For going on 18 months now (I’m counting the 2016 election as the zero hour), Donald Trump has made life pretty much miserable for Americans with a sense of decency and/or shame. There have been sporadic victories (the Congressional health care snafu) and sporadic laughs (Stormy Daniels), but none of it has made up for the embarrassment of having a crass narcissist in the oval office, or the outright terror…of having a crass narcissist in the oval office. With the recent promotion of serial psychopath John Bolton, it even seems like we’ll probably fight an unnecessary war pretty soon.
All we’re asking, amid this maelstrom of actual hell, is for Trump to sit behind the long table at the White House Correspondents’ dinner and let some comedian roast him to pieces. If he squirms and acts pissed off during the roasting, so much the better. It’s only fair—if he’s intent on destroying our planet and killing our soldiers and doling out arbitrary punishment to immigrants and poor people, this is the very least he can do. George W. Bush even did it, and Stephen Colbert was pretty (righteously) mean to him. Then he came back and did it again the next year
Trump didn’t do it last year. He even held a rally as a counter-program in an act of petulance that would seem incredible from any other president, but actually felt fairly on-brand for him. And per Politico, it’s unclear if he’s going to attend in 2018 either:
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to a question as to whether Trump has yet made up his mind.
The correspondents’ organization hasn’t gotten any word yet either, according to Margaret Talev, a Bloomberg correspondent and the organization’s president.
“We don’t have anything to report yet on whether the president plans to attend,” she said.
Complicating matters is that CNN is taking home a bunch of awards, including the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast media. That award will be given to Jake Tapper, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, and Carl Bernstein for a report on how the Russians had kompromat on Trump, and how Obama knew it. That is not, to put it mildly, Trump’s favorite subject. Hilariously, honorable mention for the same award went to Lester Holt for the NBC interview where Trump admitted that Russia was foremost on his mind when he fired Comey. Trump still hates that interview because of “editing.” And those two are far from the only Trump-related prizes.
In short, it wouldn’t be a comfortable night for Trump, and that’s before whatever mockery he’ll endure at the hands of the night’s host, Daily Show correspondent Michelle Wolf. As we’ve seen, over and over and over, Trump is not a fan of women being anything but deferential to him. (Unless, apparently, they’re spanking him with a magazine.)
The odds that he’s going to subject himself to this treatment, on a night when all his enemies are getting awards, seems pretty small. That said, it’s a fraction of the suffering he’s putting the country through, and if he wasn’t a total coward, he’d attend. Do it for us, President Trump, even if you won’t do literally anything else.