… Boris Johnson, undeniably. Then again, it was probably his last good week for quite some time. But mainly it was an excellent week for feeling embattled—just ask Giuseppe Conte, Carrie Lam, Ricardo A. Rosselló, or the chronically aggrieved Donald J. Trump.
Conte, the prime minister of Italy, struggled to keep his coalition together. Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, presided over a seventh, particularly violent week of anti-government protests in that city. And in Puerto Rico hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand that Rosselló, the unpopular governor (misogynistic chat messages, homophobic chat messages, put-downs of hurricane victims, Cabinet corruption—that sort of thing), step down, which he finally announced he would do. (As for the newly installed British P.M. Johnson, as we go to virtual press he’s not yet officially embattled, but who knows what the weekend will bring?)
Just how embattled must America’s commander in chief be feeling? Apparently, not even speaking to a conservative youth group is safe—you never know when a fake, mocking presidential seal might be looking over your shoulder—as it did in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Plus, he sued New York State officials to try to keep congressional Democrats from getting hold of his tax returns. What could he be hiding? Some people are saying—total losers, believe me—that having claimed orange spray tan as a deductible business expense is what’s got him worried. Fake news! That I can tell you.
Meanwhile, the unembattled president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is taking steps to ensure that he remains that way—i.e., unembattled, and president: the Kremlin is considering changing the constitution so that Putin doesn’t have to step down in 2024. (Unless, of course, he just kinda feels like it. Could happen.)
“I have plans on Afghanistan”—oh, God, here we go—“that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone,” said President Trump, pleasantly enough, during a meeting with Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan on Monday. But there’s a caveat: “I don’t want to go that route … I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.” So maybe it’s a good thing Robert Mueller’s appearance before Congress didn’t yield anything much more damning about the current president than “It’s not a witch hunt.” Otherwise the fellow’s sunny “Kill 10 million? Nah” mood might have darkened.
Even better, the V. S. Genius gamely continued working through his issues via Twitter: “Enemy of the People!,” “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Rigged Witch Hunt!,” “Fake News! Building lots of Wall!,” “a very Racist group of troublemakers,” “They constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out their for all to see,” “Congratulations @BorisJohnson on becoming the next Prime Minister of the United Kingston,” … no, wait. That last tweet is actually from Ivanka Trump. Uncanny. Must be in the jeans. —George Kalogerakis