I have a small confession to make. Even though I post hardly once a week on the average, and even though I’ve barely touched on a number of troubling aspects of the Trump presidency—for example, the vast conflicts of interest, and the apparent ties with Russia–I’m already a bit bored of writing about Donald Trump. It gets so repetitive. Trump lies. He lies casually, habitually, and shamelessly. He has a severely disordered personality, with an emotional maturity and attention span of a petulant child. He shows a worrying authoritarian penchant, indifferent to if not disdainful of basic democratic principles, like an independent judiciary and a free press. He will continue to promote and exploit fear and hatred of racial and ethnic “others,” inflicting a great deal of suffering on innocent people. And he serves as the willing front man for his party’s radical reactionary agenda, which seeks to overturn not just Obamacare, but much of 20th century progressive public policy.
But you know all this. Is it really productive for me to point to every new example, arising almost daily, of the follies and outrages of the current regime in Washington? Especially since there are so many other good sources of news and analysis—in print, on line, and in the cable news programs—that are doing a creditable job. I don’t watch and can’t comment on the coverage by the three broadcast network news programs, but CNN hasn’t shrunk from calling out the nonsense that comes from the White House; MSNBC, needless to say, has been even more forthright. The New York Times, too, has largely overcome the conventional restraints of journalistic pseudo-objectivity and now routinely labels White House falsehoods as false. Even better, on today’s Times op-ed page, David Leonhardt makes a point I’ve already made: we shouldn’t shrink from calling a falsehood a lie just because we can never be absolutely sure of its author’s intent. “[Trump] tells so many untruths that it’s time to leave behind the textual parsing over which are unwitting and which are deliberate.” And how could I improve on Kevin Drum’s excellent, pithy characterization of yesterday’s FBI and NSA testimony?
So, from here on out, I’m going to try not to write too much about Trump. I say “try” because it’s not going to be easy: the man and his minions and their policies are so offensive and dangerous that it’s hard not to cry out. But I would like to focus on how we resist and defeat Trump rather than dwell ad nauseam on his awfulness. No promises, though–we’ll see how this works.