Confession: Many moons ago, I actually thought there was a little bit to like about Donald Trump.
During the primaries, he proved that GOP voters could care less about the party’s usual pro-business bromides. He smeared free-trade agreements as bad for workers, lamented that Wall Street traders were “getting away with murder” on their taxes, and won doing it.
Then, during the general election, he ridiculed both parties’ support for military misadventures like the Iraq War (though he lied freely about his own statements on it). And he asked oddly reasonable questions about whether preserving NATO was worth going to war with nuclear-armed Russia over, say, Estonia.
Granted, there was always more not to like — his flirtations with white nationalists, his casual sexism, his nonstop lying. But I did sometimes wonder: Is there any silver lining to all this?
The early days of the Trump administration suggest emphatically: No.
Let’s break it down, report-card style.