President Trump’s choice of Neil Gorsuch was brilliant, and there have been many excellent nominations for the lower courts. There’s been a lot of useful deregulation. The economy is doing better. The tax bill would be a positive step. And maybe we’ll even get repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

If I had it to do over again, I’d vote for Trump over Hillary. Particularly given the way Clinton has revealed herself as a bitter, angry person, incapable of assuming responsibility for her shortcomings.

And let’s also stipulate that LaVar Ball is one of the more annoying people on the current cultural scene.

All that said,  President Trump’s tweets of this morning about Ball are indefensible. For those unfamiliar with the background, Ball’s son LiAngelo was arrested for shoplifting in China, along with two fellow members of the UCLA basketball team. While Trump was recently in China, he apparently interceded on the players’ behalf, and they were released. Ball has refused to thank or credit Trump for the release.

I’d call your particular attention to the first sentence of Trump’s tweet:

“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME.”

It is mind-boggling to me that Trump would toot his own horn in this fashion. The IT WAS ME is the literal and figurative capper. This is the action of a petulant child, not the sitting President of the United States of America.

Moreover, it is doubly tone-deaf, politically. First, Trump derides Ball as a “poor man’s version of Don King.” By pairing Ball with King, he insults King . . . who has been his avid supporter!

Next, while Trump might imagine that he’s hurting Ball with these tweets, he’s actually doing him the greatest favor imaginable. Ball is above all a promoter–of his sons, of his Big Baller brand of shoes. What possible better pub for Ball than to be put on the same level as the President . . . by the President himself? Ball’s street cred–and sales–presumably just took a big jump.

I come away shaking my head. Trump concludes his tweet: “just think.” Precisely. President, heal thyself.

If you have a defense of Trump’s tweets, I’d love to hear it.

Note: Barack Obama didn’t hesitate to boast of his own extraordinary powers. Trump here pats himself on the back for a mundane achievement: arranging the release of Americans imprisoned on relatively minor charges.  Obama’s boast was altogether more grandiose. On the day he wrapped up the Dem nomination in 2008, Obama famously proclaimed: “generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that . . . this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Maybe Da Vinci should have used Obama as the model for his Salvator Mundi painting.

No Defending Trump’s LaVar Tweets

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