Another dilemma hinges not on the omnipresence of crudity but on how one prefers to have it presented — delivered in a chartreuse monster truck, or by Tesla? One is the gutter sort — besmirching John McCain’s war record, or fibbing about releasing tax returns, or bragging about rank adultery; the other is dressed up with sonorous cadences about why you must be the first presidential candidate to reject campaign-financing-reform rules in the general election, when you vowed you would be the most transparent candidate in history (as you hid both your medical records and your university transcripts and became Wall Street’s most endowed cash recipient).
When Obama later was forced to admit that his autobiographical memoir was mostly fiction, or when Bill Clinton was revealed to have jetted around with convicted sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein, or when Obama invites as an honored White House guest a rapper whose latest album cover glorifies homies on the White House lawn gloating over the corpse of a white judge at their feet, I think we long ago eroded any notion of presidential decorum. The honest and quite legitimate argument against Trump on this count is the one we never hear: that instead of offering a corrective to the present crudity, he might continue to erode the dignity of the office in the manner of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Even Trump, however, could hardly do more damage with the Iranians than did Obama’s in-house wannabe novelist, Ben Rhodes, who, in the twilight of his one and only policy career, now brags how he misled the Congress and the public by easily salting the media field with phony nuggets of expertise and punditry. The point is that we are worried about Armageddon on the Trump horizon while we are living amid the Apocalypse.
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