President Donald Trump has an itchy Twitter finger. That’s really no surprise. The man has never had a filter, and Twitter is very good at amplifying mouths that are already loud. Not a week goes by without Trump posting something outrageous. His endless stream of rhetorical nonsense, insults, and Orwellian pronouncements would have been enough to sink any other presidency, but not this president. The sheer volume of his transgressions decreases their negative impact on his presidency, due to outrage fatigue, but a very real bill is coming due. Donald Trump is squirming, and that hasn’t been more clear than in a tweet from yesterday morning:
Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
Donald Trump, the President of the United States, just confessed, on the behalf of his son, that his campaign colluded with a foreign adversary to gather dirt on an election opponent. There’s no other way to honestly interpret this tweet. So far, hundreds of thousands, millions, of words have spewed forth on television and the internet over that tweet, and it deserves such coverage. Whether or not Trump is right about the legality of the meeting his son had with the Russians is something best left to the Mueller team. The President, the leader of the free world, has admitted that his campaign sought help from a country actively carrying out acts of war against the United States.
It’s hard to write those words. President Trump has profaned so much about the United States — has destroyed any sense of exceptionalism that I once had about this country. It is unthinkable to me that a presidential campaign would so readily betray the country to an enemy for political gain. But that’s a naiveté that is no longer tenable.
The Rubicon has been crossed. The United States is no more exceptional than any other random country throughout history. We have a leader, and a party, that is only interested in staying in power. The people of this country are no longer the constituency of the president and his party. Any campaign that had been interested in the fate of the American people would never have betrayed them by turning to our enemies for aid.
Donald Trump, his administration, and his party, are a danger to the rule of law. Every time some new piece of evidence has been uncovered about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, every time more of the story is told, the reaction has been to move the goalposts a little further back. It began with outright denials, and has progressed to the above tweet — a confession — with the caveat that, somehow, cooperating with the Russians to undermine an election is okay.
It is not okay. Donald Trump should not be president. Between his daily violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution (now in its 20th month), his ill-advised trade wars, and his very public obstruction of justice, any responsible Congress would have removed him from office a long time ago. He is not fit, in temperament, intelligence, or integrity, to serve as President of the United States. And now he has admitted that his campaign betrayed the country in pursuit of victory. But, of course it did. We may be continually shocked by Donald Trump, but only because we compare him in our minds, consciously or not, to the great men who held his office before him. He is not one of them. He is a scoundrel and a criminal. He has always been, from his days as a racist slumlord who was outed by the press more than forty years ago. Of course this corrupt man had a corrupt campaign. He knows of no other way to live.