Politics & Policy

The Corner

Don’t Medicalize or Criminalize Donald Trump

A few weeks ago the press and the Left were in a fever about the president allegedly having dementia, and now they are in a fever about his allegedly having committed obstruction of justice. I think these are both misconceived attempts to medicalize or criminalize Donald Trump. Does Trump have personality traits — lack of attention span, lack of interest in details, etc. — that hamper his presidency? Of course. It doesn’t mean that he is literally sick such that the 25th Amendment would or should be invoked. Does Trump, at bottom, have a view of what the Justice Department should be — namely, a fiefdom loyal to him personally — that is disturbing and should be resisted by his advisors? Yes. It doesn’t mean that he’s committed criminal obstruction of justice such that he’s going to be indicted and thrown in jail.

The root of the effort to medicalize or criminalize Trump is the same: A fantasy that he can somehow be leveraged out of office before the 2020 election. Trump’s temperament and view of DOJ are obviously legitimate matters for the opposition to take up against him and to use as fuel for all the normal means to oppose a president — obstruction in Congress, protest marches, attempts to defeat Republican candidates, etc., etc. But the Left is vested in abnormal means to oppose Trump, which explains the feverish attempts to rule him out of bounds on medical or criminal grounds.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More