As Ronald Reagan might say,
No sooner did Trump manage to offer a carefully measured response on Monday, in regard to the events in Charlottesville, than he botched it by returning to his original message on Saturday. Charles Krauthammer summed it up best in this war of words with Laura Igraham, calling Trump's Tuesday comments, "a moral disgrace." Of course, Laura begged to differ, defending her president's response to journalists, who she believe derailed his speech on environmental regulations.
Over the weekend, Trump lost three key members of his manufacturing council including Merck CEO Ken Frazier, who he singled out in an angry tweet. They all cited his lack of an appropriate response to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, as their reasons for leaving. Frazier had been the most vocal. Obviously, something had to be done to lessen the fallout, so White House advisers cobbled together a speech for their president to deliver on Monday. He presented it as well as could be expected.
On Tuesday, Trump sought to further defuse the situation by rolling out an executive order that revoked much of Obama's climate change regulations, which he felt was handicapping industry in this country. All Trump had to do was keep his mouth shut on Charlottesville, which he had to know would be the main topic of discussion. Trump being Trump couldn't let it go. Once again, we are back at square one and no one gives a shit about his latest "revocation order" signed at Trump Tower.
The optics couldn't be worse. Not only did he single out one of the few black CEOs of a major corporation in Ken Frazier, but once again took aim at former President Obama, seemingly for no reason at all as he has already revoked much of Obama's environmental legacy. Trump talks about Americans wanting to whitewash history by calling for the removal of Civil War monuments, but his entire reason for being appears to be to wipe out Obama's presidential accomplishments.
The Robert E. Lee statue was erected in Charlottesville in the 1920s, long after his death. Lee himself never wanted to be remembered for his Civil War legacy, but rather for his tireless work in reviving Washington College, now known as Washington and Lee University. But, the brainless idiots who chose to surround his statue Friday night with tiki torches wouldn't know that. They believe Lee stood for white supremacy. Little wonder that local residents and students took exception to this view the next day, when the neo-Nazis, klansmen and other white radicals staged a "Unite the Right" march down the main street of the city.
Of course, one has to ask why we even allow these people to stage such rallies. The KKK, neo-Nazis and other white radical groups should all be listed as terrorist organizations. Their only purpose is to express resentment and incite anger, using whatever means they have at their disposal. At the black heart of this rally is Jason Kessler, who made no bones about this being a pro-white rally, using the Lee statue as a crutch to lean on. Kessler, like so many others in the alt-right blogosphere, has been a fervent Trump supporter, although he had to wonder if his president still stood behind him after that speech on Monday.
No worries. Trump still has the alt-right's back, once again bemoaning the violence "on many sides." As Krauthammer said in his response to Laura Ingraham, no president since Woodrow Wilson has stood with the white supremacists in this country. We all know that Wilson was a racist but even he recognized when he had gone too far in the case of William Monroe Trotter, admonishing himself for not having shown more restraint when confronted by the civil rights leader who had previously thought Wilson represented their interests.
This was the way Ken Frazier felt on Saturday. He thought the rug had been pulled out from under him and chose to leave the Trump administration to its own devices. The Manufacturing Council, which Trump established, was a joke to begin with. Trump surrounded himself with America's top industrialists for no other reason than to promote himself as a dealmaker. He has made no effort to follow their advice. Elon Musk saw this when Trump chose to drop out of the Paris Climate Agreement. It's hard to believe many others will stay on after this incident.
August is normally a slow month, but Trump has somehow managed to fill the void with false bluster over North Korea, a poor response to the violence in Charlottesville and even a military threat leveled against Venezuela. Not even Nikki Haley saw that one coming. His staff has tried its best to defuse each of these situations but to no avail, as Trump doubles and triples down on his "fire and fury." You have to wonder if his cabinet is beginning to think enough is enough.
Trump is unable to restrain himself. He flies off the handle at the smallest slight, and literally goes nuclear when dealing with existential threats. What threat Trump sees in Venezuela is anyone's guess but Mike Pence traveled to Colombia to allay worries over a potential conflict. Our president is an emotionally unhinged man, much like the white supremacists we saw in Charlottesville over the weekend.
If he suffered from Tourette's syndrome we might be able to excuse him, but this is a man with no redeeming traits. What we saw on Saturday and again on Tuesday is the @realDonaldTrump. Monday was just a projected image composed by his staff. He is a deeply confused man whose paranoia will only get worse the longer he stays in office.