I guess President Trump wanted some kind of spectacle in the Oval Office on Tuesday and got one. I guess he thinks if there’s a spectacle and he’s in it, he wins. It worked once, anyway, which is why he gets to invite people to the Oval Office. But there is a difference between a campaign spectacle and a spectacle of desperation: a flailing, floundering presidency.
The pundits are frantically rating the performance of Melee Mouth, and I’ll leave the finer points of scoring the exchange to others. I was just happy to see Trump confronted with something resembling sanity as the Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer delegation kept the focus on border security as opposed to “the wall,” Trump’s middle-school-civics-project-idea that he tries to pass off as policy. I was also glad to see that they apparently learned from early in his first term that there is no point in trying to engage with him normally to reach a “deal.” All Trump deals are either bad or unreliable, as is the very process of dealing with him.
The Democrats' job in the next two years is to let Trump be Trump, all by himself, and let the voters see unmistakably what a defective product he is, just like all of his other products. Trump had his chance in his first two years, and he made his choices. He chose to further bankrupt the government with a deficit-financed tax cut for the rich. He chose to subvert science and public support for a stable climate at every turn. He chose to try and wreck health-care coverage. He chose to rule by division, stoking racial and ethnic divides in a nation that is built on bringing diverse peoples together. He chose to undermine, on a daily basis, truth, respect for truth, and even the very concept of truth, and to attack and undermine the institutions that try to generate and disseminate and hold people accountable to the truth. He chose to govern by building a cult of personality around himself; a government of, by and for Trump.
We’ve seen a lot. The man is a fundamental menace. To democracy, to science, to the planet, to equality, to justice, to truth, to the United States. Americans are not waiting to see whether Democrats can “work together” to prop up Trump’s malice so that he can win reelection. Trump made the 2018 election about him, and the voters gave their preliminary answer. All Democratic legislators need to do is stand back and let all Americans see Trump ever more vividly for who he is. And spend their time laying a foundation for sane governing after 2020.
Trump has made his bed. Let him lie in it and tweet.
See more cartoons and blog posts by Tom Toles:
When it’s Trump saying, “I’m from the US government and I’m here to help...”
Trump said the world was laughing at us. We didn’t realize he thinks that’s a good thing.
The stench of failure is something Trump was hoping to avoid
Rub a dub dub, Republicans in a sinking tub
Finally, the political moment for climate action has arrived