Today Donald Trump held two incredibly irrational press conferences with Finland's president. They weren't just the usual rambly self-absorbed crap we're used to. These were angry, vicious, petty and dangerous.
Which means that Chuck Todd convened a panel on MTP Daily to downplay their danger. After acknowledging that Trump is a "cornered animal," he noted that "he's a very effective, vicious one, if he needs to be."
Howard Fineman jumped right on that imagery. "The cornered animal is a dangerous animal," he agreed. "The only thing more dangerous than a dictatorial leader who's confident of his position is a would-be dictatorial leader who isn't."
"Donald Trump in that press conference today went as far as I've ever seen him go down the road toward "I am king" thinking," Fineman warned.
He then gave some examples of how far Trump actually went with reporters, including the demand that they ignore facts in favor of what he was ordering reporters to see.
" 'This is a question I will answer, this is a question I will not answer. Anybody who disagrees with me is treasonous. I am the state,'" he continued. "Now that is the situation in terms of character of leadership, that the impeachment process is designed ultimately the founders said to address."
He emphasized, "He's saying that the entire process is illegitimate!" He's basically saying the constitution is illegitimate."
Check Chuck Todd's face when Fineman says that. He manages to drop a "Yeah" in to acknowledge that he's listening, but the mocking grin is really offensive, and Fineman takes notice.
"Listen, I've spent a lot of time over the years in totalitarian countries. In the old Soviet Union, if somebody became inconvenient as a witness, they disappeared either in reality or from the top of the London mausoleum. That's the thinking we're seeing here, Chuck," he warned.
Chuck interrupted at that point, and there was crosstalk, but it was clear that Fineman felt his warning was being ignored as needlessly alarmist, in spite of Todd's denial.
"It's my duty as somebody who studied a lot of history and reported on it to say in a way we're not taking this seriously enough," Fineman said firmly. "That thing today will go down in the annals of the dangers to democracy."
Todd couldn't resist a bit of fatuous analysis: "Yet I think it is all due to he's flailing."
Way to shove that warning aside, Todd, so you can make excuses for the leader of the free world who is no better than a mobster with unbridled power. The right answer there was, yes, he IS a danger to democracy. Instead, Chuck Todd proved HE's a danger to democracy too.