Sunday, October 28, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lashed out at a Jewish political opponent who had been targeted by his supporter's pipe bomb attack.

Tom Steyer is a billionaire financier who has been bankrolling an impeachment campaign against Trump. He is Jewish and was one of fourteen Trump opponents who received pipe bombs in the mail from a Trump supporter.

Steyer appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" today to discuss the terrorist bomb campaign and yesterday's mass murder at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Within minutes, Trump--who says he doesn't watch CNN--had lashed out on Twitter. 

(In a sign that Steyer is genuinely getting under Trump's skin, Trump suggested that Steyer was "running out of money." Trump, who routinely lied about his net worth so that he could be put higher on lists of wealthy people, often suggests people he doesn't like are somehow poor. As for Steyer's supposed poverty, with a net worth of $1.6B, he could afford to fund his anti-Trump efforts at the current rate of $10M per year through the 2178 midterm elections.)

Trump seems to be responding to the Pittsburgh murders in much the same way that he did the Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally that ended with the murder of an anti-Nazi protestor: by blaming the victims, then quietly reading aloud prepared statements condemning the violence, and then immediately and enthusiastically contradicting them.

So what?

  • It shouldn't be this easy to bait the President of the United States into an emotional outburst.
  • Presidents do need at least some empathy and self-awareness to do their job.