Here’s How President Trump Can Be the Hero of Harvey

On my last appearance on the late, lamented Got Your Attention podcast (did I mention I make a charming and erudite podcast guest?) I mentioned that the drama in the White House mattered because it reflected the Trump administration’s ability to handle a crisis.

If President Trump couldn’t keep his own organization free of personnel churn, leaks, and factional warfare; how could he handle something truly dangerous like a pandemic, sudden foreign war, or natural disaster.

Well, we’re getting the answer to that question, because Hurricane Harvey is unquestionably the biggest event of the Trump era so far.

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The Imagineers who built the Disney empire knew that one wrong detail or lapse could ruin the whole experience.

So from the biggest ride to the interactions between cast members and guests to the average trash can, all Disney parks are designed and managed with the maxim “everything speaks” in mind. The tiniest detail wasn’t spared, and if something was wrong, it diminished everything.

When I saw Twitter light up with outrage over Melania Trump’s choice of wearing stiletto heels as she and the president walked to Air Force One on their way to tour Hurricane Harvey flood damage, that’s the expression that came to mind.

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The Shape of Pardonpaloozas to Come

A “constitutional crisis” is generally defined as a problem for which a country’s founding documents don’t contain a solution, or they do, and the solution is ignored.

Five Thirty Eight breaks down this concept even more, delineating four types of American constitutional crises: when the Constitution doesn’t say what to do, when it does but in an unclear way, when it does but it’s not feasible or possible, and when it does and the institutions meant to enforce that solution are bypassed.

Pundits have been predicting a Donald Trump administration constitutional crisis since day one, from his flouting of the emoluments clause to his firing of former FBI director James Comey, to the potential firing of Robert Mueller.

But with Trump’s pardon of loathsome former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of contempt of court for refusing to stop violating the constitutional rights of Latinos, we likely got a glimpse of the constitutional crisis to come.

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Congress Must Do One Thing Right Now to Protect Us From President Trump

The Republican Party finds itself caught between Donald Trump, and his increasingly tenuous relationship with reality; and their own steadfast, cult-esque refusal to do even the slightest thing to oppose him.

But in the wake of Trump’s Not All Fascists moment after Charlottesville, Republicans know they are at risk of losing their sweet gigs in 2018, and others in 2020. They know Robert Muller is lurking, putting together an investigation that could eviscerate the Trump administration. And they know that Trump is closing the window they opened by winning the White House and both houses of Congress.

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President Trump’s Afghan Strategy Has Already Failed

At 6PM today (9PM for you New York liberal elites), President Trump will give his first televised speech to the country.

Speaking at Fort Myer in Virginia, Trump will outline a “path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia.”

For Afghanistan, he’s almost certain to announce a small uptick in troops being committed to the effort, likely about 4,000. He’s also thought to be announcing a crackdown on corruption in the Afghan government, and measures to bring Pakistani anti-terror operations up to snuff.

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