Politics, Moderate



Trump's curtain call?

Kathleen Parker on

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump had his worst day since he was elected president -- we'll just call it Friday -- and his worst week since the last one.

Things can only get worser and worser, as the Bard would permit me to say.

Let's start with the vote-a-rama and the "skinny repeal," which puts me in mind of a state fair ride and placing an order at Starbucks.

I'd like a skinny repeal, please -- venti, with mocha.

As all know by now, Sen. John McCain didn't get the skinny on repeal and shocked the chamber by voting no with a thumbs-down. Not even with a Republican majority could Trump dump Obamacare in its slimmest version yet. McCain, who postponed treatment for aggressive brain cancer and flew to Washington to cast his vote, joined fellow Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, as well as all the Democratic members, to put the kibosh on any real hope of repeal this year, much less replace.

In most ways, McCain's seemingly last-minute maneuver should have surprised no one. Always the maverick, McCain, who has defied death before, is no one's wingman. If he thought this vote might be his last stand in the arena, he would make it worthwhile and memorable.

Back at the Ponderosa, Trump at least had a soul mate in whom to confide, Anthony Scaramucci, the White House's new communications director. "Mooch" or "Mini-me" to Washington insiders, Scaramucci is Trump's knee-capper. Good cop, meet seriously bad cop.

Scaramucci is the personification of Trump's deep brain. To the extent that the president ever withholds a thought, Scaramucci is there to express it for him. He's his human Twitter feed. Thus, we may assume that what Scaramucci says, Trump thinks. Thanks to The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, we're privy to enough premium quotes to entertain ourselves for months.

As you may have heard, Scaramucci called Lizza Wednesday in a rage over his "leaked" financial records and Lizza's reporting of an intimate Trump dinner to include Fox News' Sean Hannity and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who, sources say, told Trump that White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is a leaker. When Scaramucci demanded that Lizza divulge his source, Lizza, a polite, erudite fellow, declined and did what reporters sometimes do: He taped the conversation, capturing a hailstorm of profane tirades against leakers and, specifically, Priebus -- "a [expletive] paranoid schizophrenic." He also made foul reference to senior adviser Steve Bannon performing Ripley-esque acrobatics that can't be described further here.

Next, we visit El Salvador, where, strangely, we find Attorney General Jeff Sessions. We know Trump wants to get rid of Sessions, but sending him into the maw of the beastly MS-13 gang seems excessively aggressive even for this president. While Poor Sessions (see previous column) was practicing Spanish for "I have nothing against tattoos, but seriously?," Trump was making a play in Ohio for tighter immigration by focusing on the gang's murderous record.


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