With the passage by the House and
Never mind that this legislation will add at least $1 trillion to the national debt — something that
Republicans long ago ceased to regard tax cuts as a normal policy position to be analyzed on the merits; they have become an article of faith like the virgin birth and Hillary Clinton's awfulness. Assuming that the differences between the House and Senate versions are successfully reconciled, therefore, Republicans will be able to claim that the Trump presidency is a roaring success. Or will they?
Let's look at what else has happened as the tax bill was passing the Senate, on Friday and early in the morning on Saturday. Just two days before, on Wednesday, Trump out of the blue retweeted three hateful, anti-Muslim videos — one of them an outright hoax — that had been posted by a far-right leader in Britain who has been convicted of religiously aggravated harassment for abusing a Muslim woman in a hijab. Virtually the entire political leadership of the United Kingdom, starting with Prime Minister Theresa May, denounced Trump for giving a boost to this racist extremist. It is likely that the president now will be unable to visit America's closest ally because of the damage he has done to the "special relationship" in order to appease his racist base.
As amendments were getting scrawled onto the Senate bill, Trump’s former national security advisor
The gravity of the situation is evident in his Twitter meltdown on Sunday against the FBI, claiming "its reputation is in Tatters—worst in History!" Trump is showing that he has scant regard for his constitutional responsibility to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." He is willing to damage the nation's premier law-enforcement agency — just as he is willing to damage the nation's premier alliance — in order to save his own miserable skin.
Even worse was to come on Monday morning when Trump took to Twitter to endorse Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican Senate candidate who has no credible defense to accusations that he engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct, extending to sexual assault, with underage girls. Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual assault, seems to think that supporting an alleged molester is a small price to pay for "massive Tax Cuts." He even has the temerity to praise Moore — who was dismissed twice from his judicial post for ignoring the constitutional separation of church and state — for being "tough on crime."
Given Trump’s continuing support for admitted criminal
To Trump defenders, none of this matters. They see what they regard as the good — the judicial appointments, the tax cut — and they close their eyes to everything else. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. This is not like a salad bar where you can enjoy the healthy kale, tomatoes and cucumbers while skipping the calorie-laden candied nuts, the sneezed-on broccoli and the salmonella-laced eggs. This is not an a la carte presidency. It's a fixed menu: all or nothing. If you want the tax cuts and the judges, you've also signed up for the racism, the misogyny, the amorality, the lawlessness, the deranged tweets, possibly even something close to treason. Trump supporters own it all.
Bon appetit! And don't complain if you wake up some day with a very bad case of indigestion.
Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing writer to Opinion, and author of the forthcoming "The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam."