President Do-Over

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Memo to President Do-Over: YOU SUCK.

Of all of Donald Trump's many flaws, and yes, there are too many to keep track of, one of the most annyoing has revealed itself clearly in the wake of both Charlottesville and Harvey: The Trumpian Do-Over.

Here's how it works. A bad thing happens. The kind of bad thing that happens every few years in America. And there is a standard, prescribed set of simple actions and talking points that every President since time immemorial, the good ones and the bad ones, the Democrats and Republicans, work their way through. And Trump manages to fuckbotch it.

For example, Trump came out of the gate and said left-wing counter-protesters were just as bad as Nazis. You don't do that. You let the centrist media work its way UP to saying counter protestors are just as bad as Nazis over a month, gradually adopting the far-right framing of Antifa (2017 version, mind you - the Occupy movement and BLM got the same treatment) as a Very Important Problem to deal with before we can move on to defeating neo-Nazis (or income inequality or institutional racism) by frowning at it.

So he got a do-over. A couple days later, after everyone had yelled about what he hadn't done right, they scripted him a thing where he did and said all the things people said he hadn't said or done right, just so people could stop saying he hadn't done them. And then Republican spokespeople can say "what more do you want from him" like everyone doesn't know the answer is "get it right the first time, be even remotely convincing while you do it, and don't, you know, let on that you're doing it begrudgingly and under duress."

Keep in mind that until Trump undid his do-over a day later in the worst press conference of any presidency, people were willing to grant him the Charlotesville Mulligan, partly because that's how they work and partly because they'd already started their thinkpieces on how bad Antifa are and didn't want them to go to waste. And we still all moved on anyway and Trump got to pretend like he hadn't said "on many sides" at his campaign rallies and then Texas drowned.

And again, Trump got a do-over. Last Tuesday, Trump went to Texas, made it all about him, talked about how Harvey was a surprisingly nice name, and, more germanely, met no victims, visited little to no damage, and showed no empathy. Which, you know, he's incapable of and everyone knows it, but he's also much worse at faking it than anyone thought possible.

So over the weekend, he went back. And took photos with victims. Black victims, no less. And put boxes in a truck! The cab of a truck, sure, but hey, nobody's perfect. And he called it "good exercise", which we all know isn't true because it's well documented that he believes the human body has a finite amount of energy in it and exercise depletes that energy, But hey, some people are much, much less perfect than others.

And again, for whatever reason, President Garbage gets a do-over on the basics, even though they're, you know, the basics, and after failing them so badly everyone's forced to notice, he gets a list of "second try" checkboxes to tick off. A fucking make-up exam for the President. And he gets a pass on it.

I mean, we could have a conversation about why he needs the do-over in the first place, but then someone might draw a connection between that and the fake Time covers and fake golf championships and the bankruptcies and reach the conclusion that the only thing Donald Trump CAN do is take advantage of a favorable environment in order to avoid complete and abject failure. And we're never going to have that discussion.