The Bible. A Church. Religion. The First Amendment. The Presidency. The Military. America. All these and more were desecrated in the course of a few minutes as President Trump ordered the teargassing of peaceful protesters outside The People’s House to set the scene for him to chickenhawk another divisive message before strolling from the Rose Garden to St Johns, and to a new a low in a presidency the naively optimistic keep thinking has already hit bottom. NYT: Protesters Dispersed With Tear Gas So Trump Could Pose at Church. Mariann E. Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, on the president posing in front of her church, with a bible raised in the air: “I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing [the area] with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop … Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence. We need moral leadership, and he’s done everything to divide us.” (Has Trump ever cracked open a bible or spent a Sunday at St John’s? It would have been more authentic if he held up a seven iron.)

+ “The president had staged an elaborate photo op, using a Bible awkwardly held aloft as a prop and a historic church that has long welcomed presidents and their families as a backdrop.” Inside the push to tear-gas protesters ahead of a Trump photo op. (I photoshopped the image of Trump to give him a more appropriate book.)

+ Thomas Wright in The Atlantic: “We began with the axis of adults that imperfectly constrained him. We then entered the age of hubris and action during which he systematically rid himself of the adults and was free to follow his whims. The third phase was the reckoning as he began to bump up against the contradictions of his own approach, on China and Iran in particular. Now we have finally arrived at the long-feared crisis and unraveling.”

+ David Rothkopf: “The state of the union is deplorable, and all signs suggest things are going to get worse, perhaps much much worse, before they get better.”

+ Biden: “The presidency is a big job. Nobody will get everything right. And I won’t either. But I promise you this. I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate.”