Ross Douthat’s column arguing for the superiority of “25th Amendment remedies” to impeachment for Donald Trump’s various misdeeds is impressive in its ability to actually find something new and interesting to say about the president. But its premise — shared with a David Brooks column from earlier in the week — that we should understand Trump’s behavior as resembling that of a little kid is fundamentally wrong.
The truth is that Trump is no child. He’s 70 years old. And he’s not just any kind of 70-year-old. He’s a white male 70-year-old. A famous one. A rich one. One who’s been rich since the day he was born. He’s a man who’s learned over the course of a long and rich life that he is free to operate without consequence. He’s the beneficiary of vast and enormous privilege, not just the ability to enjoy lavish consumption goods but the privilege of impunity that America grants to the wealthy.