ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Screenshots via The New York Times)/When President Donald Trump tweeted a photograph of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, rising to walk out of a meeting with him this week in the Cabinet Room, he meant it as an insult. But the photograph quickly went viral for an entirely different reason. Top image is from Trump's Twitter feed, bottom image is from that of Drew Hammill, Pelosi's spokesman.

Nancy's fingerpointing

Thank you so much, Mr. President, for releasing the soon-to-be iconic White House photo seen around the world: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi standing up in the Cabinet Room, pointing her finger at your visibly angry face as she questions why, with you, do "all roads lead to Putin?"

Trump, already angered by two-thirds of House Republicans joining Democrats in a 354-60 vote to condemn his order pulling troops from Syria, called the speaker's moment of truth-to-power an "unhinged meltdown." Other observers saw it as a grave though considered rebuke.

Within hours of the president's tweet of the photo, Pelosi had made it the banner of her social media profiles.

Soon it will be on T-shirts, girls' walls, protest signs — and yes, eventually in history books.

In fact, it may well be the single photo that tells the story of the Trump presidency.

 

There's a new chant in town

Forget "Lock her up." Forget "Build the wall." There's a new chant in Trumpworld: "Get over it."

Those words clearly encompass all past, current and probably future Trump administration responses to the ongoing impeachment inquiry and any other act or utterance of the worst president America has ever seen.

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney crystallized the nose-thumbing attitude during a news conference Thursday — shortly after his announcement that Trump's private Doral golf resort in Florida will be the venue for next summer's G7 meeting turned into an unwitting confessional about the quid pro quo of Ukrainian aid for political favors.

"Did [Trump] also mention to me in the past the corruption related to the DNC server?" he said. "Absolutely, no question about that. But that's it, and that's why we held up the money."

The "DNC" reference refers to the Democratic National Committee's email server hacked by Russia before the 2016 election. Trump has bought into and pushed a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was involved in election interference in 2016. Delivering proof of that was the first favor Trump sought in this fateful phone call with the new Ukrainian president in July — a call at the heart of a whistleblower's complaint that now has spurred the Trump impeachment inquiry. The second favor Trump asked for in that call was that Ukraine find dirt on Joe Biden and his son.

Mulvaney went on:

"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy."

No, not really. Not like this. Withholding foreign aid is a common way to extract "a favor" or cooperation from a country that is threatening one of our allies or being inhumane to its own people or disrupting world order. In an ethical and appropriate exchange, the condition of aid likely would be to stop inappropriate Ukrainian actions, not start inappropriate ones to impact our own elections.

Withholding foreign aid to get political dirt on an American election opponent — past and future — is neither common, nor ethical, nor legal.

Would, in a perfect world, that the Ukraine call was Trump's only "get over it" news. But there's so much more:

* Standing in front of a camera and asking the same sort of favors from other countries — "Russia, if you're listening, ..." "Ask China ..."? Get over it.

* Standing in front of a camera and announcing that the president's struggling Trump National Doral is the perfect site for a multimillion-dollar G7 event — ignoring the Constitution's emoluments clause and its clear preclusion of presidential profit from foreign or domestic financial gain? Get over it.

* The Pentagon spending many thousands of dollars in the last two years to pay for the Air Force to send dozens of flight crews making stopovers at an airport in Scotland to stay at the Trump Turnberry resort nearby? Get over it.

* Ignoring the advice of military and foreign affairs experts and unilaterally withdrawing troops from Syria to green-light a Turkish invasion and slaughter of the Kurds — our best ISIS fighting allies? Get over it.

We don't have enough ink to list all the examples. Get over it.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT