If Van Jones was right, that a moving tribute to the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL in a speech to Congress earlier this year was the moment Donald Trump became president, Trump’s news conference on Tuesday was the moment he became a Breitbart contributing editor.
Charlottesville has been a diminishing event for President Trump. He has been unable to summon the moral authority of his office, even though this wasn’t a difficult test.
It doesn’t take political skill or crisis-management ability to show largeness of heart. It doesn’t require knowledge to demonstrate basic moral discernment. It doesn’t take a Demosthenes or a Churchill to say the appropriate things about a couple of hundred racist goons. Future historians will marvel that one of the most damaging events in the early Trump administration came in a botched response to a neo-Nazi rally. Even Jake and Elwood Blues could have gotten this right.