From the Left



Hobbling along with a bully president

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Where is first lady Melania Trump's anti-cyberbullying campaign when Jeff Sessions needs it?

That question came to mind as her husband used Twitter last week to beat his attorney general like a Zulu drum.

And I also wondered, if President Donald J. Trump focused as much on his party's health care policy as he has on Twitter, would his party's failed Senate health care overhaul have passed?

Since Democrats also want fixes to help Obamacare, officially the Affordable Care Act, work better, a knowledgeable and engaged president might have urged both parties to huddle together and come up with a workable compromise. Instead, Trump threw up his hands and advised "let it fail," as if Democrats might be bullied into compliance by holding health care for millions of people hostage.

That's not the way things usually work in the nation's capital, but in Trump's Washington, he seems to think that anything goes. The result has been a failure by the Republican-controlled Congress to send any major legislation to the White House for the president's signature.

Instead we have seen the president achieve new lows in recent days as a king of chaos and bully-in-chief.

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--He castigated his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, with waves of Twitter tweets calling him "VERY weak" and "beleaguered" for recusing himself from investigations into Russian meddling in last year's presidential election.

He attacked Sessions for not firing the acting FBI director (even though Trump has the power to do that himself) and not pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton (even though Sessions announced during his confirmation hearings that he would recuse himself from Clinton investigations).

How ironic that the man whose brand was built largely around the phrase "You're fired" would rather drive Sessions into firing himself -- which Sessions was not all interested in doing.

--He ad-libbed a speech to the National Scout Jamboree that sounded like recycled applause lines from his campaign speeches -- mockery of others, glorification of himself, political spin and just-a-little raunchy yarns about high finance and high living in New York. Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh later apologized to all who were offended.


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