Peter Baker in the New York Times wonders where the outrage is.
After six months in office, Mr. Trump has crossed so many lines, discarded so many conventions, said and done so many things that other presidents would not have, that he has radically shifted the understanding of what is standard in the White House. He has moved the bar for outrage. He has a taste for provocation and relishes challenging Washington taboos. If the propriety police tut tut, he shows no sign of concern.
“His tweet is bizarre and unprecedented,” said James A. Thurber, the founder and former director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington. And yet, “he has made so many outlandish statements, Americans seem to be immune to this latest call for investigating Hillary.”
By now, it takes more to shock. After all, this is a president who refused to release his tax returns or divest from his private businesses, who put his son-in-law and daughter on the White House staff, who accused his predecessor of illegally tapping his phones without proof, who fired the F.B.I. director leading an investigation into the president’s associates and who has now undercut his “beleaguered” attorney general in public. When he talked politics, jabbed the news media and told stories about Manhattan cocktail parties before tens of thousands of children at the nonpartisan National Scout Jamboree here in West Virginia on Monday, it was hardly surprising.
This kind of behavior will continue as long as there are those who enable, excuse, and treat him as if he and his id-driven antics are normal or acceptable. It has nothing to do with decorum or manners or protocol; it’s dangerous and has the potential for body counts.
I understand why the Republicans on Capitol Hill are willing to go along; they’re happy to have someone else take the spotlight so they can get out of it whatever is in it for them. They don’t and won’t care what he does as long as it doesn’t threaten their chances for re-election. Of course when it does, they’ll blame it on him instead of their own toadyism.
But as long as he is treated as normal or, Dog forbid, “presidential” by the news media, including those who should know better or those who fear for their livelihood (“This is NPR”), it will continue. Expecting him to change is a lost cause, but at least they can make the effort to try to raise the hue and cry and get him away from the levers of power and a Twitter account.