A June 11, 2017 Wisconsin State Journal editorial:
Conservatives have long espoused the need for personal responsibility.
But Republican President Donald Trump prefers to play the victim.
“No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly,” Trump recently complained.
In reality, Trump has enjoyed tremendous advantages throughout his life, having been born into wealth, and having succeeded in business, entertainment and last fall’s presidential election.
But he’s having a hard time in the White House, mostly because he’s unprepared and undisciplined, lashing out at political friends and foes alike — and especially at the media, whose job it is to closely track and question the leader of the free world.
When something goes wrong, the combative Trump always blames others — and never himself.
The controversy over former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to Congress last week is just the latest example of the president’s self-inflicted wounds.
“We’re under siege,” Trump told a group of evangelicals Thursday as Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
If Trump’s presidency is threatened by Comey’s accusations that Trump pressured him to end an investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser, that’s Trump’s own fault.
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Trump is the one who cleared his Oval Office of other senior officials in February to meet alone with Comey. The former FBI director testified under oath Thursday that Trump asked for his loyalty and inappropriately pushed him to end an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn related to possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia’s meddling in last year’s election.
Trump is the one who subsequently fired Comey when the probe continued.
Trump is the one who said Comey’s investigation was on his mind when he fired Comey — only the second time in history a president has removed an FBI director. The firing was reminiscent of Richard Nixon ordering the dismissal of a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon’s resignation.
Trump is the one who tweeted as a threat to Comey that tapes of their Oval Office conversation might exist. The possibility of secret White House tapes prompted another Watergate comparison.
So it’s Trump who created this distracting controversy, through his pattern of trying to bully real or perceived adversaries into submission, even if they’re just law enforcement officials trying to do their jobs.
Trump has no one to blame but himself for this latest crisis of leadership.
Trump insisted Friday he didn’t pressure Comey. He also denied he asked Comey for his loyalty, but quickly added: “There would be nothing wrong if I did say it.”
It’s typical Trump doublespeak. And most Americans had an easy time deciphering whom to believe.
The president visits Wisconsin Tuesday to help raise money for Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election campaign. Instead of another Green Bay Packers jersey, the governor should give the president something he truly needs: a sign for his desk that reads, in the words of former President Harry Truman: “The buck stops here.”