Gnats. That’s what experts at crime scenes call gawkers who suddenly appear to leer at the event.
Timothy McVeigh, later to commit his own horrible crime in Oklahoma City, was a gnat at the scene of the Branch Davidian tragedy outside of Waco. So was budding conspiracy monger Alex Jones, joining many in tin-foil headgear there. They were gnats drawn to a flame, plying a tragedy for pernicious ends.
In effect, that’s what Donald and Melania Trump were in Pittsburgh the other day – gnats — at the scene of the Tree of Life mass killings.
Just about anyone truly connected to the events suggested that if they came it should be later.
But “later” didn’t fit into the president’s schedule. Discretion also didn’t fit into a campaign narrative he wove like a spider on meth.
Only a leader with a massive blind spot would tweet, amid the suffering, a gratuitous plug that Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Keith Rothfus’ “sincere level of compassion, grief and sorrow” was “very inspiring. Vote for Keith!”
Yes, we are supposed to give him credit for coming. In Trump’s world, general human traits like empathy, sympathy and general kindness are remarkable. Such sensitivity was a matter of fact in his predecessor’s world.
Barack Obama came into the White House with the thought that not only was he going to get things done but that he was going to make people feel part of a greater whole.
The real tears Obama shed after the Sandy Hook massacre, after the death of John McCain and that of Aretha Franklin, those were the signs of the actual human feelings we should expect of our leaders.
From Trump, it’s, “Dab those eyes with these paper towels.”
Trump continually tells his rallies that it’s not his nature to be presidential. We know.
Trump is more like a tourist, a bigwig who got access to the Oval Office, settled into that big chair without the consent of the majority of Americans, and didn’t leave.
He saw buttons he could push and levers he could pull. “Hey, what if I pushed this?”
“Ooh, look at this phone. I can get the Joint Chiefs in a second. Wait; I’ll send thousands of troops to the border. Watch.”
That’s the kind of deep thought Trump employed when he said he could order an end to birthright citizenship. No, Sir. You can’t.
All of you on the right who regularly pledge your love to the Constitution – yes, you, Ted Cruz – should call this man a hack.
Melania is a tourist, too, though a stylish one. She did so much for our great land when she flew to Africa. Correct that statement: Our great land spent so much.
Reportedly you and I are on the hook for $95,000 at the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel in Cairo. That’s a significant tab, particularly because Melania didn’t even spend the night.
Well, it was all worth a fine shot of the first lady in her stylish pant suit in front of the Pyramids.
The previous first lady stirred hearts and minds everywhere she went, and she continues to do it. She remains intent on making the most of every moment in her role in the spotlight.
The current occupants of the White House comport themselves as if they’re just passing through, as stylishly as possible.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough has a prediction: What we see are the harbingers of a president who will call it quits after a single term.
I don’t see it, although Mike Pence has a PAC that’s already humming.
Until Trump leaves or voters remove him, we are but gnats outside the yellow crime-scene tape marking his presidency.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.