oh for the normally bad

There’s one rhetorical tic to which Trump supporters are addicted that I desperately wish I could banish from the earth. It’s when they say that Trump is “no saint” or “admittedly imperfect” or “not a moral paragon” or “not without flaws” — that kind of thing. I see some such formulation almost every day. To speak that way is to imply that Trump’s critics demand perfection or at least sainthood. But our criticism of Trump is not that he has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, it’s that he is a person of exceptionally terrible character: He is a petty, vindictive, mercurial, willfully and grossly ignorant, self-serving, congenitally dishonest, paranoid narcissist. We just want a President who, to borrow a phrase from P. J. O’Rourke, is bad within normal parameters.