There are twelve legislative days left in 2017 and the GOP’s tax reform proposal faces a tricky path in the Senate. If it doesn’t pass, Republicans will finish a year of controlling the presidency and Congress with zero major legislative achievements. Meanwhile, the proxy war that has simmered for years between Iran and Saudi Arabia is threatening to become a full-blown war. There are major crises in Yemen, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, and, closer to home, Puerto Rico. President Trump spent his Sunday tweeting about how black men are insufficiently grateful to him and to America.
First, Trump went after Lavar Ball, the domineering stage parent of LiAngelo Ball, one of three UCLA players arrested for shoplifting in China last week. Trump had waded into this conflict before, claiming too much credit for his role in getting those players released, chastising those players for not thanking him quickly enough, and then wishing them well in their future endeavors after they publicly thanked him.
LaVar Ball, however, was having none of it and responded by questioning Trump’s role in the entire affair. “Who?” he said when asked about Trump. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.” This prompted Trump to take to Twitter to go after “father LaVar”:
Not to be undone, he also called on the Oakland Raiders to suspend running back Marshawn Lynch for kneeling during the national anthem:
In both cases, Trump is singling out black men for not being properly grateful and for standing up for themselves. Trump has a long history of doing exactly this, inside and outside the White House. It is almost as if this more important to his political strategy than passing tax reform or putting out various fires around the world.