I’ve been away from almost all news for about two weeks handling some family matters, so I have just a fuzzy awareness of headlines and opening paragraphs, here and there, about a very (un)stable genius supposedly watching a “gorilla channel” for 17 hours a day.
But the genius needs to work on his gorilla imitation, because with his orange hair he looks more like an orangutan, not a gorilla, and he bellows more like a baboon.
Oh — and he’s being chased by a Wolff. It’s all rather confusing.
Yes, I know the gorilla story was satire, but it almost rang true. It was semi-believable because it, along with the real set of concerns about President Trump that it satirizes, is par for the Trump course by now.
I missed nothing by paying little attention for two weeks and needed no journalistically iffy new book to explain our president’s multitudinous deficiencies. I already knew — all of us, if we are honest with ourselves, already knew — that Trump is and always has been unfit for office. Not just unfit in a 25th Amendment “mental capacity” way (although he may well be that, too), but emotionally and temperamentally unfit, experientially unfit, and morally unfit as well.
We already knew Trump was a dishonest businessman, shortchanging contractors as a matter of course and deliberately using bankruptcy laws multiple times to walk away from debts to literally tens of thousands of small-business contractors, vendors, and workers — people he never even tried to “make whole” after he recovered his financial footing enough to boast a (supposed) $10 billion fortune.
We know Trump oversaw a bogus “university” that bilked participants of thousands of dollars each. We know Trump failed at an airline business, a steak business, the casino business, at vodka sales and necktie sales and a mortgage brokerage and pro football team ownership. We know he used illegal workers at big construction projects and then lost numerous court rounds for years in a lawsuit quite credibly alleging that he shorted worker pay and benefits.
We know that Trump is a serial adulterer. We know from his own admission (or boasts) and the highly believable accounts of numerous others that he has ogled teenage girls and insulted, harassed, and even assaulted numerous women. We know that he has made bigoted comments about blacks, Jews, Hispanics, and Native Americans; that he had to be browbeaten for days before agreeing to denounce former Klan leader David Duke; that he has retweeted white supremacist garbage and given verbal cover to neo-Nazi marchers; and that he has repeatedly encouraged violence at his own rallies.
Trump traffics in bizarre conspiracy theories and incontinently spreads falsehoods with either knowing or reckless disregard for technical accuracy or underlying truth. He feigns a faith he clearly does not even begin to understand, belittles American prisoners of war, mocks the disabled, and repeatedly praises international thugs and dictators.
He is self-indulgent; he has bad judgment, little (or no) intellectual curiosity, no apparent self-control, and not a shred of discernible empathy for others. He chooses plenty of poor staffers and drives good staff away; he barely understands even the basics of key legislation; and he stabs allies in the back and torpedoes his own legislative agenda.
Trump has horrid temper tantrums, demands toadyism from his aides, rarely reads anything, is grossly ignorant of history and of the Constitution, insults American allies, and scares just about everybody with his casual comments about nuclear weapons — even asking, rhetorically, why we have them if we don’t intend to use them.
This man is dangerous.
Against all those major defects, some conservatives are busy crediting Trump for accomplishments in his first year in office. The praise is misguided. Almost everything Trump has done to make me and other longtime conservatives happy so far was the equivalent of plucking low-hanging fruit — fruit any Republican president with bicameral Republican legislative majorities and a “nuked” judicial filibuster should be able to handle with relative ease.
And even if Trump had secured some difficult achievements, he still would not be fit for office. Character does count, and emotional stability in the Oval Office is crucial.
It’s past time for top aides, together with Trump family members, to start devising a face-saving way to ease Trump from office. The warning signs are real and very serious — not mere Wolff cries about a president going ape.
Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a former associate editorial page editor for the Washington Examiner and is the author of Mad Jones, Heretic, a satirical literary novel published in the fall of 2017.
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