On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times started the first of an epic six-part series of editorials about Donald Trump. The first two of been published and are seething, pointed, detailed, blunt and scathing. And there is no dancing around, offering suggestive hints out of decorum.
The tiles alone express this. The first one is "The Dishonest President." The second editorial "Why Trump Lies." And this morning's third part is "Trump's Authoritarian Vision."
So much for avoiding the "Lie" word. The provide Trump no wiggle room about perhaps just misstating the facts, or not being correct , or that he was somewhat misleading. This is full bore, head on that he lies, lies and lies again.
That said, they are both editorials that have thus far been published are extremely respectful. But they are respectful of the office of president, and of the country. Not of the man who sits in the Oval Office and abuses it.
Just to give three brief examples, one from each, how direct and outraged these editorials are, here is just one paragraph from the opening piece --
"What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous."
And yesterday, in the second of the series, here are two back-to-back paragraphs. I was initially going to only quote one, but there are of necessity complementary --
"But he is not merely amusing. He is dangerous. His choice of falsehoods and his method of spewing them — often in tweets, as if he spent his days and nights glued to his bedside radio and was periodically set off by some drivel uttered by a talk show host who repeated something he’d read on some fringe blog — are a clue to Trump’s thought processes and perhaps his lack of agency. He gives every indication that he is as much the gullible tool of liars as he is the liar in chief.
"He has made himself the stooge, the mark, for every crazy blogger, political quack, racial theorist, foreign leader or nutcase peddling a story that he might repackage to his benefit as a tweet, an appointment, an executive order or a policy. He is a stranger to the concept of verification, the insistence on evidence and the standards of proof that apply in a courtroom or a medical lab — and that ought to prevail in the White House."
And this morning, the Times wrote a blunt editorial about Trump efforts to strip away public confidence in the core foundations of American democracy, which is the signs of an effort to create imperial leadership, where, as Trump himself said during the election, "I alone can fix it." They wrote, in part --
"What’s uniquely threatening about Trump’s approach, though, is how many fronts he’s opened in this struggle for power and the vehemence with which he seeks to undermine the institutions that don’t go along.
Though these three samples -- and the titles alone -- are almost enough, they are only the tip of the iceberg. There is a great deal more. Neither editorial is long, though the initial one on Sunday that sets the series up is a bit longer than most editorials.
You can read them here. The fourth in the series will be published tomorrow, on Wednesday..
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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