Indeed, what is Clinton’s most enduring legacy? Not the policies that Democrats now reject. It’s his corrupt brand of politics, a form of political combat that his wife tried to emulate but could never perfect.

Fast-forward less than two decades, and now a GOP president is inflicting even deeper wounds. I’m getting messages like this from GOP friends on the Hill. “Sure we don’t like him, but we need him for tax reform, for judges, and to repeal Obamacare. Folks are keeping their heads down and hoping to accomplish a few good things.” There’s no appreciation for his larger impact, for the larger damage.

The pundit version of this cop-out is simply “calling balls and strikes.” Praise him when he’s right, critique him when he’s wrong, and keep your eyes focused firmly on that strike zone. Don’t think too hard about the larger implications of his words and actions. In this world, Trump makes “unforced errors” or he “shoots himself in the foot,” as if he’s Bill Buckner in 1986 — trying his hardest but, gosh-darnit, sometimes he screws up.