He Already Has

It is difficult for reasonable and civilized people to understand the persistent of corruption and disorder in a man like Trump. The rational man or woman – guided by intellect and tradition – assumes that someone of Trump’s ilk is only in the grip of an ephemeral disorder, a passing derangement. Surely, they think, Trump will return to reason, to a rational equanimity (even if he should remain disqualifyingly ignorant).

Trump will not return to reason; he’s an aged man who has been disordered – so far as one can tell – for most of his life.

He may be opposed, resisted, and fought, but he will not be reformed through conventional effort.

Catherine Rampell reminds of this – for some do need reminding – in her essay Worried Trump might weaponize the presidency? He already has, many times:

Our vindictive president, now unshackled by his frightened followers in Congress, may well be teed up to punish his perceived political enemies. And we needn’t exercise much imagination to envision how this loaded-gloved counterpuncher might weaponize his executive authority.

He did it in the Ukraine affair, of course, when he tried to use taxpayer funds to extort a foreign leader into smearing a political opponent. Most of his abuses, however, have happened closer to home.

Consider the selectively punitive antitrust actions undertaken by this administration, which is otherwise not exactly known for caring about market concentration.

In the case of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, for instance, some economists and career civil servants raised legitimate concerns about the merger’s possible effects on competition. But Trump tried to block it for political reasons, because he disliked Time-Warner-owned CNN.

We are years into a continent-wide conflict; it will not end when Trump and his inner circle see to reason, as they never will. This conflict will end when one side prevails and casts the other into a political outer darkness.

As always, the proper focus is Trump, His Inner Circle, Principal Surrogates, and Media Defenders including Trumpism Down to the Local Level.

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