Yes, my friends, this is getting frighteningly Shakespearean. And we have a variety of dysfunctional, murderous, illegal and psychologically damaged examples to choose from. Is the Trump White House Macbeth? Hamlet (soon to be starring Jared Kushner as the prince)? Othello? Any of the histories? We know there’s no Falstaff because this really isn’t funny. The field is wide open.
As for reality, we have a mucking mess. President Trump (shudder) gave what many distracted and fooled pundits called a presidential speech last week where he created false realities and set himself up as the only person who could solve them.
- Mexicans swarming the border? False, but let’s build a wall.
- Public education failing? False, so let’s funnel money to private, religious and charter schools.
- Unvetted radical Muslims crashing our shores? False, so let’s forget that we vet asylum seekers for two years and claim that our porous borders are swarming with terrorists.
- Health care law failing? False, so let’s make sure that everybody has the freedom to have to pay for their care, whether they can afford it or not.
- Foreign policy failures from the Obama Administration? False, so let’s cut money to the State Department because, really, the only policy we need is what Trump tweets in the morning.
- Anti-Semitism? True, though wait 6 months before tepidly denouncing the longest hatred, but only after you dress down an Orthodox Jewish press reporter who’s actually on your side at your head-scratching press conference.
Trump might have delivered his speech without devolving into a red-faced, spitting mess, but is that really our expectation from the leader of the free world? He then followed up for a few days with policy-laden tweets and pronouncements that sounded rather…normal. But that’s what this presidency is all about, has been all about and will be all about: Vacuous pronouncements and personality-driven drivel. The words of the speech came out well; the words themselves were hateful, deceitful, and troubling.
And then came Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration Two-Step: Lie at your hearings and hope the real media doesn’t pick up on it or hope that the leakers have taken a public sector job sick day. Looks like that’s not going to happen so much. When the Attorney General shades the truth (benefit of the doubt) or baldly lies (probably the truth), then your administration is in trouble. And the Russia stories just keep on coming, like bottomless cups of coffee at the diner. Served with a smile, but hyper-inducing nonetheless.
But the week couldn’t end without the president reverting to form, accusing President Obama of tapping his phones. Which is ludicrous. And not based on reality. And even more troubling because if Trump is basing his information on some security briefing, then he’s compromising national security. There’s always a source for his anger, and in this case it’s likely a Breitbart story he read. And now he’s calling for a Congressional investigation as part of the Russia probe to show what a fair-minded person he really is. Trump is going to do these types of things for the rest of his term, and they are decidedly not normal. He just can’t help himself.
Or the country.