Donald Trump should be extra thankful this Thanksgiving.
For 11 months, he and his break-stuff administration have treated our democracy like a failed experiment that needs to be abolished. And he’s moved with terrifying speed to accomplish that frightening task.
The FCC has revealed its plans to fully repeal Net neutrality rules, allowing the telcom industry more power to control consumer access to all content. Trump is also ending a humanitarian program that allowed more than 59,000 Haitians to live and work in this country since a devastating 2010 earthquake in their homeland. Now they must leave by July 2019 or face deportation back to the still-struggling nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.
And that’s just since Monday. This isn’t a presidency; it’s a barrage of Molotov cocktails. Still, this isn’t what Trump should be most thankful for.
For more than a month, entertainment moguls, actors, comedians, journalists, politicians, and what feels like a daily outing of offenders are crashing and burning over accusations of sexual misconduct. Projects are being dumped, book deals rescinded, and television shows suspended. Victims have shattered the deafening silence around the unchecked epidemic of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, especially against women.
Meanwhile, despite allegations from 16 women detailing a variety of sexual improprieties, Trump remains unscathed.
According to his accusers, this nation’s 45th president is a sexual predator. And Trump has to be thankful that he leads a party that treats these women’s allegations with indifference and hypocrisy.
These days, the GOP is trying to slither toward a moral high ground by condemning Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of pursuing and assaulting teen-age girls. Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who vacated the seat Moore is seeking, have made a show of saying that they believe Moore’s accusers. But they steadfastly refused to do the same for the women alleging Trump’s misconduct.
Nor do they have a problem standing shoulder to shoulder with a man who boasted about kissing and grabbing women by the genitals without their consent. “They just let you do it,” he bragged in 2005 on a hot “Access Hollywood” mic. Now Trump is getting away with it, since the GOP’s appetite for destruction takes precedence over common decency.
Trump should give special thanks for Sarah Huckabee Sanders. More than just a White House spokeswoman, she’s a contortionist, twisting and stretching the truth — at least when she isn’t straight-up lying. Asked last week the difference between her boss’s accusers and a woman who claims Senator Al Franken groped and forcibly kissed her in 2006, Sanders deadpanned, “I think in one case specifically Senator Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t. I think that’s a very clear distinction.”
Even more than the inert GOP or mendacious Sanders, Trump must be thankful for his unshakable base. They’re keeping his historically low poll numbers from plummeting into the teens or single digits. They don’t just stomach his antics and policies, they salute them even though some will harm their own lives and livelihoods. It seems he really could, as he said in a moment of startling truth during his presidential campaign, “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” and not lose any supporters. In Trumpland, it’s party over propriety, and Trump before anyone or anything else.
So this Thursday when the president, surrounded by family, offers grace to his God — which is probably a fake Time magazine cover proclaiming him “The Greatest President Ever, Believe Me!” — he has much to be grateful for.
As for the rest of us, we’re thankful for special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation, and hopeful that Trump’s first Thanksgiving as president will also be his last.Renée Graham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @reneeygraham