Declaring President Donald Trump’s term in office “our shabbiest but not our first shabby presidency,” conservative and ex-Republican writer George Will tore into the commander-in-chief on Friday in a new column for The Washington Post.
He argued that despite it’s professed principles, the Republican Party under Trump has left the country with a swollen deficit, a malfunctioning and subservient Senate, and a populace forced to endure the president’s daily humiliations.
“And that senatorial dignity is too brittle to survive the disapproval of a president not famous for familiarity with actual policies,” he wrote. “Congressional Republicans have their ears to the ground — never mind Winston Churchill’s observation that it is difficult to look up to anyone in that position.”
He also noted that Trump’s own subservience to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has left him completely unable to manage relations with the rogue regime. With another summit announced for next month, but no notable successes gained from the first meeting, his diplomacy promises to continue on as an embarrassing failure.
Will also chastised the media — though mostly as a back-handed defense of the president. He argued that Trump’s critics in the press should consider that he may be worth as much pity as scorn:
Dislike of him should be tempered by this consideration: He is an almost inexpressibly sad specimen. It must be misery to awaken to another day of being Donald Trump. He seems to have as many friends as his pluperfect self-centeredness allows, and as he has earned in an entirely transactional life. His historical ignorance deprives him of the satisfaction of working in a house where much magnificent history has been made. His childlike ignorance — preserved by a lifetime of single-minded self-promotion — concerning governance and economics guarantees that whenever he must interact with experienced and accomplished people, he is as bewildered as a kindergartener at a seminar on string theory.
Will added, perceptively, that Trump’s dismal state of mind at least partially explains his lying.
“Which is why this fountain of self-refuting boasts (“I have a very good brain”) lies so much. He does so less to deceive anyone than to reassure himself,” he wrote. “And as balm for his base, which remains oblivious to his likely contempt for them as sheep who can be effortlessly gulled by preposterous fictions. The tungsten strength of his supporters’ loyalty is as impressive as his indifference to expanding their numbers.”
Will doesn’t mention the possibility of impeachment in his column. He predicts, instead, that Trump will either be voted out of office or termed out. If he’s right, it will confirm his underlying assessment: Trump has so deeply corrupted the GOP that there is nothing salvageable left.