Photo clipped from REUTERS/Amir Cohen

High on the list of historic optics for President Trump’s Middle East escape route was the gleeful smile-and-hug embrace by Benjamin Natanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. From all of the evidence Bibi was still in his ecstatic glow over Trump’s victory in November. I mean, a world without Hillary? Without Obama? How could any right-wing thinking soul not appreciate the fate that had been dealt to the planet by the oddball American?

For Trump, it was all about optics to disguise his inner grief over the mess he temporarily left behind with the mice continuing to play while he’s sojourning in style with his trophy wife and cast of approving nodders. The recipient of Saudi Arabia’s highest award. A stage for his ferocious appeal to the Saudis to “drive out” the bad guys (This, to a country with a hermetically sealed society that’s been known to produce a few of the worst terrorists.) A visit to the historic western wall of Israel.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Michael Flynn was risking contempt of Congress by refusing to release sensitive records on his ties with Russia. Worse yet for the poor, Trump Budget Director Michael Mulvaney, a former South Carolina Republican Congressman, released a cold-blooded document that only the wealthiest among us could love.

When Trump returns home as America’s greatest performance artist he will quickly discover that nothing has changed.