Note from Bernie: Here are a few things we’ve witnessed over the past few weeks:
If you open your hair salon against the rules you can (and will) be sent to jail. But feel free to burn down a police station. You can get arrested if you jump in the ocean for a swim. But you can trash the CNN building in Atlanta while police watch and do nothing. And don’t try to go to church where it’s not allowed. But feel free to loot a Target store and set fire to small businesses – because you’re angry.
Just when you think President Trump can’t behave more despicably, can’t be more loathsome, he proves you wrong.
We’ve gotten used to this president’s toxic personality. He has drawn millions of his fellow Americans into his dark vortex, the quagmire that passes for his character.
And if they even notice, they’ve made peace with what he’s done to them. After all, they reason, warts and all, he’s better than what the liberals have to offer.
So when he defamed John McCain, a genuine war hero who was shot down, tortured, and spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison cell, his loyal followers let him get away with it.
And when he tried to publicly humiliate a female primary opponent, saying of her, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” – they barely noticed.
And there was the time he pretended to shake uncontrollably at a political rally in order to make fun of a reporter he didn’t like – a reporter with a physical disability. As for his fans: They laughed and cheered.
There is something wrong with Donald Trump, something terribly, terribly wrong – and it goes way beyond his obvious narcissistic behavior disorder. Just as a junkie craves drugs, this president craves conflict. He can’t let any shot at him go unanswered. I suspect he actually enjoys being nasty.
His most recent target has been Joe Scarborough, whose morning show on MSNBC is a non-stop assault on the president. The president understandably is not happy. Fair enough. But to imply that Scarborough might be a murderer is, in the words of an editorial in National Review, “grotesque even by [Trump’s] standards.”
In 2001, a 28-year old female aide to then Congressman Scarborough fainted in his Florida office, hit her head on a desk as she fell, and died. It turns out she had an undiagnosed heart problem that caused her to lose consciousness. There was never a hint of foul play.
But there was an unfounded conspiracy theory -- involving Scarborough and the woman and sex -- which when the president thought it would do him some good, he used it as a weapon against Scarborough.
The president took to Twitter – not to enlighten his millions of followers about anything that mattered – but simply to get even with Scarborough for the nasty things he says about the president on his TV show every day.
First, we got this from President Trump: “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so.”
But that wasn’t enough for the president. He then tweeted this: “A blow to her head? Body found under his desk? Left Congress suddenly? Big topic of discussion in Florida...and, he’s a Nut Job (with bad ratings). Keep digging, use forensic geniuses!”
As vile as this president is, what should we make of many of his most loyal supporters – especially those in conservative media and the white evangelical clergy – who wouldn’t say a bad word about their messiah-the-president even if he really did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan?
Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Franklin Graham may all think Donald Trump is a better choice than Joe Biden. Reasonable people may disagree on that, but it’s not a crazy political argument. But to look the other way, to downplay or ignore this and his many other needlessly cruel responses to his critics, makes them enablers to his tawdry conduct — a role sycophants gladly play.
Limbaugh says he wishes the president wouldn’t “punch down” to Scarborough’s level, but quickly adds, “Trump is Trump” – as if that explains anything and everything his golf buddy the president says or does.
He also reminds his listeners – correctly -- that Trump has been under constant attack during his presidency; that he’s been called all sorts of names; that he’s even been accused of treason. So, we’re led to believe, if the president accuses a critic of murder … it may not be wise, but big deal – they started it.
And when the husband of the woman who died writes about the pain Donald Trump is causing him so many years after his wife’s death, we don’t expect the president to care – he’s incapable of caring; there is no empathy in this man – but shouldn’t those religious leaders care? Shouldn’t they say something publicly?
And how would Trump fans react if it was Barack Obama who tweeted that Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly may have killed someone? Would they be as sanguine with that as they are with Trump’s barely concealed accusation that Joe Scarborough is a murderer? Everyone with a pulse knows the answer to that.
If Donald Trump loses in November, it will not be Joe Biden who beats him. It will be Donald Trump’s noxious character that finally caught up with him -- that finally did him in.