No President in modern memory has made more noise. Yet no President in modern memory has given fewer speeches to lesser effect.
Lines must be drawn; Donald Trump must be resisted. But he will not likely be defeated until there is room again, in politics, for idealists “without illusions,” as Kennedy once described himself.
With Republicans on the Hill growing restive, and with the Russia investigation now in the experienced hands of a former F.B.I. director, Trump may be about to find out how loyal his people are willing to be.
It’s true that the speech, purely as a political performance, was conventional, and therefore almost bearable. On closer inspection, though, it was not that normal at all
Every President finds his commitment to the system of checks and balances tested at some point. If that commitment is weak to begin with, as is clearly the case with Trump, any assertion of supreme authority can be justified.
Mr. Trump’s compulsive dishonesty makes it foolish to put faith in anything he says, and that includes the most important words he uttered today: that he will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
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