You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Gail Collins: Well, Trump watchers, things could be worse


I know a lot of you were saying in December that this administration wouldn’t last a month. But I’ll bet you didn’t actually have “worry about collapse of the government” written down on your schedule for February.

Americans who went into a state of shock after the election are now floating in new, hitherto-uncharted realms of worry. We’ve learned that Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, talked with the Russians before the inauguration. And, sources told The New York Times, other Trump associates also talked with Russian intelligence officers during the campaign.

What about Trump himself? Any chance that he encouraged Flynn to chat with the Russian ambassador about policy before he was president? Wouldn’t that be, um, super-illegal?

In the interest of public tranquillity we will not dwell on the nuclear codes in his office.

From the start, the Trump administration was a dark combination of mean and inept. But it was, on occasion, at least sort of mesmerizing. For instance, on Wednesday the nominee for secretary of labor went down the drain. Because somebody thought it was a good plan to go for a Cabinet member with a history that includes employing an unauthorized immigrant housekeeper and an ex-wife who once went on “Oprah” to talk about spousal abuse.

Things are so dire, people are feeling sympathy for Kellyanne Conway. Did you see that poor woman trying to answer questions about Flynn on the “Today” show? She looked as though she’d been hit over the head with a skillet.

Back in the good old days last week, Conway was in trouble for violating the rule against federal officials giving endorsements. (“I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”) It was a pretty good crisis, actually. The kind of thing we could have complained about at dinner parties for a month without losing our appetites.

On Wednesday, in the middle of a news conference with the prime minister of Israel, Trump responded to a question about anti-Semitism in America by immediately pointing out he had won 306 Electoral College votes. (“We were not supposed to crack 220.”)

Being stuck with a loony, unqualified president seemed less threatening when we were under the assumption that he’d be surrounded by at least some people who knew what they were doing. Now, the more of them we meet, the less secure we feel.

Life could always be worse. You could be related to supreme leader Kim Jong Un. And you can’t pin North Koreans on the Trump administration yet. Except for the part where our president dealt with the crisis over their new ballistic missile while dining at Mar-a-Lago in front of throngs of resort guests and their Facebook friends.

It is true that Trump and Kim Jong Un both share an affinity for peculiar haircuts and public shows of adoration. And if the North Korean press were allowed to actually report stuff, the people there would undoubtedly also be holding their heads in their hands and moaning, “Oh God, what next????”

But let’s dwell on the positive. At least Trump doesn’t have any half brothers. And did you hear the German shepherd won the Westminster dog show? How about that “La La Land”?

No fair mentioning there are only three years and 44 weeks to go.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Commentary: Supporting refugees a Jewish, American and Texas tradition
Commentary: Supporting refugees a Jewish, American and Texas tradition

The United States was founded on the principles of religious freedom by refugees fleeing religious persecution. Closing our doors to refugees based on religion denies this historical legacy. Considering our current administration’s desire to limit the refugee resettlement program, faith communities across the United States — including members...
Commentary: How liberals created the double murder of Otto Warmbier
Commentary: How liberals created the double murder of Otto Warmbier

We may never know what brutal torture and malign neglect American student Otto Warmbier suffered at the hands of North Korea’s dictatorship before losing his life at the age of 22. But it wasn’t the first time the free-spirited Ohio native died. More than a year before succumbing to the unknown illness or injury that left him in a coma...
Medicaid’s rise symbolic of liberals’ welfare state run amok

The number of Americans enrolled in Medicaid has increased from 29 million in 1990 to 73 million today — an increase of 252 percent over a period when the nation’s population increased 30 percent. Total spending on Medicaid today is $574 billion, 275 percent above the $209 billion of 2000. Medicaid amounts to about 40 percent of the total...
Herman: Energy Secretary Rick Perry energetic in White House spotlight
Herman: Energy Secretary Rick Perry energetic in White House spotlight

Our current governor might be decidedly down on Austin, but, bless his heart, our most recent former governor on Tuesday put in a high-profile tourism pitch for his former longtime hometown. During a half-hour guest appearance at Tuesday’s White House briefing (back on camera this time!), Energy Secretary Rick Perry turned a somewhat-awkward...
Herman: Boys State kick-starts its own Texas secession movement
Herman: Boys State kick-starts its own Texas secession movement

Looks like some boys who fancy themselves as future leaders of the state of Texas actually think it would be even fancier to be future leaders of the nation of Texas. In a move that’s drawn attention around the U.S., the 1,100 rising high school seniors who proudly wear the Boys State T-shirt voted overwhelmingly at the Capitol on June 15 for...
More Stories