You’ve probably had your fill of the media coverage, punditry, tweets, and wisecracks surrounding President Trump’s controversial trip to Paris, officially undertaken to honor the Allied soldiers, especially the Americans, who perished in France during World War I. By now, we’re used to the president’s words and deeds prompting eye-rolling and jokes. But on this occasion, as on others, Trump’s behavior reflects deeper and dangerous political trends — ones he both exemplifies and fosters. This makes the Paris drama worth revisiting.
Getting Away From It All
Maybe it wasn’t quite a “blue wave” in the House of Representatives (though it certainly qualified as a “pink wave”). Still, the Democrats did remarkably well in this month’s congressional elections, better than in any midterms since 1974. They seem set to gain between 35 and 40 seats (a few contests remain undecided), including in places Trump carried decisively in 2016.
Of course, a House run by a Democratic majority isn’t good news for Donald Trump — and he knows it. The prospect of subpoenas demanding his tax returns and documents relating to his business deals (among other things) and the possibility of impeachment, even if not conviction in the Senate, are enough to worry a man who spends most of his time thinking about himself.
That’s why the president fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions the minute the election results became clear. He’d never forgiven Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation and was happy to replace him with a manifestly unqualified loyalist, Matt Whitaker, a “great guy” he knew well until he didn’t know him at all. Whitaker was a safe choice; his opposition to the Mueller probe was already well established. Trump’s decision to appoint him as acting attorney general may or may not be unconstitutional — leave…