The atrocity you witnessed Tuesday night—the president of the United States setting it up to appear as though he was summoning in two esteemed jurists for a Bachelor-style rose ceremony in prime time—isn’t just another shiny object meant to distract you from Steve Bannon, or from the Muslim high-schooler who has been detained for three days, or from the repeated instructions from Sean Spicer that anyone who doesn’t show perfect loyalty to the president should get out of government.
The grotesque power move of embarrassing two judges with a showy
prime-time bake-off (“I’m not here to make friends”) isn’t just a
distraction from President Trump’s contemptuous dismissal of the law,
the judicial branch, and the Constitution. It’s a capstone to a yearlong
campaign to show dominance over them.