It seems an eternity ago, but it was only last Tuesday night when Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress and stuck to the teleprompter without going off the deep end—eliciting rapturous praise from the media.
“Donald Trump at his most presidential,” gushed NBC: “a recitation of hopes and dreams for the nation,” oozed NPR; “the most presidential speech Mr. Trump has ever given—delivered at precisely the moment he needed to project sobriety, seriousness of purpose and self-discipline,” raved The New York Times; “he did something tonight that you cannot take away from him. He became president of the United States,” rhapsodized CNN’s Van Jones.
The bar was so low that all Trump needed to do was not sound nuts, and he was “presidential.”
But that all ended Saturday morning when the old Trump—the “birther,” the hatemonger, the thin-skinned paranoid, the liar, the reckless ranter, the vindictive narcissist, the whacko conman—re-emerged in a series of unprecedented and unverified accusations about his predecessor.
In truth, the old Trump was there all along, and he will always be there. He’s unhinged and dangerous. The sooner congressional Republicans accept this and take action to remove him—whether through impeachment or the 25th Amendment—the better for all of us.
Robert Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-creator of the award-winning documentary Inequality for All.