America, We Have a Problem

When Donald Trump was running for president, and his lack of knowledge and preparedness owing to never having served a day in public office became glaringly apparent, the message from Republicans was: Don't worry—he'll surround himself with smart and competent people.

That never should have been reassuring, for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it was also glaringly apparent that Trump never listened to anyone who told him something he didn't want to hear.

So here we are, 137 days into his presidency, and all the "moderating influences" that were supposed to magically turn Trump into a person who is something other than an impulsive, egomaniacal despot have failed in their mission.

And anyone who disagrees with his belligerent, reckless, ignorant, and disloyal behavior in a vain attempt to convince him to adhere to even the most basic U.S. norms and values is simply being ignored—and meeting with the blunt end of his ire.

To wit: Trump tweeted this morning, among other dreck, a criticism of the Justice Department.

Not only is he subverting the work of all his staff who have repeated claimed that his Muslim ban "isn't a ban," but he's publicly attacking his own administration. And he's attacking them for trying to comply with existing law.

Then there is this piece at Politico today by Susan B. Glasser: "Trump National Security Team Blindsided by NATO Speech." Specifically, blindsided by the fact that Trump did not reaffirm the United States' commitment to Article 5, the mutual defense provision, which is a centerpiece of the NATO alliance and has taken on new urgency following Vladimir Putin's moves in Crimea and Ukraine.
[Trump] also disappointed—and surprised—his own top national security officials by failing to include the language reaffirming the so-called Article 5 provision in his speech. National security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all supported Trump doing so and had worked in the weeks leading up to the trip to make sure it was included in the speech, according to five sources familiar with the episode. They thought it was, and a White House aide even told The New York Times the day before the line was definitely included.

It was not until the next day, Thursday, May 25, when Trump started talking at an opening ceremony for NATO's new Brussels headquarters, that the president's national security team realized their boss had made a decision with major consequences—without consulting or even informing them in advance of the change.

"They had the right speech and it was cleared through McMaster," said a source briefed by National Security Council officials in the immediate aftermath of the NATO meeting. "As late as that same morning, it was the right one."

Added a senior White House official, "There was a fully coordinated other speech everybody else had worked on"—and it wasn't the one Trump gave. "They didn't know it had been removed," said a third source of the Trump national security officials on hand for the ceremony. "It was only upon delivery."
So, Trump reportedly made a unilateral decision with monumental foreign policy implications against the staunch recommendations of his national security team.

These are not the actions of a democratic president. They are the behaviors of a dictator.

The truth is, we may have already passed that point.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus