The bar for Trump’s presidency is so low even Donald Trump, who is afraid of stairs, could step over it without fear of toppling over. But Trump has cleared that bar exactly once in the first three weeks of his presidency, when he successfully did not fuck up announcing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Anton Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat. Trump treated the process like he was Chris Harrison and Gorsuch was the Bachelorette, sure, and he also shook his hand in a way that can only be described as “reptilian,” but Trump otherwise nominated a conventional(-ish) conservative judge in a conventional fashion. The networks all awarded him 8s and 9s and acted as if Trump had finally figured out how to be president.
But he hadn’t, of course—he just successfully read off a teleprompter for a couple of minutes. Still, the rollout of Gorsuch’s nomination went a long way in calming the extremely jumpy nerves of congressional Republicans. But it has all started to come apart, because Trump is incapable of doing anything in a way that doesn’t maximally embarrass himself or the country.
On Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal revealed that Gorsuch had described Trump’s attacks on the judiciary as “disheartening”—Gorscuh’s comments were later confirmed by Republican Senator Ben Sasse and Gorsuch’s team. Trump famously hates any and all criticism of himself, even though he is perhaps the most easily criticized person on the face of the planet. (In the grand scheme of things he probably falls somewhere between Charles Manson and Tonya Harding.) So, on Thursday morning, he brazenly lied and claimed that Gorsuch’s comments were somehow taken out of context, even though they were not:
Trump is misrepresenting Blumental’s misrepresentation here, but that’s not really the point. The point is that Trump had done exactly one thing sort of right in three weeks and, with just a handful of tweets, he screwed that up, too.