White House aides ridiculed as 'zombies' for mindlessly applauding while Trump caved to Pelosi in Rose Garden speech
White House photo of Donald Trump and staff in the Oval Office. From left, Kellyanne Conway, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Dan Scavino, Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Mercedes Schlapp

In a biting column for the Daily Beast, journalist Michael Tomasky marveled at White House staffers who stood and clapped like trained seals on Friday as President Donald Trump caved to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) without getting a penny for his border wall.

According to the columnist, they acted like "zombies."

"What a joke. What a fraud. As Bugs Bunny used to say, what a maroon. Art of the deal? Deal?!" Tomasky wrote of Trump's rolling over for the Democrats as the 35 -day-long shutdown took its toll on federal workers, the economy and GOP lawmakers who were under increasing pressure from constituents.

"Trump looked so terrible at that Rose Garden… well, it wasn’t a press conference. It wasn’t exactly a speech, either. Event<" he continued. "Of course he had his goons around, so that when he said right off the bat that there was a deal to end the shutdown, we heard applause. Applause! Can you imagine?"

Hammering home the point he added, "He just got taken to the house and forced to humiliate himself on national television, and these zombies applaud? He singlehandedly shut down the government. Cost hundreds of thousands of people their paychecks through his bluster and buffoonery. Sent air-traffic controllers who already work hellish 50- and 60-hour weeks out to find part-time work. And they applaud?"

"This wasn’t fun," Tomasky conceded, noting the human toll. "It was funny, watching Trump trying to persuade America that this wasn’t a colossal failure for which he alone was responsible. But it wasn’t fun. Not for the people affected. This shutdown will go down as one of the most shockingly incompetent episodes in the entire history of the American presidency. Of this there is no doubt."

The columnist then summed up Trump perfectly.

"Warren Harding, who liked drinking and playing poker more than being president, once confided to a friend that 'I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.'" he wrote. "Trump is like Harding, except Harding had one quality Trump lacks utterly: self-awareness."

You can read the whole piece here.