Something awful occurred to me:
George W. Bush's worst day as President was better than Donald Trump's best day as president.
In and of itself, this is a frightening prospect. It means we, as a nation, are truly in the grips of evil and we cannot wrestle ourselves free unless we use the remedy of the ballot box or impeachment. We are caught between the rock and a hard place, between the devil and the deep blue sea, and there's no where to go. This is terrible for us as a people because we trade in a currency called hope. We operate as if our kids are going to have it better than we ever had it. We educate ourselves, we evolve, we argue, and we change because that's what makes us better.
Even by President Trump's standards, these tweets were shocking.
On Thursday morning, while MSNBC's "Morning Joe" was on the air, Trump posted a pair of hateful tweets about co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
MSNBC responded with this statement: "It's a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job."
The president's deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, defended the tweets by saying Trump was responding to the "outrageous attacks that take place" on "Morning Joe" and other shows.
Trump refuses to be "bullied," Sanders said on Fox News. "This is a president who fights fire with fire."
Trump's tweets in the 8 a.m. hour on Thursday said that "Morning Joe" is "poorly rated" (it's not) and that the hosts "speak badly of me" (that's true). He called both hosts disparaging names.
Trump claimed that Scarborough and Brzezinski courted him for an interview at Mar-a-Lago around the New Year's Eve holiday.
"She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" the president wrote.
He actually said yes, according to accounts of their meeting. Trump, Scarborough and Brzezinski mingled with guests and had a private chat.
Evil flourishes because good people do nothing. If there's one sunny fact in all of this, it is that the Republican Party is owned by Trump now, and they are along for the ride. They will never escape their complicity in this horror.
Scarborough and Brzezinski are awful human beings and I will not express any sympathy for them. They courted Trump, and now they have been burned by him. No woman should be talked about in public in this manner, and that is the only point I will concede. The fact that it was Brzezinski does not, all of a sudden, make her innocent of wanting Trump's favor in exchange for better ratings. She sold her soul for Trump's attentions, and now the snake has bitten her.
People, please. Quit picking up the fucking snake. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think a history of presidential behavior mattered? Did you think decency would prevail? Did you put all of your faith in the idea that a man settling into the presidency would absorb enough gravitas and knowledge to not comment on a woman's bleeding face in order to humiliate her in public?
This is why I don't think historical precedence is relevant anymore. The presidency of George W. Bush was awful, but it was awful on a scale that can be compared to others throughout our history. It was Harding-Coolidge-Hoover awful in that it did away with accountability and capable management of the nation's economy. It wasn't similar to Nixon in that Bush was too smart to get caught telling people to break the law while he was president. Presumably, they had that handled off line.
It's fair to say, though, that Bush stumbled into the Iraq War, and that was horrible in and of itself. Trump is stumbling towards several Iraq wars and nobody has any idea how to stop this. I fully expect we will have a shooting war in Syria, the Korean Peninsula, Venezuela, and Eastern Europe before the mid-term elections next year. I straight up believe that--we have no diplomacy now and we have a desperate Executive Branch looking for any means possible to change the subject and make Trump a war-time president. That's the only way he could possibly get re-elected.
This president has no historical presidency to compare itself to. I reject the idea that Trump is Nixonian because he's just not as smart. Nixon went from a Freshman Congressman in the late 1940s to Vice President and then President. He knew exactly how the Federal Government worked at all levels. He was paranoid, but so what? So was Johnson and so were any number of incompetent presidents. Bush, Nixon, Buchanan, Grant, and everyone who was president in the 1920s were all cut from he same cloth--inept, and unsuited, and overwhelmed by the office and by a need to make ethical choices.
Trump is his own historical precedent. We have never seen anything like this and I hope to God we never see anything like it again.