So, what happened today?
Trump had the area around the White House cleared so that he could take this photo. It is, without getting too graphic, a perfect example of an image of "war porn" as you're ever going to see. It is designed to flatter the vanity of the dictator and make him look powerful and strong.
These doughy, overly serious looking men are flanked by blonde women and tough guy security forces. You can see a little diversity creeping in, but barely. They have hapless General Mark Milley in his Battle Dress Uniform because having him out there in his Class A uniform would be considered too weak, of course. If General Milley had a shred of dignity or pride, he would have resigned months ago. For him to participate in a Trump campaign photo op is embarrassing.
This image of war porn is, of course, just campaign paraphernalia from the Trump organization. It's an abuse of power.
You're witnessing the creation of a myth.
The myth is that Trump is surrounded by competent people. He is not. He is surrounded by lawless sycophants.
The myth is that he is a strong man. No, he's a #BunkerBitch, a man who cowers in fear when Americans gather around him to protest.
The myth is that he is there to protect his blonde young women. Nothing could be more ridiculous. It's another dog whistle that he's blowing to his racist followers -- look at me and my property.
Here's the wide angle shot, staged with the same slapdash urgency of a White House that couldn't organize a one car parade.
Looks like a future perp walk to me. We will need a modern-day equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials when we reach the point where we can reckon with all of the damage these people have done to our country.
Here's the reality of today's dog and pony show.
Photo by Doug Mills, NYT