Somewhere in the distance, a little boy just suffered the first rejection of his life (perhaps refused pudding by the kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Peterson) and handles it rather poorly. His whispered rant meant only for the other children on the playground was becoming a tad overheated. If he wasn’t careful, Mrs. P may hear. The rest nod their heads in silent agreement. They are terrified of speaking up and landing in the crosshairs.
This one is the classroom kingpin. He decides who gets the swing during recess and for how long, usually picking the one who brought him the chocolate pudding that day. He stomps dirt and threatens to blow the whistle on a kid he’d once caught digging for gold during naptime unless the top of the jungle gym frees up right now.
Amid this recent tantrum brews fear-induced sweat that threatens to escape the bully’s armpits and soak through his undershirt. He doesn’t care about the pudding, not really – this is about control and preserving the authority which Mrs. Peterson had stripped of him. He finds himself eclipsing a mountain of risk; he couldn’t let the others talk about what they’d seen. Couldn’t let them realize someone’s actually above him in the grand hierarchy of kindergarten class. No – he may lose them if they did that, and he needed them.
Somewhere else, Donald Trump’s underarms begin to dampen just the same.
Not a pretty picture, is it? Neither is Trump’s reaction to the biggest failure of his presidency. With a wave of his finger, the President dismissed CNN reporter Jim Acosta as “a rude, terrible person” and admonished Republicans who didn’t “embrace” him during a post-midterm press conference on Wednesday.
Shortly after, at Trump’s “request,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned. It was a long time coming; we’ve known Sessions’ days had been numbered since reports broke of his collusion with Russian intelligence regarding the 2016 general election, as were the days numbered of that child who had the misfortune of picking his nose in front of a bully.
Trump then again pursued Acosta. The White House released a statement just hours after the Sessions announcement that they’ll be suspending the CNN reporter’s media pass “until further notice” (let’s say two to six years, yes?) while others claim Press Secretary Sarah Sanders lied about the incident, “citing incidents that never happened.”
What’s going on here?
I started writing this thing at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday and dragged it out because I wanted to see what else might happen. Since then, we’ve seen Sessions resign and this Acosta thing unfold. That’s the thing about Trump. He’s predictable when he’s upset. I’m not sure if I should be proud of the fact that I was right to sit on this, because if a college student can tell exactly what’s going on in the president’s head, well . . .
Anyone can. Anyone.
The man is itching after a loss and he’s proving to be a very emotional decision-maker. Most of those kids I mentioned, the ones too afraid to speak out against the bully, grow to put their emotions to the side in crucial times. The one who white-knuckles control tends to stay that way for a long time.
Trump just exercised the smallest amount of power he could muster on Wednesday to prove a point. He’s the best. Remember that, White House staffers, and don’t forget to let him know every now and then. He may tattle.