WC was in line in a big box store recently. The customer in line ahead of WC had a 4-5 year old child. There was an argument between mother and child over something from the rack alongside the checkout stand. Voices were raised, and then the kid launched in to a full blown temper tantrum, shrieking, lying on the floor, kicking and pounding, hands and fists flailing. Raising her voice to be heard over her child, the embarrassed Mom told us, “The doctor says to just ignore him and not give him any reinforcement.” Okay. So we did, as best you can ignore 115 decibel screaming.
The incident comes to mind because the Commander in Chief displayed the same level of emotional maturity Wednesday. He raged at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had had the temerity earlier in the day to state the obvious, declaring that “the president of the United States is engaged in a cover-up.”
Now WC’s reaction was a long the lines of, “Well, Duh.”
If you’ve read Special Counsel Mueller’s report – not Attorney General Barr’s version, rather the document itself – you know that Pelosi was simply stating the obvious. Everything President Trump has done since release of the report – asserting an indefensibly ludicrous claim of executive privilege, attempting to block access to his tax returns and financial records, refusing to allow current and former staffers to testify – simply reinforces Mueller’s conclusion.
But the President of the United States, the 72-year old adult, responded by throwing a temper tantrum. According to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, at a meeting on funding infrastructure repairs, the president walked into the Cabinet Room, did not shake anyone’s hand or even sit down. He said that he wanted to advance legislation on infrastructure, trade and other matters, but that Ms. Pelosi had said something “terrible” by accusing him of a cover-up. After a diatribe lasting maybe three minutes, the president stalked out before anyone else could speak. The President of the nited States announced he would not work with the Democrats until the “false accusations” stopped.
Maybe it was a pre-planned political stunt. At a Rose Garden event immediately after his tantrum, there were pre-printed signs – many of them factually inaccurate – complaining about the cost and extent of the Mueller investigation.
But what it looks like most is a temper tantrum. The emotional equivalent of that little kid screaming and pounding hands and fists in frustration because he didn’t get what he wanted.
At the risk of stating the obvious, what is barely tolerable in a toddler is utterly inexcusable in an adult, let alone the President of the United States.
Maybe we should ignore President Trump’s tantrum and not reinforce his behavior.
Except he’s an adult.
Maybe instead we should remove him from office and find someone with more emotional maturity than a five year old to serve as President.