Donald Trump praises terrorists
Donald Trump has always been a terrible human being, but no one can say he wasn’t effective. He conquered the Republican Party and won the presidency by projecting power and strength. He also has an uncanny ability to tickle the conservative lizard brain, validating their most racist, sexist, xenophobic, and bigoted tendencies. However, those political instincts seem to have lately abandoned Trump. His low-energy, slurred-word, bizarrely meandering speeches (like this one and this one) are getting him in repeated trouble.
Trump has already angered his anti-abortion constituency by criticizing the draconian restrictions that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signed into law. But today, Trump finally united his Republican primary challengers in outrage. First, he criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because Netanyahu, in Trump’s words, “didn’t make me feel too good.” Second, Trump made sure everyone understood just how impressed he was by the terrorists attacking Israel. “You know, Hezbollah’s very smart, they’re all very smart. The press doesn’t like when they say [unintelligible],” he said. But just in case his admiration wasn’t clear enough, he restated his main point: “But Hezbollah, they’re very smart.” Good luck walking that one back.
The 2016 version of Trump would not have made this mistake, but that Trump wasn’t burdened with two-plus years of post-presidential grievances. Trump never got over Netanyahu congratulating Joe Biden on Biden’s victory in 2020. “Fuck him,” Trump said about Netanyahu at the time. For Trump, that anger now manifests as him praising terrorists.
Republicans still can’t govern
Trump isn’t the only challenge facing Republicans, who prove every single day their inability to govern. In the House of Representatives, the Republican majority still can’t get their act together to pick a speaker. While earning the official backing of a majority of the Republican caucus, Rep. Steve Scalise is still a long way from the 217 votes he needs from the entire House to become speaker. With enough “hard no” votes among nihilist Republicans to scuttle any leadership vote, Republicans remain paralyzed—and will continue to be until they cut a deal with Democrats. What could Democrats demand? At minimum: funding for Ukraine, Israel, and disaster relief; an omnibus bill to keep the government funded until after the 2024 elections; and an end to the baseless impeachment inquiry against Biden. Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy wants his old job back, and he thinks pretending to be an elder statesman will get him there. His problem? He sucks at it.
So where is Trump in all of this? Ghoulishly using Scalise’s cancer diagnosis to undermine him.
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