S. Forester’s 1936 novel, “The General.” It’s a parable about the danger of patriotism and duty unaccompanied by critical thinking. Perhaps he could share it with the commander in chief, who hasn’t read a book since “Art of the Deal.” Or, perhaps, Kelly will expand his post-promotion list to include “Seven Days in May.”
*VP Michael Pence is saying all the right things about his sycophantic loyalty to the president, despite media speculation about viable GOP back-up plans for 2020. Interestingly, Pence has also formed the “Great American Committee.” That makes him the first sitting vice president to have his own political action committee. It also encourages the speculation he so publicly abhors.