Reactions to actions by Trump are always filtered through the prism of the ever-more-widely accepted view—within his administration, within Congress, within the United States and around the world—that the 45th president is a reckless buffoon, a conspiratorial racist moron, whose weird comments should be disregarded by sensible people…

But cosmic joke or no cosmic joke, Donald Trump is the president of the United States. You may not like it. I don’t like it. Mike Pompeo doesn’t like it. Mitch McConnell doesn’t like it. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t like it. But it’s still a fact, and each succeeding outrage makes it no less a fact. Grinning and flashing a thumbs-up over an orphaned baby? Yes, still president. Tweeting that a third-tier dictator has threatened him with more missile tests unless he halts military exercises with a U.S. ally——and that he has surrendered to that blackmail? Shamefully, still president. Accusing a former U.S. president of murder? It’s incredible, it’s appalling, it’s humiliating … but, yes, he is the president all the same…

The certainty that Trump will descend ever deeper into sub-basements of “new lows” after this new low should not numb us to its newness and lowness.