I am the child of privilege—or so I am being told. I am white, I am male. Put them together and you would think I've been sitting on a trust fund—unearned, unappreciated and unjustified. There are people who think that being male has historically been an unalloyed privilege. The many dead of our national cemeteries suggest otherwise. Let me concede right at the top that it was always better to be white in America than black. Let me further stipulate that in the workplace, it has usually been better to be a man than a woman.
I have two words for Donald Trump: David Barrett. He was appointed an independent counsel to investigate payments made by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros to a former mistress. That was in 1995. Barrett finished up only 11 years later, by which time almost no one could remember what the investigation was about or, even, who Cisneros was. A special counsel, like the shark in "Jaws" or the Pinkerton agents in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," just keeps on coming. Trump seems not to realize that.
Donald Trump, clever guy that he is, has come up with a new reality show. It's called "President for a Day" and the way it works is that, every so often, maybe once a month, Trump acts presidential, gives a speech in which an aide is not standing by with meds, and many in the media and politics hug themselves and roll around on the floor, praising the president for his very presidentialness and cheering the emergence of the man who has been there all along but no one in the media or the creepy "deep state" seemed to notice. Thank God, that's over.
Sean Spicer is the appropriate face of the new Trump administration. He is the White House press secretary, the spokesman and all of that, and he came into the briefing room on Saturday wearing the blank expression of Laurence Harvey after turning over the queen of diamonds in "The Manchurian Candidate." You've heard of a Molotov cocktail. Spicer was wearing a Molotov face.
Donald Trump is a one-man basket of deplorables. He is a braggart and a liar. He is a bully and a demagogue. He is an ignoramus and a deadbeat, a chiseler and either a sincere racist or an insincere one, and his love for himself is matched only by my loathing of him. He is about to be president of the United States. A constitutional coup may be in the offing.
This column is for Bernard Gibson, a good man from the state of Indiana. Late last month, National Public Radio went out to Vigo County there to explain why it flipped from voting for Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016. Gibson was one of those interviewed and here is what he said: "These are real people here. These are not New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, you know. You know, these are real people that live every day from hand to hand, just have to work to make a living and everything else." Oh. There are some things you ought to know, Mr. Gibson.
Last week on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," a guest mentioned the new unmentionable: Weimar. The guest was Bob Garfield, a liberal media critic, and he was discussing Donald Trump. Hayes was mildly disapproving of the reference. "I tend to stay away from Weimar comparisons for a variety of reasons," he said. That would make sense if only Trump himself did not constantly bring it to mind.