Source: The Guardian
The administration is mired in incompetence and calamity. So why aren’t his enemies presenting a hopeful alternative?
Even by Donald Trump’s standards, Tuesday was extraordinary. First came the tweet that he had fired his secretary of state Rex Tillerson. Then a state department spokesman issued a statement claiming Tillerson was “unaware of the reason” for his dismissal, and had heard about it on Twitter. A few hours later the spokesman had been fired too. Meanwhile the lawyer of porn actor Stephanie Clifford (stage name: Stormy Daniels), who allegedly had an affair with Trump, warned the country to “buckle up” as Clifford sought to extract herself from her non-disclosure agreement so she could “publish any materials, such as text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession”. Back in Washington, the Trump team announced it would be hiring John McEntee, Trump’s former personal assistant, as a senior adviser for campaign operations. The day before, McEntee had been escorted from the White House because he is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes.
While all this was going on, voters in south-west Pennsylvania’s 18th district went to the polls in a byelection, in a district Republicans have held for the past 15 years. It was so safe that Democrats didn’t even bother contesting the last two elections. Trump trounced Hillary Clinton there by about 20 points. It should have been a shoo-in for the Republicans. By the end of the night Democrats were celebrating a wafer-thin victory, though this may yet be challenged.
Witnessing Trump’s presidency unravel so spectacularly provokes a perverse joy. The venality is so baroque, the vulgarity so ostentatious, the inconsistencies so stark, the incompetence so epic and the lies so brazen, it leaves you speechless. His vanity is without guile and the scandals that embroil him without end. Almost everything he says and does has been publicly contradicted, by himself, usually on Twitter. On Tuesday he said of Tillerson’s departure: “Rex and I have been talking about this a long time … We were not really thinking the same”.