Better late than never? Nope.

Trump finally, and one imagines with about 10 people pushing him just out of sight, sullenly said the thing he refused to say on Saturday. Too late, boyo.

President Donald Trump bowed to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend — labeling their racist views “evil” after two days of equivocal statements.

“Racism is evil,” Mr. Trump said. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

It’s a pity that by now we all know he doesn’t believe a word of that and didn’t want to say it. It’s a great pity that that’s who is president of the US right now – a stubborn angry determined racist, who has to be forced to disavow racism at a moment when the country is in turmoil after a racist / Nazi “protest” in Virginia.

That pressure reached boiling point early Monday after the president attacked the head of the pharmaceuticals company Merck, who is black, for quitting an advisory board over his failure to call out white nationalists.

Merck’s chief executive, Kenneth C. Frazier, resigned from the president’s American Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying he objected to the president’s statement on Saturday blaming violence that left one woman dead on “many sides.”

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal,” Mr. Frazier said in a tweet announcing he was stepping down from the panel. Mr. Frazier is one of just a handful of black chief executives of a Fortune 500 company.

So Trump promptly attacked him on Twitter. He actually did that. He couldn’t use Twitter to condemn the death and multiple serious injuries in Charlottesville, but he rushed to use it to attack a black man who rebuked his racism. Trump is scum. He’s the muck at the bottom of a very stagnant pond.

Mr. Trump’s shot at one of the country’s best-known black executives prompted an immediate outpouring of support for Mr. Frazier from major figures in business, media and politics. “Thanks @Merck Ken Frazier for strong leadership to stand up for the moral values that made this country what it is,” Paul Polman, the chief executive of Unilever, wrote on Twitter.

It’s not unusual for Mr. Trump to attack, via Twitter, any public figure who ridicules, criticizes or even mildly questions his actions. But his decision to take on Mr. Frazier, a self-made multimillionaire who rose from a modest childhood in Philadelphia to attend Harvard Law School, was extraordinary given the wide-ranging criticism he has faced from both parties for not forcefully denouncing the neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers who rampaged in Charlottesville.

Trump is a narcissist, and deeply stupid. He’s nowhere near intelligent enough to figure out when he needs to repress his narcissism, or how to do that in the first place.

“It took Trump 54 minutes to condemn Merck CEO Ken Frazier, but after several days he still has not condemned murdering white supremacists,” Keith Boykin, a former aide to President Bill Clinton who comments on politics and race for CNN, wrote in a Tweet.

Exactly. He’s swift as an arrow to respond to narcissistic injury, and entirely indifferent to real injuries, including mortal ones, to anyone else. He’s a horror. He doesn’t even grasp that he needs to fake concern, which is a real novelty in politics.

So now, with his people shoving him hard, he said it. Way too late.

One Response to “Better late than never? Nope.”