Ruth Marcus at the Post points out that National security adviser H.R. McMaster wrote a book titled “Dereliction of Duty.”

Now, in the White House in which McMaster serves, the dereliction of duty starts at the top. And, as the past several days have shown, President Trump’s failure is dereliction on a grand, unprecedented scale: We find ourselves at war without a commander in chief; in national mourning without a consoler in chief; and in political gridlock without a negotiator in chief.

The first is the most appalling and most terrifying. “Incontrovertible,” McMaster said, and so it is for anyone who bothers to read the indictment of 13 Russians for running a massive operation not only to disrupt the election but to do so to Trump’s benefit. But of course Trump never has and apparently never will be able to accept this. Is it his fragile ego that cannot tolerate the implicit challenge to his legitimacy? Is it something more sinister?

Russia will, if it can, turn us into a subordinate replica of itself: an authoritarian oligarchy that tolerates no dissent.

We are at war with an enemy plotting to undermine our democracy, and our supposed leader, far from working to halt this, seems determined to ignore it.

Trump’s anger is directed against the democratic institutionsthat have rallied to discover what happened and seek to prevent its recurrence: “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”

But there is no depth to which Trump will not sink in defense of the only thing he holds dear: himself. And so, the nation witnessed a tweet in which the president, a leader to whom the country once looked for healing in times of national tragedy, instead used innocent victims, high school children mowed down in their own school, to make his bogus, self-interested point: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

Did he? Did he really use dead children to attack an investigation into his campaign and his conduct in office? Yes, he did. This is a person devoid of empathy. He can experience the world only through the prism of his own ego. He can read the requisite words from a teleprompter — “To every parent, teacher, and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you — whatever you need, whatever we can do, to ease your pain” — but he is incapable of feeling them. No one who imagines the shattered heart of a grieving parent could have written that despicable tweet.

Or grinned like someone who just won a lottery while standing next to the hospital bed of one of the survivors.

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