Lies, distortions, rudeness, crudeness, and just plain meanness are all things that the country has come to expect from Donald Trump. But this weekend was special.
Over the weekend, Trump delivered 52 tweets. 52. In them, he managed to hit every note from petty, as when he declared that he had “let” Republicans vote to release the Mueller report because “It makes us all look good and doesn’t matter,” to ultra-vile, as when he repeatedly attacked John McCain, including blaming the deceased senator for starting the Russia investigation. And then followed up with a slap to McCain’s daughter.
There was the tweet in which Trump threatened to take away an American factory and give it to a foreign competitor. The one in which he made fun of France, lied about the cause of rioting in the country, and topped it by claiming that “the United States has gone to the top of all lists on the Environment.” Which could be true, if those lists are most-wanted lists. There was the tweet in which he threatened “consequences” against Saturday Night Live for making jokes about him. And the incredible follow-up in which Trump declared that the late night shows were in “collusion” with Democrats “and, of course, Russia!”
And there was the one that … No, sorry. This one is too nuts to explain.
The level of depravity, the sheer brutish, ugly, sleazy abandon of Trump’s weekend performance puts it beyond any pale. This was not even political theater. This was a man declaring that he could say anything, and no one—certainly no Republican—would object. And they didn’t.
But it’s not fair to say that through all this Trump had nothing to say about the shooting in New Zealand and the threat of white nationalism. Because he had a lot to say about it. It was that everything he said was in support of white supremacy.
Trump went on multiple rants about Fox News, specifically defending Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro for their racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic statements. If that wasn’t clear enough, he retweeted a white supremacist, delivered a whole swatch of tweets about how blocking immigration at the southern border was a national emergency, and tossed on a gory tweet about a girl stabbed “100 times” by a member of MS-13. If none of that was good enough, he retweeted a false story about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar being “removed from Congress.”
If Trump wanted to drive home the point that he’s not concerned about white nationalism because he’s all for it—say, where did W leave that “Mission Accomplished” banner?
There’s not a lot of point in asking why Trump spent the weekend being a s#itweasel. It’s because he’s a s#itweasel. Maybe it was kicked off by the little-noticed court filing on Thursday in which the New York attorney general fined Trump another $5.6 million for crimes related to the misuse of his “charity.” That might have put him in a “mood” — even if it’s another excellent example of how stealing small amounts of money puts people behind bars for ages, while stealing large amounts brings fines.
But it also seems likely that Trump might have an idea that something is on the way. Something he doesn’t like. Out of those 52 tweets, a full third went after the Russia investigation in one way or another, including claims that there “never should have been a Mueller report.”
Maybe, hopefully, Trump went on this tear in part because he expects a wad of paper to land on his desk full of really bad news. But it shouldn’t take that to remove him from office. Because this weekend Trump proved, again, he’s not fit to be touring the White House, much less sitting there.