- - Tuesday, July 31, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Who knew so many of the sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome were advanced alcoholics? But some of them have obviously come down with delirium tremens, or D.T.

Although he insists it’s “not a political stunt,” the attorney for seven complainants has written to the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board urging it to strip the Trump International Hotel of its liquor license.

It’s not clear what the seven complainers have been drinking, We hope it’s not white lightning, which can cause blindness or even death, but whatever it is, it’s strong enough to give them D.T.s, a psychotic condition that besets chronic alcoholics (and losers of an election) with anxiety, disorientation, tremors and even hallucinations. Those are exactly the symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which has afflicted so many Democrats and even a few silk-stocking Republicans.

The petitioners cite a regulation that liquor-license holders be of “good character and generally fit for the responsibility of licensure.” They insist that President Trump, the owner of Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, doesn’t qualify for a license.

Their 27-page petition is signed by three clergymen, two rabbis, two retired judges, one federal and the other from the D.C. court system, missing only the partridge in a pear tree. The retired federal judge was an appointee of President Clinton, whose character flaws did not deter the judge from accepting the appointment.



One of the 40 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in the District of Columbia supports the petition. “It is our considered view that Donald Trump, the true and actual owner of the Trump International Hotel,” they say, “is not a person of good character, doesn’t meet the D.C. Code requirements, and therefore the license should be revoked.” Chairman Bennett Hilley and Vice Chairwoman Charlotte Nugent of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C argue that the president should neither a sommelier nor a bartender be.

This certainly seems to qualify as a “political stunt,” because, to begin with, the Trump International Hotel is not even in the petitioners’ Advisory Neighborhood Commission district. Max Bluestein, a spokesman for the alcohol-control board says an ANC cannot officially protest a licensee if he isn’t located within 600 feet of the district, so 4C’s vote is irrelevant. If they don’t live in ANC 2C, the petitioners have no legal standing to protest this license.

The chairman of District 2C told The Washington Post that there are no plans to join the complaint. John Tinpe, the chairman, says he and his colleagues don’t do politics, which might make them unique in Washington. “It would be overreaching to comment on the character of someone,” he says, unless “there is criminal activity.”

The petitioners rehash many of Mr. Trump’s legal battles and moral and ethical lapses which were well-known before he was elected.

The Trump International Hotel bar is about as respectable a drinking hole as a tippler could find in the nation’s capital — both respectable and expensive — and it has not been cited for serving strong drink to minors or to anyone who has already had enough to drink. Either of those offenses is a legitimate ground for revoking a liquor license.

Revoking the hotel’s license might satisfy those with Trump Derangement Syndrome, but it wouldn’t be good politics for the bartenders, sommeliers and others employed there. It would cost the D.C. government revenue, which it could otherwise spend on other things. The D.C. Council is expert on finding things to spend money on.

The hotel’s liquor license, issued in December 2015, is up for renewal next year. This zealous pursuit of Demon Rum, though moderately entertaining, strikes us as of a piece with the “Emolument Clause” lawsuit filed against Mr. Trump by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District, which seeks to punish him for profiting from the hotel. Lawyers need clients, we suppose, just as sore losers need outlets for their abundant spleen.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is an awful affliction, to be sure, making those suffering with it miserable and given to fits of despair. But they can take comfort from the promise that this, too, shall pass. They should drink to that (with lemonade).

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