It’s now been more than eight hours since the deadly mass shooting in Jacksonville, and Donald Trump still has yet to publicly address the matter. Instead he’s spent that time using his Twitter account to complain that he doesn’t get enough credit for his supposed accomplishments, and to falsely brag that his approval rating is about fifteen points higher than it is. This alone is a microcosm for Trump’s overall state of affairs.
Donald Trump has never been particularly interested in doing the job of President of the United States, as evidenced by his nonstop golf vacations. But today helped confirm that he is no longer even in a position to pretend to care about the job. It would have taken him ten seconds to tell one of his staffers to post a generic “thoughts and prayers” tweet about Jacksonville. That wouldn’t have received the most positive response, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad as saying nothing about Jacksonville, while posting delusional egocentric rants instead.
That’s the giveaway. Trump is no longer in a headspace where he even cares about the sake of appearances, because it’s far too late for such things. He’s focused on trying to deal with the fact that three of his close longtime allies, Michael Cohen, David Pecker, and Allen Weisselberg, all cut deals against him this week. They collectively know just about all of his secrets, and are no doubt dishing to prosecutors as we speak. Trump has few allies left, and he doesn’t even know if he can trust them anymore, as the people around him try to figure out how to avoid going down with him.
Donald Trump is no longer even minimally functioning in the job. He’s jettisoned the easy opportunities to keep up appearances, and he’s instead reduced to giving himself hallucinatory pep talks in public. It’s bad enough for Trump that the average nonpartisan American sitting at home spent all last week hearing about all the guilty verdicts and guilty pleas from his closest associates. Now those same people can see that this guy isn’t even trying anymore. Even the most nonpartisan of Americans draw the line at a “President” who’s A) clearly a hardcore criminal, and B) no longer bothering to do the job.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report