Trump’s treatment of Sessions is unprecedented in the annals of American government. Cabinet officials have been hung out to dry before. They have been forced to resign or been fired. Never before has a Cabinet secretary been publicly belittled in an ongoing campaign of humiliation by the president who appointed him.

The drama hangs a lantern on Trump’s flaws. Trump lacks gratitude, dismissing Sessions’ endorsement of him in the primaries as merely the then-senator’s reaction to the size of Trump’s crowds.

He obviously doesn’t feel any respect for someone who, as an honorable person with a long career in public service, deserves it. He doesn’t care about propriety, which would dictate dressing down Sessions in private, not flaying him in public. And, finally, he doesn’t feel any obligation to Sessions, despite the fact that Sessions gave up a safe Senate seat to serve in his administration.