So much for the honeymoon.
Donald Trump entered the White House as the least popular president in modern times, according to a number of major polls. Of course, everyone knows the polls are rigged and the news is fake.
But there is no turning back from this reality: Ringling Brothers is closing, but the real circus is about to begin.
Trump gave everyone a taste of what is to come during the transition, which he spent lashing out via Twitter and parading washed-up celebs and cabinet wannabes to kiss his ring. Trump has shown no signs of grasping the enormity of the office, let alone trying to unite the country. It's all one big reality show based on nothing but self-aggrandizement.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump's counselor, wants everyone to judge Trump by what is in his heart rather than what comes out of his mouth. That's hard to do, especially when he sends petty tweets about Meryl Streep, Saturday Night Live doppelgänger Alec Baldwin, and a Carrier union boss in Indiana. Attacking civil rights icon John Lewis demeans the presidency and makes Trump appear small.
Even more reckless is Trump's use of Twitter to slam the U.S. intelligence community or provoke China. The same goes for calling the NATO alliance "obsolete," hailing Brexit as a "good thing," and criticizing the German chancellor's stance on refugees. Making policy via 140 characters is turning the country into a laughingstock.
Trump has also used Twitter to criticize great American companies such as Boeing, Ford, and General Motors. One tweet aimed at Toyota sliced $2 billion from the company's market value. Even Sarah Palin called Trump's ballyhooed Carrier deal "crony capitalism."
Anyone who gets under Trump's thin skin is ripe for attack. Except for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a ruthless leader who has presided over a Kremlin that murders critics and seeks chaos in the United States.
Even after American intelligence officials concluded Putin ordered a campaign designed to influence the U.S. presidential election, Trump called the Russian leader "smart."
The man of the people spent most of the transition in his gilded Fifth Avenue penthouse and Palm Beach resort. Trump did hold one news conference to address his many business conflicts. But it was more Kabuki theater than substance. Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said Trump's plan to have his two older sons run his business fell "short in every respect."
Conflicts, ethics, tax returns, emoluments clause, Constitution? Forget about it. Trump won. And to him that is all that matters.
No surprise Trump's initial moves have done little to win over critics. But even some supporters already have buyer's remorse.
Deborah Foster, 52, an attorney from Michigan, told the Wall Street Journal that she now had mixed feelings about voting for Trump. "I am hoping that Trump begins to speak and act like the intelligent businessman that I'm sure he is," she said. "I'm hoping he stops tweeting like a 13-year-old boy and starts acting like an adult."
Matt Triplett, 47, a Republican salesman from Ohio, said Trump was "doing a decent job, but I sure wish he'd get off Twitter. The guy is a loose cannon."
Daniel Gallegos, 53, a post office worker and libertarian from Colorado, said he objected to the way Trump was singling out individual companies. "Donald Trump appears to be economically ignorant," he told the paper. "I really don't like the strong-arm tactics on business."
There is even a Facebook page and Twitter handle dedicated to Trump supporters who regret voting for him. Sherri Underwood, a social services worker living in the Midwest, said Trump lost her the minute he backtracked on his promise to throw Hillary Clinton in jail.
"My peers who voted for Trump still don't get it. They tell me to give the man a chance," she wrote in a first-person piece for Vox. "They tell me, what were they going to do, vote for Hillary, of all people? I wish I had. I wish I had done anything else but vote for him."
Sorry, Sherri, Trump is not locking her up. He's not draining the swamp. And Mexico is not paying for any wall.
Some are already speculating about when Trump will be impeached. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power set the odds of impeachment at 4-1.
John Dean, the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, knows something about crooked presidents and impeachment. He told the Atlantic that Nixon did not "come close to the level of corruption we already know about Trump."
But Dean does not think Trump will get impeached, "unless Trump is such a disaster that the public rises up and changes control of Congress in the midterm elections."
Settle in, folks. Trump's latest permanent floating craps game has begun.
Paul Davies is the deputy editorial page editor of the Inquirer. firstname.lastname@example.org