Our fearless leader didn’t waste any time in lacquering the dawn of 2020 with his trademark carroty-orange stain. The first few days of the new year have generally been momentous ones for U.S. presidents. Time for fresh starts, new horizons, expansive rhetoric about the future of the country—those sorts of things. In the first 11 days of years past, George Washington delivered the inaugural State of the Union address; Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation; John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for the presidency; Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty; and George H. W. Bush signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.
As expected, there were no such expressions of hope and unity from Trump. Tethered to his gold-leaf bunker in Palm Beach—a town now so stuffed with ex–New York tax-avoiding miscreants that it is fast becoming the Paraguay of America—the president chose to usher in the new year by unleashing the hounds of hell in the Middle East. Things may have quieted after the Iranian response, but the complications that might arise from the assassination of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani were no doubt lost on the man who ordered it. Yes, Soleimani was a terrorist mastermind who brought untold mayhem to the world. But he was also our ally in the fight against ISIS. And perhaps more importantly, a revered military figure in his country.