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Sunday, April 18, 2021

The reckoning in Texas calls for answers in Washington

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In Europe, the President of the United States is supposed to be making annual trips to meet with European leaders, receive the German Chancellor, but no one is mourning the disappearance of Mr. Trump from the global stage. But here in the United States, everything is different.

The incident is too fresh, the wounds too fresh. And when tragedy struck a day after Thanksgiving — that key holiday in the D.C. calendar for all manner of holiday cheer and civic socializing — there was a moment of national silence. At 12:23 p.m., Mr. Trump tweeted “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the families and friends of the victims of the terrible shooting in Texas. May God be with them all!”

But — to use a long-worn phrase on a White House desk where a flag flies for the moment of silence — it was “a different day,” and we were already in 2019. Our foreign policy, economy, markets, politics and everything else were already diverging from that morning. President Trump, who declared war on journalism in his first weeks in office, is up for re-election in 2020 and will be the Democratic candidate.

“I think it raises concerns about where this president is going to go next,” a White House official told The Times. “How he reacts, how he does it, how he identifies blame. Does this make him less inclined to listen to what Congress has to say? What else can we expect to see in the days ahead?”

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