One of the most regularly entertaining memes in the Trump era has been declaring, “Today Donald Trump became the President Of The United States.” The statement was originally uttered by Chris Wallace and, later, other pundits with straight-faced sincerity every time Trump has managed to do something traditionally “presidential”—like bombing Syria or reading a speech off a teleprompter. Now, you make the claim sardonically online whenever Trump turns around and fucks something up, either because he got angry or distracted or was left alone in front of reporters for too long. The cycle of “becoming president” and “immediately fucking it up” has become rote, a cycle of wishful thinking by our nation’s most eager normalizers in the punditry.
And, while it is not exactly new or groundbreaking to accuse the president of behaving like a toddler, it remains remarkable just how often he is discussed as one, particularly in rigorously sourced stories from mainstream media publications. The Washington Post’s Daniel Drezner has been documenting them in an ongoing Twitter thread that he’s now transposed to a longer article, and, read in full, they are a staggering portrait of the president’s temperament, or lack thereof. Let’s take a quick journey, shall we?
Here’s the tweet that started it all:
This proved too rich a vein to not mine. Sometimes the captions are due to writerly flourishes:
Others are direct behavioral reports:
There are numerous damning direct quotes:
Eventually, the whole thing turns into an almost daily ritual for Drezner. Rereading them is a trip back through recent history—remember the France trip? Ha-ha, “covfefe”?—all starring an angry, impetuous, TV-addled, poorly educated, egotistical megalomaniac with no superego, object permanence, morality, or shame. It’s almost like this guy shouldn’t be president!