The Artifice of the Deal

Remember that time, way back about two weeks ago, when President Trumpberated leaders of his own party, in front of a room full of cameras, for being afraid of the NRA, and he vowed to pass a bipartisan bill that would make it harder for kids to get assault rifles?

Yeah, well, in case you missed the latest — which wouldn’t have been hard, since the one-day story was instantly eclipsed by a Cabinet shakeup and a special election — that whole thing went away Monday with a mumbled “never mind” from the White House.

Apparently gun control is really hard, and you actually have to focus on it and change some minds and anger some of your friends, and why go through all that when you’ve already gotten the headline you were after. Kind of like the time in January when Trump did the same thing on immigration, summoning lawmakers from both parties to the White House and declaring his full support for a bipartisan compromise. That lasted until breakfast the next day.

And you can already see where this alleged breakthrough summit with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, is probably headed. The shocking announcement last Thursday played on TV like the dramatic opening of a thriller. It’s been a silent movie ever since.

We’ve been covering this presidency for more than a year now, and we’ve seen enough to know that it really isn’t the wild, unpredictable ride we keep saying it is, which is also what Trump would like you to believe. In fact, there’s a highly predictable pattern here, and it all adds up to a breathtaking hypocrisy.

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