(Also published at The Democratic Daily)
When it comes to “acting Presidential,” definitions and expectations are left open to interpretation. Me? I prefer my President to not be an embarrassment. I’d like to think a President would be someone possessed of maturity and an air of gravitas. He should understand his every word, thought, and deed will be scrutinized and parsed to the nth degree for meaning and intent.
When it comes to a President offering to destroy the career of an elected state legislator, it really doesn’t matter if he was “joking.” Everyone present may have laughed- in the same way North Korean officials no doubt laugh when Kim Jong-un cracks a joke- but what’s funny about it? Even if America’s First Monarch © was trying to provide a moment of levity, the manner in which he did it was reprehensible.
WASHINGTON — There’s a Texas state senator with a new target on his back, courtesy of President Donald Trump and the Rockwall County sheriff.
At a meeting Tuesday with sheriffs from around the country, Sheriff Harold Eavenson complained about a state senator who wanted to make it harder for law enforcement to get control of assets forfeited by drug traffickers.
“Do you want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump offered.
The sheriff shrugged and declined to offer a name during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, where Trump met with about a dozen sheriffs. Reached later by cellphone, Eavenson again declined to identify the lawmaker. He said he didn’t take the president’s offer to destroy the senator literally.
“He was just being emphatic that he did not agree with that senator’s position,” Eavenson said, adding of the senator in question, “I’m not into assassinating his character.”
Not surprisingly, Democrats on Capitol Hill reacted by circulating a resolution asking the President to “refrain from threatening elected officials.
That such a step would even be considered, much less deemed necessary, is as astonishing as it is appalling. Il Douche © only confirmed the widely held conviction that he’s an uncouth, immature bully who fails to grasp the import and impact of the Presidency.
— Lauren McGaughy (@lmcgaughy) February 7, 2017
There’s no conceivable circumstance under which offering to destroy an elected official’s career is appropriate, even in jest. That just such an offer was made by the President of the United States is unprecedented. It’s also exceedingly immature, the sort of thing one might expect from a playground bully. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what this President is revealing himself to be.
A functioning democracy depends on civility and decorum in order to function. When the most powerful man in the free world offers, with no hint of irony, to destroy the career of an elected state legislator, a line has been crossed. If there was any doubt that Donald Trump is a bully and a threat to American democracy…well, here’s your sign (apologies to Bill Engvall).
Oh, but he was just kidding, right?
Nice work, America.