“IN MANY ways,” said one pundit after Donald Trump’s maiden address to Congress nearly 11 months ago, “it was the long-awaited pivot that Trump has always promised…He was disciplined, didn’t veer much at all from the script and hit his marks.” Two things stand out about this assessment. First, it did not last long: just four days later Mr Trump took to Twitter to falsely accuse Barack Obama of masterminding a plot to “tapp my phones during the very sacred election process.” Second, it reflects how low Candidate Trump had set the behavioural bar: simply reading from a teleprompter while not boasting about the size of his genitalia or belittling anyone was enough to get critics to call him “presidential”.

This year, like last, Mr Trump mostly stuck to his script. And, as is customary, he made some feints toward unity, urging politicians to “seek out common ground” and restating his “righteous…Continue reading