As White House disarray spirals quickly into meltdown, Republicans are dividing their time between trying to persuade us that everything is fine, really, and trying to persuade themselves.
Even the pro-Trump trolls have degraded their talking points all the way down to “President Trump is succeeding brilliantly at not being Hillary Clinton.” This is a standard that Trump does, in fact, meet. It is a standard that he cannot not meet. It is a standard that everyone meets. You meet it. I meet it. Why, we could write a camp song about how we all are not Hillary Clinton.
But the fact remains that something is very, very, very wrong in the White House now, and it is looking worse than just runaway narcissism. It is looking very much like incapacitation. There is something not only arguably awry here but also undeniably not normal. The president is manifestly mishandling the minimum standards of the presidency and is incapable of seeing that he’s not up to the task. Maybe this will simplify the process of dealing with the worst political mistake in American history.
The ball has always been in the GOP’s court on what to do about Trump. It still is now, only more acutely. The hallucinatory experience of watching Trump still trying to pass as a functional adult is transferring relentlessly to members of the entire Republican Party. And they do not look any better at explaining Trump’s startlingly peculiar behavior than Trump does. Whenever they do manage to cobble together a rickety explanation for why he did something, you can be sure that Trump will soon get out there and contradict everything they just said.
They don’t want to admit it, but it’s time for Republicans to take away Dad’s car keys. It is no longer safe to let him keep driving until something really bad happens. Something bad is happening now nearly every day.
It’s time to shift our gaze from the ongoing Trump train wreck to the Republican Party, or what’s left of it. Republicans have two choices. They can take care of their Trump problem now, while there is still time.
Or they can continue to shirk and cover for him and have their own car keys taken away.