In the old days (meaning pre-Trump), the op-ed pages of the New York Times and Washington Post were dominated by liberals but always included brilliant conservative columnists (for example, William Safire in the Times and George Will in the Post) as part of the mix. Safire has died, but been replaced by Times conservatives like Ross Douthat and David Brooks. But it’s awkward, if that’s the word I want, that none of the designated conservatives will defend Donald Trump. In fact, they pretty much detest him. Will, for example, referred to Trump as “our child president” in a 2018 post-Helsinki-summit column headlined “This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.”
The other leading righty (her column is titled “Right Turn”) among the Post’s regulars is Jennifer Rubin who, likewise, can’t stand Trump and now goes on MSNBC, for example, to denounce Trump and often Republicans in general.
The full impact of divided government, improved media coverage, the departure of any competent staff and President Trump’s fecklessness have transformed him into a floundering lame duck. His Oval Office address, immediately fact-checked, persuaded no one. Without a Republican-majority House or a visible Senate majority leader (we’ll need one of those bloodhounds to track down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), Trump flails against reality. The lies (terrorists are coming over the border!) are harder to sustain, a useful target is not readily available (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tied him up in knots), and he has done something so stupid and harmful to his own voters (who are among those not getting paid and not getting government services) that even the illusion of “winning” cannot be sustained.
Rubin’s second paragraph ends with three words. Well actually one word, three times:
“Weak, weak, weak.”
I won’t say I felt sorry for the guy, but it’s pertnear the closest I’ve come to it.