Trump isn’t a toddler

Trump is typical, rather than unusual, in enjoying this kind of slap-on-the-wrist approach to white-collar crime — just ask the executives whose banks reached big-ticket settlements with the Obama Justice Department all while seeing share prices and compensation packages rise, with nobody’s business ruined and no individuals held legally responsible.

He stands out from the pack, essentially, in how deeply he embraces the ethic of impunity, bragging about it to Billy Bush or screwing over small-time contractors as a routine business practice.

None of this is the action of an impulsive toddler or of a senile old man. It is the calculation of a veteran — and rather cunning — operator who has gotten far in life by relying on money, connections, and lawbreaking to keep him afloat.