Long-Suffering-Relegated-To-The-Dustbin-Of-Journalistic-History-Former-News-Anchor Dan Rather had some additional insults for President Trump on Monday, posting a vitriolic attack on Facebook:
First, the pearl-clutching:
At some points words fail, or they are starting to fail me. We have an Administration in freefall. Have we passed through the circle of chaos? Are we at the circle of havoc?
Then, the hearkening to the halcyon days of JFKesque flights of parallel structures:
Let no one ever be fooled. Let there be no doubt. The man who sends out a twitter tirade accusing a former President of crimes for which he provides no evidence, the man who doubles down when everyone with any sense pushes back, that man is our Commander in Chief.
The armchair psychology:
The sheer level of paranoia that is radiating out of the White House is untenable to the workings of a republic. I have a real question if President Trump actually believes what he is saying. Even Richard Nixon, the most paranoid president to date, ruled for years with a relatively calm hand. This Administration has been an off kilter whirlwind since the inauguration, and news reports suggest that seething anger from Mr. Trump is only getting worse. There is a growing consensus that the President may be "unhinged." It's a serious allegation, but even if it is not the case, Mr. Trump only has himself to blame.
To call a drama Shakespearean or operatic is usually an overreach. But I imagine artists of the future, and even the present, will find ample inspiration in our moment in history. Doesn't Steve Bannon strike you as an Iago whispering in the ear of an Othello-like Trump, consumed by jealousy and paranoia?
Speaking of Shakespeare, this is how Rather described Barack Obama as he left office, how he quoted Hamlet to limn the man who was constantly apologizing for America in the world stage: “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.”
Rather concluded with a paean to America and a putative call to arms:
As the questions mount around Russia, as the circles of defense begin to falter, the determination to create diversions will escalate. But if the President hoped he could create a distraction, I think he misjudged the will of the American people. We have woken. We are paying attention. And we love our country too much to let it falter without a fight.
So where was Rather when Obama abandoned America’s place on the international stage?
Here’s another quote from Shakespeare for Rather: “Few love to hear the sins they love to act.”