By Ruth Marcus
Even for those of us who braced for catastrophe, the first year of Donald Trump's presidency was worse than expected -- more divisive, mean-spirited, erratic, unhinged, incompetent and egomaniacal than could have been imagined. Any glimmer of hope for a better Trump after the election, any speck of it once he took his oath of office, all that is now extinguished.
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Sure, there are glimpses of the seemingly reasonable guy beloved by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the one who on Tuesday says he'll "take all the heat" on immigration, who wants to sign a "bill of love." Do not be fooled. He is a chimera. By Thursday he will have vanished, leaving you feeling slimed and gaslighted. Graham was right the first time: Trump is a "kook" who is "unfit for office."
Even after all that came before, this presidency does not lose its power to horrify. Nothing -- not even the Trump campaign and Trump transition -- truly prepared us for a president who behaves as Trump has. The biggest lie ever told by a candidate to the American people came from Trump, repeatedly, during the campaign: "At the right time, I will be so presidential, you will be so bored." Now we know: He is characterologically incapable of fulfilling this vow.
But it is important, as we steel ourselves for Year Two, to identify what is so extremely, so uniquely wrong with Trump's presidency.