It seems America is in danger of already getting used to the idea that of course Donald Trump is crooked and is using the presidency for personal gain. The windfall to his own business interests is well established—nothing like having possible access to a sitting president to boost membership rates at the club, or nightly stays at the hotel. His family is using the power of the presidency to help expand their daddy's line of overpriced hotels and his in-laws are using their tight connection to the Oval Office to sell immigration visas to wealthy Chinese investors. The grifts are coming fast and furious, from obliging the Secret Service to rent space in Trump Tower to protect a First Lady who's not ready to move, to obliging them to rent golf carts to follow Trump around during one of his 18-hole "meetings."
The town of Palm Beach, Florida, is especially boned. As non-president Trump was a perpetual lawsuit-happy pain in the ass. Now he's a lawsuit-happy pain in the ass with his own army.
Here's one local official describing the new dynamic when Trump requests things like a new helipad for his golf course, which will drive all his neighbors absolutely insane but which he and his private club insist are now super-duper necessary because reasons.
“Someone asked me, ‘Do you feel like you’re going to get into a sort of combative situation with the president of the United States?’ Did it cross my mind? Yes,” said Dave Kerner, a Democrat on the Board of County Commissioners, a panel that has often been at odds with Mr. Trump in the last 20 years.
“Republican colleagues of mine and people in the community I have good relationships with caution me,” he added. “Just: ‘Buyer, beware. If you push too hard, there might be some consequences.’”
Good God, we've given Donald Trump the only thing Donald Trump has ever truly cared about in his life: a better bargaining chip. It was one thing when Trump was complaining that every regulation or restriction against his own attempts to make more money was an assault upon his freedoms; from here on in he'll be declaring restrictions on his companies to be an assault upon America itself.