It’s no exaggeration to say that President Trump and his presidency are melting down. A string of horrendous, self-inflicted errors has consumed the White House, devoured his presidency and sent him into fits of rage. No one but he is responsible for:
- Hiring a national security adviser despite knowing that he was under investigation;
- Waiting 18 days after a warning from the acting attorney general to fire that adviser for lying about contacts with the Russians;
- Pressuring and then firing the director of the FBI;
- Lying about the reason for the FBI director’s firing and then confessing on national TV that it really was about the Russia investigation; and
- Disclosing classified information obtained by Israel to Russia
As Trump is wont to do when he blunders, he lashes out at the incompetent aides and relatives whom he has placed in positions they are ill-equipped to handle. He threatens to fire everyone. He rails about leaks — which come from his own staff. And he explodes over media coverage accurately recounting his bumbles.
Trump is in full self-pity mode. He tells Coast Guard graduates, “No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.” Was this actually a scripted line? He seems to have forgotten four assassinated presidents, the abuse heaped on Abraham Lincoln by his opponents, Trump’s own birther frenzy seeking to delegitimize President Barack Obama, the anger directed at Gerald Ford for pardoning Richard Nixon … well, you get the idea. The supreme narcissist with zero knowledge of history imagines himself as the greatest victim in history. The Coast Guard deserves a better commander in chief than this whiny blowhard.
Trump — angry, unhinged, petulant, impulsive — ventures overseas tomorrow on a trip to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican, followed by meetings in Belgium and Italy (with the Group of 7). Trump reportedly is “dreading” his trip. No wonder. This is a man who retreats to one of his resorts virtually every weekend and who had to fly home for the night during the presidential campaign. He clings to the familiar, where his ego will not be bruised, where sycophants surround him and where he feels like the big man on campus. Even the most adventurous and self-disciplined presidents know the rigors of official travel, complete with strange food, disrupted sleep schedules, antagonistic foreign press and American press eager to search for flubs. For Trump, this must be terrifying.
In his grandiose self-regard, Trump has prepared a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia. Did someone think this was a good idea? Here’s the man who has unsuccessfully tried to ram through a ban on Muslim travel, who belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier, who falsely claimed that American Muslims in large numbers celebrated after 9/11 and who has ridiculed Germany for taking in so many Syrian refugees. Trump, who cannot correctly identify a verse from his own Christian Bible (“two Corinthians”), will take it upon himself to lecture Muslims. This should be — well, horrifying.
Trump’s colossal ego is under daily assault, not because of unique unfairness but because of his own jaw-dropping ignorance, blunders and ineptitude. For those who could plainly see he was intellectually, morally and temperamentally unfit for the job, this clownish presidency comes as no real surprise — although not everyone expected how spectacular and swift his downfall would be. Surrounded by those he does not have confidence in, his associates under investigation, besieged by leaks and constantly forced into situations (meeting with the Russians in the Oval Office, foreign travel) for which he is completely unprepared, Trump now faces a stark reality: He is failing. He may not make it through his term. He has a real shot at becoming the worst president ever. And, damn it, no one gives him credit for winning the presidency!