There is what ought to be a prize-winning photo published along with a late afternoon Washington Post story, which is linked and excerpted below. It’s a disgusted-looking Pr*sident Trump sticking up his hand to hold off the media, which only appears as eight microphones. Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey report:
These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much farther President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.”
Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust. [...]
Still, Trump’s friends are increasingly concerned about his well-being, worried that the president’s obsession with cable commentary and perceived slights is taking a toll on the 71-year-old. “Pure madness,” lamented one exasperated ally.
Some of us have thought impure madness entered the White House 408 days ago right after Donald J. Trump took the oath of office. It shouldn’t have taken so long for others to recognize it. But now even the man’s supporters are coming to the same conclusion, a lot more no doubt thinking than saying it.
This is most disturbing when the Commander-in-Tweet pumps out his misspelled snarls at Kim Jong-un or proves his profound ignorance on this or that geopolitical matter which no president should be ignorant about. The thought of the proverbial 3 a.m. crisis call waking him from dreams of teenage beauty pageants or of winning a second term does nothing to soothe.
The temper tantrums, anxiety, and dark moods have always happened. But if the reports are accurate, and not just this latest one from the Post, it would be worrisome enough. The gloom and ferocious anger now seem to dominate. Add to the mix the man’s reckless impulsiveness and it becomes harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep even when it appears that his horribleness is helping point us to what could be huge gains in Congress and state legislatures come November.
It would take the edge off just a bit if the alleged adults advising him seemed to be having a positive impact. But as that one unnamed official said: “We haven’t bottomed out.”
“Trump’s fundamentally distorted personality — which at its core is chaotic, volatile and transgressive — when combined with the powers of the presidency had to end poorly,” said Peter Wehner, a veteran of the three previous Republican administrations and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “What we’re now seeing is the radiating effects of that, and it’s enveloped him, his White House, his family and his friends.”
If you’re eager to enjoy the rest of your weekend, best not to think too much about what that “end poorly” could mean.