Conservative Washington Post opinion writer Jennifer Rubin annihilated President Donald Trump in her end-of-year commentary for the paper.
The president is reaching his mid-way point in his term and already his lies have forced the paper to create a new category to classify them. Rubin called it a kind of "parallel universe" to which the nation's leader clings. In Trumpworld, he's accountable for nothing, yet simultaneously manages to achieve everything.
"Trump is getting worse and more dishonest with time," Rubin wrote. She then cited fact-checker Glenn Kessler who wrote Sunday that in 2018 alone the president has made 5,000 false or misleading claims. That equals more than 7,600 for his presidency as a whole.
"Trump’s lies are not inconsequential," Rubin explained. "They are a necessary foundation for his political survival (in an investigation that has indicted more than 30 people, he still screams 'Witch hunt!') and for an agenda that is based on ignorance and deception."
Because lying is such an important component to him, it means his White House staff and cabinet appointees must live with him in the imaginary universe just to survive. Any of those Republicans who refuse to accept his chosen reality find themselves the target of a Trump tweet, if not an attack during a rally speech.
Rubin noted the recent announcement of a pullout from Syria that prompted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to turn against Trump during a Sunday CNN interview. He swore that he was going to speak to the president over lunch and convince him that a quick withdrawal was dangerous and would harm the U.S. allies.
Graham played it tough when speaking to host Dana Bash, but after his lunch with the president, Graham returned to his comfortable position as official White House lapdog.
"In other words, Graham has to try pleading with Trump to accept reality; otherwise, Trump’s dangerous policy based on his uniformed or intentionally false assertions will harm our national security. That’s the view of a Trump defender," Rubin wrote.
The most blatant example has been Trump's enthusiastic declaration that he'll achieve his "big, beautiful wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border to solve an "immigration crisis."
The problem is that there isn't an immigration crisis. Republican Linda Chavez said as much during a CNN interview where she cited raw numbers of those coming into the United States from 2000 to 2018. Meanwhile, chief of staff John Kelly admitted the "wall" was never really going to be a wall in his Los Angeles Times exit interview.
"So we are having a shutdown over a non-solution the president doesn’t even want to a problem that doesn’t actually exist. That’s the tower of lies one has to accept to defend Trump’s actions," Rubin wrote.
She explained that it's becoming dangerous, not merely because the lies are counterproductive and "stupid decisions," but because it's forcing so many others to submit to the live in a world that doesn't exist.