My latest in the New York Daily News:
It is not Donald Trump's fault that the State of the Union has devolved into a reality television spectacle, with equal parts puffery and pep rally.
What Trump has done, however, has been to turn it into a full-fledged alternative reality experience in which we get to imagine that he might actually be a uniter, a statesman and an empathetic human being. He is, of course, none of those things, but for a while last week both partisans and pundits could indulge their fantasies.
The occasion did, however, serve to highlight a genuine reality in Washington D.C.: the surrender of the GOP to Trump and its willingness to serve as his political praetorian guard.
Rituals of sycophantic abasement by the GOP have by now become almost routine, as we saw with the fawning praise heaped on the President at the celebration following the passage of the tax cut bill.
But last week had a different feel to it. We saw was the GOP's full-blooded embrace of the Trump presidency and of Trump himself, including his attempts to obstruct and derail the investigation into his conduct.