Paul Krugman and David Brooks are not fans of Donald Trump. Their responses to the recent book that offered an inside view of the operation of the White House differ however in an important way. Krugman was not at all surprised by the revelations in the Wolf book. It just confirmed much of the reporting on Trump that most of us have already read. Krugman turned his attention to Congress. Our system of checks and balances places a burden on Congress to protect us from presidents who prefer to ignore the Constitution so that they can do whatever they please. Leaders in the Republican Party care more about protecting Trump than they do about constraining his abuse of the Constitution. David Brooks joins the chorus of Trump's protectors by arguing that the Wolf book was a "low brow" attack on Trump that did not meet journalistic standards of reporting. Brooks takes the position that Trump's behavior in office is not as bad as many believe. He is less concerned about the damage that might be done by Trump because his behavior will continue to be restrained by adults in his administration and by Congress. Perhaps we should ignore his tweets and let him grow into the presidency. Brooks is on friendly terms with members of the Republican leadership who he trusts. Krugman has very different view of the Republican leadership. He believes that Trump is being enabled by the Republican leadership that is perfectly willing to let Trump be Trump because it serves their interest to have him in the White House to cheer-lead their agenda.
For the good of our country, and much of the world, we should hope that Brooks is a better judge of our current political mess than Krugman. I was not reassured by Trump's attendance at the college football championship game last night. Most president's wave to the fans from their box after the fans have been informed of their attendance. Trump took advantage of his position by walking out with members of the military for the playing of the national anthem. For Trump it was just another opportunity for him to play his role as the Commander in Chief in front of a national audience. Trump continues to operate in campaign mode during his presidency.