From the Left



Let's talk about what really matters in 2020: Hillary Clinton's emails

Dana Milbank on

Why does Trump live in the past? Maybe because of the woeful record he has compiled since he descended the escalator in Trump Tower four years ago.

It's a record of cruelty. Late Monday, Trump rolled out a campaign-season plan to deport "millions" of migrant parents and children, which he is implementing after firing officials who objected on grounds that it would be ineffective and appear heartless after the debacle of last year's family-separation policy. Despite the cruelty, the border situation has substantially worsened under Trump.

It's a record of incompetence. Trump's defense-secretary pick Patrick Shanahan withdrew from consideration Tuesday over domestic-violence matters, becoming the latest of many botched nominations for an administration that has had record turnover and an unprecedented number of officials in "acting" roles.

It's a record of fraudulence. Trump is closing in on 11,000 false or misleading statements as president, The Washington Post's Fact Checker calculates. Trump sows distrust of the courts, the FBI, the Justice Department, the intelligence community and the media, while spreading paranoia about a "Deep State" conspiracy.

It's a record of criminality. Five of his advisers have been convicted or pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe (a sixth awaits trial), which concluded that it could not clear Trump of obstruction of justice.

It's a record of isolation. Trump set off a trade war and upset decades-old alliances while siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence, making common cause with autocrats and falling "in love" with North Korea's murderous dictator (falsely absolving that country as a nuclear threat). Trump has divulged intelligence secrets to adversaries and overridden the security clearance process for friends and family.

It's a record of racism. From Charlottesville, to the clumsy travel ban, to his remark about s -- hole countries, to a census revision aimed at suppressing nonwhite participation, Trump has used racial and gender resentment and fear of immigrants to mobilize his supporters.


And it's a record of buffoonery. The prince of "whales" and others may tolerate with politeness Trump's self-promotion and bumbling -- the moon is part of Mars! -- but the world literally laughed at Trump at the United Nations.

His defenders point to judicial appointments, as if these were worth losing the nation's soul. And until now they have pointed to economic growth, propped up by deficit spending and tax cuts. But now business conditions have deteriorated, growth has slowed, and a recession could be coming.

So by all means, let's talk about what really matters for 2020: Hillary's emails.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.

(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group




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