Trump is afraid

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted about the “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” that shield him and make him safe. Young Secret Service agents were girding for a fight, he wrote.

Presidents don’t normally feel compelled to boast about their protection. Trump wrote in a tweet that Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t let the city’s police force assist during protests Friday. (That’s not the case; Secret Service said that city police officers were indeed on the scene.) In a tweet of her own, Bowser called Trump “a scared man. Afraid/alone.”

Trump has made known his disdain for protests that target him or his record. He tends to view them through a simple lens: as provocations that must be put down with unyielding force. Less important to Trump, it seems, are the grievances that give rise to the demonstrations in the first place. He’s described himself as a “law and order” president who admires practitioners of a certain rough justice. Yesterday, he tweeted praise for two generals from history: George Patton and Douglas MacArthur (he misspelled MacArthur). Both played a role in the government’s heavy-handed quashing of a protest in 1932 by war veterans who, in the midst of the Great Depression, wanted early payment of a bonus they were due.