Quick Takes: Trump’s Obsession With Obama

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* These remarks by Trump are drawing a lot of attention today.

* Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs, was so outraged that he called Dave Zirin to let off some steam.

I’ve been amazed and disappointed by so much of what this President had said, and his approach to running this country, which seems to be one of just a never ending divisiveness. But his comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families, is so beyond the pale, I almost don’t have the words…

This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner–and to lie about how previous Presidents responded to the deaths of soldiers–is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in the White House: unfit intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically to hold this office and the whole world knows it, especially those around him every day. The people who work with this President should be ashamed because they know it better than anyone just how unfit he is, and yet they choose to do nothing about it. This is their shame most of all.

* Josh Marshall simply asks, “why?”

It seems hard to believe that he didn’t come up with this because he had no good explanation for the fact that he’s gone more than a week without making any contact with the families or even making any public statement on what happened.

This is nothing new. Trump’s primary pattern when challenged has always been to lie, distract and blame. His favorite target for failures as a president has always been his predecessor.

* Speaking of Trump’s predecessor, Charles Blow’s latest is titled, “Trump, Chieftain of Spite.”

It must be cold and miserable standing in the shadow of someone greater and smarter, more loved and more admired. It must be infuriating to have risen on the wings of your derision of that person’s every decision, and even his very existence, and yet not be able to measure up — in either stratagem or efficacy — when you sit where that person once sat.

This is the existence of Donald Trump in the wake of President Barack Obama. Trump can’t hold a candle to Obama, so he’s taking a tiki torch to Obama’s legacy. Trump can’t get his bad ideas through Congress, but he can use the power of the presidency to sabotage or even sink Obama’s signature deeds.

In fact, if there is a defining feature of Trump as “president,” it is that he is in all ways the anti-Obama — not only on policy but also on matters of propriety and polish. While Obama was erudite, Trump is ignorant. Obama was civil, Trump is churlish. Obama was tactful, Trump is tacky.

There is a thing present in Obama and absent from Trump that no amount of money or power can alter: a sense of elegant intellectualism and taste.

* Here is how Julie Pace begins her analysis of Trump’s embrace of turmoil as a strategy:

Unable or unwilling to completely erase his predecessor’s signature initiatives, President Donald Trump this week turned to another approach: wreaking havoc.

Trump’s back-to-back body blows against President Barack Obama’s health care law and nuclear agreement with Iran demonstrated the president’s embrace of turmoil as strategy. In both cases, he plunged a pair of policies with broad domestic and international implications into a state of confusion and uncertainty, hoping that the disorder will force Congress to take action.

Trump has long thrived on unpredictability, an attribute he views as a virtue. But to the lawmakers, foreign partners, businesses and consumers now sorting through the implications of his announcements this week, the strategy looks far less appealing.

* Steve Benen describes Trump as a demolitions expert.

Donald Trump, apparently annoyed by a New York Times piece, was eager to point to some of his perceived accomplishments over the weekend. Among the presidential achievements he touted: scrapping the U.S. role in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trying to end the U.S. role in the Paris Climate Accords, and the recent “cancellations” of EPA environmental safeguards.

What Trump may not have realized is that none of these things are actual accomplishments – so much as they’re attempts to take an ax to his predecessor’s accomplishments.Having a former real-estate developer in the Oval Office might lead some to believe the president would be good at building things. But if there’s one thing that’s become painfully clear in 2017, it’s that Donald Trump’s political skillset, to the extent that it exists, is the mirror image of his professional background…

The president is a world-class demolitions expert, preoccupied with a retrospective vision of tearing down, not building up. Is it any wonder Trump perceives his anti-Obama moves as his most notable “accomplishments”?

* Speaking of Obama, there are those who demand that he speak up and rescue us all from the current state of political affairs. It seems as though the whole idea of Green Lanternism, when applied to our 44th president, will never die. But if you’re curious about what he’s actually up to these days, here ya go:

* Finally, a friend shared this will me today to help get through those moments when politics is toxic and exhausting.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.