- - Sunday, July 2, 2017


Another day, another breach of civility and manners. Donald Trump lashes out at a television tag team for throwing spitballs at him. Yawn. The president’s press agent trades insults, or at least schoolyard yahs-yahs, with a reporter at the White House. Maxine Waters, having given up on impeachment, now wants to send the president into exile, where she does not say, but either Upper or Lower Slobbovia would do.

There’s plenty of other stuff to worry about. The Pentagon is ready to present several options to the president for dealing with the crazy fat kid in North Korea, including “the military option,” not otherwise defined, at least for the public. The president says his “strategic patience” with North Korea is exhausted. He doesn’t explain that, either. Perhaps best not to know.

But the gravest crisis facing the nation is what to do about President Trump’s latest tweets about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the tag team of morning television, who have diagnosed the president as nuts and prescribe something from psychiatrists to help him. Insanity is in the air. The president earlier described Miss Brzezinski as “low IQ crazy Mika.”

The New York Times, which prints only the news that fits, treats the feud between these great entertainers as serious stuff, reporting solemnly that “Mr. Trump’s invective threatened to further erode his support from Republican women and independents, both among voters and on Capitol Hill, where he needs negotiating leverage with the stalled Senate health-care bill.”

Fox News Channel reports that a new poll finds that 71 percent of Americans think it’s beneath the dignity and interests of the president, that his tweets hurt his seriousness and standing. The real news in this finding is that the other 29 percent of Americans have apparently decamped to another planet, perhaps Pluto, to avoid going on the record.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, where support for the Senate health-care bill is further eroding, sniping continues. The president continues to attract the usual tweets, twirps, twats and assorted snap-a-grams chiding, scolding, rebuking, reproving his misogyny, xenophobia and scalding rhetoric. His media ratings, if not his approval ratings, continue to soar, and his exchange with the MSNBC tag team has no doubt improved their ratings, too.

The president’s congressional allies are saying all the appropriate things about civility, decorum and manners; all the things they wish the Donald would embrace. They’re disappointed that five months of relief from headaches in twitterdom have come to an end, and, as The New York Times further observes, “the volatile subject of ‘gender’ [reintroduces] a political vulnerability: his history of demeaning women for their age, appearance and mental capacity.”

But as sorry as it is, this episode has the flavor of a summer rerun. This time the outrage on both right and left seems a little flat, like buyer’s remorse left from the night before. The president ought to knock it off for his own good. Everyone knows that, even he may know that. He just can’t help himself.

The left continues to entertain itself with assassination fantasies, shameful and dangerous as that is for everyone. Chris Matthews, another of the MSNBC irresponsibles, last week suggested that the president might emulate Mussolini and kill his son-in-law, to what wicked end is not clear. The Secret Service is no doubt taking all this in. America is a land of abundance, and part of that mixed blessing is an abundance of crazies, ever alert to the sound of a dog whistle.

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