Where the hell did Donald Trump disappear to today? Oh right, he couldn’t figure out how to spin this one. He sure had plenty to say over the weekend, when he thought he could spin his own Puerto Rico debacle into an attack on the Puerto Rican people, or use his ongoing racist feud with the NFL to rile up his own base. But today, in the aftermath of the Las Vegas terrorist attack, when the nation desperately needed someone like him to step up and at least pretend to care, Trump promptly – and predictably – fell apart.
If the Las Vegas shooter had been an immigrant, or a Muslim, you can rest assured that Donald Trump would have found a way to loudly boast about how the tragedy somehow vindicated him and his racist rhetoric. But there was nothing for him to spin here. The shooter was a middle aged white guy. He had no affiliation with any overseas entity. He was just a monster who wanted to kill a bunch of people.
We have no way of knowing if the shooter was a Trump supporter. But we’re all now reminded that it was Trump who, during the election, married himself to the NRA. It was Trump who once encouraged gun nuts to assassinate his opponent Hillary Clinton. And it was Trump who has spent years trying to convince us, through every racist and xenophobic subtext possible, that white people are the only ones we can feel safe around. Today just didn’t fit with his brand of bullshit, so he skipped it.
And so on this day, when America found itself lost and grieving and confused and in desperate need of leadership, Donald Trump could have stepped up and proven himself to be more of a leader than most people think he is. Instead he posted one tepid tweet offering “warmest condolences” and then posted a generic moment silence video before meekly disappearing into a shadowy silent posture for the rest of the day.
On the rare day when the American mainstream might have been willing to accept an earnest attempt at leadership on the part of Donald Trump no matter how much they may despise him, he instead fell apart, as we all knew he would. If he doesn’t want the job, and he clearly doesn’t, he should all of us and himself a favor – and resign before the sun comes up.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report