This is the week President Trump became George Costanza.
When he told a group of governors, “I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon,” a hypothetical response to the Florida shooting, how could you not envision that episode of “Seinfeld” when George knocked over children, a lady using a walker, and even a clown in his mad dash for the door to save himself?
Is there anyone, anywhere who believes “in” is the direction this president would have run?
And what, exactly, would he have done if he had come face to face with the gunman? Chatted with him about Pebble Beach? Schmoozed him into submission? Made such self-centered and infinitesimally small “small talk” with the shooter — “Is that a Glock? Glock’s a funny word. Say it: Glock, Glock, Glock!” — that he’d eventually scream, “Enough! Enough! I give up!”
It’s also entirely possible the president doesn’t know what “in” means. This is a common problem among presidents when faced with special counsels and investigations. (See: Clinton, Bill — “It depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”) Or he may have missed that episode of “Sesame Street” — which came on the air long after his chronological childhood was over — in which they explained the difference between “in” and “out.” Maybe he just doesn’t k-n-o-w?
That would also explain why he keeps saying he’s “for” things (Dreamers, women, minorities) but then acts “against” them legislatively.
And why he calls facts “fake” and touts lies as truth.
And why he always enters places and things (buildings, airplanes) “before” Melania.
And why he thinks Robert Mueller has “nothing” on him.
Yet he wants to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Another case of not understanding “the opposite.” No, President Trump, you need Sesame Street, you should be “for” funding the CPB!
Yes, the president said he really believed he would have run “in” to that building. And the rest of us really believed that if our institutions seemed to be crumbling around us, if our nation’s fundamentals were being threatened and chipped away at, someone, anyone would swoop “in.”Debra A. Klein’s column appears regularly in the Globe. Follow her on Twitter @IWishIhadTyped.