I'm Starting to Suspect Electing Trump Was a Bad Idea

Hahahahaha just kidding I have always known it would be a terrible idea, because I am not a cruel-witted dipshit who was first "entertained" by Donald Trump and then desperate to legitimize him in a cynical bid to conceal my previous shameful cavalierity about an evident tyrant whom I'd regarded as a clown.

But there are definitely people who are only now starting to realize, or admit, that electing Trump was a very bad idea. And having admonished us to "give him a chance," and then watching as he (predictably) blew every chance he's been given, they're now scrambling to reassure us that everything (the president) is under control.

Josh Dawsey at Politico: White House Aides Lean on Delays and Distraction to Manage Trump. "Publicly, the White House has pushed back against Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggesting Trump must be managed like a toddler... But interviews with ten current and former administration officials, advisers, longtime business associates, and others close to Trump describe a process where they try to install guardrails for a president who goes on gut feeling — and many days are spent managing the president, just as Corker said."

Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair: Amid a Widening Rift, John Kelly Has a Mar-a-Lago Strategy to Contain Trump. "The next few weeks will surely test Trump and Kelly's relationship. As Kelly seeks to revive Trump's stalled tax plan, prevent the Iran nuclear deal from falling apart, and avoid war with North Korea, he'll also face the challenge of having to manage Trump at Mar-a-Lago. According to two sources, Kelly has developed a Mar-a-Lago strategy to prevent Trump from soliciting advice from members and friends. ...The plan looks sound on paper—but, to his staff, Trump can be a formidable adversary."

Trump is an "adversary" to his own staff. His party knows he's unfit. And this containment strategy is dubious, at best, give that Trump's handlers are either totally ineffective or just as reckless as he is.

At the Atlantic, David Frum (with whom I can't believe I'm so frequently in agreement these days, although rest assured he still hates feminists, so the world hasn't completely spun off its axis yet) details the major problem with the Trump containment strategy, which will probably sound familiar:
The national-security services are apparently coping with Donald Trump in ways that circumvent the president's constitutional role as commander-in-chief.

...We've seen the president issue threats of imminent military action—only to be contradicted by cabinet officers and military staff assuring potential adversaries that the United States will not initiate the use of force that the president had threatened to initiate.

The military and intelligence agencies are learning new habits of disregard for presidential statements and even orders that those agencies deem ignorant or reckless. By and large, those agencies' judgments are vastly to be preferred to the president's—but that does not make these habits any less dangerous.

Among other insights, Corker's Sunday interview forces Americans to confront some tough questions: By what methods is the president being contained?

...Thank you and congratulations to those officials struggling to protect American security, the Western alliance, and world peace against Donald Trump. But the constitutional order is becoming the casualty of these struggles. The Constitution provides a way to remedy an unfit presidency: the removal process under the 25th amendment. Regencies and palace coups are not constitutional. I dare say many readers would prefer a Mattis presidency to a Trump presidency. But to stealthily endow Secretary Mattis with the powers of the presidency as a work-around of Trump's abuse of them? That's a crisis, too, and one sinister for the future.
I have long been raising similar concerns regarding leaking and what has effectively become dueling coups between the Trump administration and the national security bureaucrats. There is a common theme of: I don't care what their short-term motives or the long-term consequences are, as long as they're aligning with us against Trump. But that is very dangerous thinking.

And it's dangerous for a number of reasons, most of all that it is wholly incompatible with a healthy democracy. There is no simpler explanation of that than this:

The root of the problem is having elected Donald Trump with the undemocratic influence of the Electoral College and the undemocratic interference of a foreign adversary.

The solution to that cannot, must not, be undemocratic rule.

If that is our best and only solution, we've already lost what we're ostensibly keen to protect.

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