And today he will probably go even lower
I think David Frum said it well:
August 10, 1969: SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—President Nixon accused his predecessor Lyndon Baines Johnson of complicity in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Speaking with reporters on the first day of a 10-day stay at his Pacific Ocean vacation home ….
Of course, that never happened. Obviously. How could it, how dare it? But hadit happened, such an accusation—by a president, against a former president—would have convulsed the United States and the world. Today, President Trump accused his predecessor, Bill Clinton—or possibly his 2016 campaign opponent, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—of complicity in the death of the accused sex-trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein.
Many seem to have responded with a startled shrug. What do you expect? It’s just Trump letting off steam on Twitter.
Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever-more-widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon, a conspiratorial racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people.
Grinning and flashing a thumbs-up over an orphaned baby? Yes, still president. Tweeting that a third-tier dictator has threatened him with more missile tests unless he halts military exercises with a U.S. ally——and that he has surrendered to that blackmail? Shamefully, still president. Accusing a former U.S. president of murder? It’s incredible, it’s appalling, it’s humiliating … but, yes, he is the president all the same.
Trump’s circle probably expects the world to sputter for a while and then be distracted by some new despicable statement or act. That is how it has gone for nearly three years, and that is how it is likely still to go. Trump is steering the U.S. and the world into a trade war and perhaps a financial crisis and recession along with it. He is wrecking the structure of U.S. alliances in Asia and his rhetoric is inciting shooting rampages against minorities. Compared to that, mere slurs and insults perhaps weigh lighter in the crushing dumpster-load of Trump’s output of unfitness for the office he holds.
But it shouldn’t be forgotten, either, in the onrush of events. The certainty that Trump will descend ever deeper into sub-basements of “new lows” after this new low should not numb us to its newness and lowness.
Neither the practical impediments to impeachment and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment process, nor the foibles and failings of the candidates running to replace him, efface the fact that this presidency shames and disgraces the office every minute of every hour of every day. And even when it ends, however it ends, the shame will stain it still.
The right is feverishly trying to connect Epstein's death to Bill and Hillary Clinton, no matter how totally absurd that is. The president of the United States is on board. One wonders if Bill Barr is too...