Total Collapse of Leadership

Photo credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

David Brooks once again nails it with this piece: What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like:

The first conclusion is obvious. This administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state. It’s more “The Madness of King George” than “The Missiles of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s flattery.

The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave Trump a new jobs announcement he could take to the Midwest, and in return they got presidential attention and coddling that other governments would have died for.

If you want to roll the Trump administration, you’ve got to get in line. The Israelis got a possible one-state solution. The Chinese got Trump to flip-flop on the “One China” policy. The Europeans got him to do a 180 on undoing the Iran nuclear deal.

Vladimir Putin was born for a moment such as this. He is always pushing the envelope. After gifting Team Trump with a little campaign help, the Russian state media has suddenly turned on Trump and Russian planes are buzzing U.S. ships. The bear is going to grab what it can.

We’re about to enter a moment in which U.S. economic and military might is strong but U.S. political might is weak. Imagine the Roman Empire governed by Monaco.

I said it at the beginning: I thought Trump would be good for race relations and horrible at everything else. What I didn’t realize was exactly how horrible he’d be at everything else. The guy is incompetent. He hasn’t learned even the basics of how to govern, nor does he care to learn. It’s been less than a month, and already he has had executive orders blocked by the courts, had a national security advisor resign, been caught in a scandal involving the Russians, and continues to lie lie lie. Sometimes a president can use Congress as an excuse, but this president has a majority in Congress. Many of the problems don’t involve Congress though–the resistance is coming from his own people who are infighting.

If you think about it, it’s entirely possible for Trump to create a permanent schism between himself and the organizations he supposedly leads. Another Times article discusses the leaks that are currently undermining Trump. I think Trump was thinking that he could simply fire everyone and hire yes-men in their places, but he’s not dealing with a start-up; he’s dealing with a long-running government bureaucracy with hundreds of thousands of employees who have spent their lives in the field. He’s dealing with hundreds of thousands of people who know how dangerous Putin is, and they’re not about to get into bed with Russia just because their new boss’s boss’s boss happens to be a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Never mind the rest of Trump’s entourage.

I was listening to Trump’s press conference yesterday. I already knew he was unhinged. I’m just wondering when Republicans are going to get tired of the ad-hominems and excuses.

10 thoughts on “Total Collapse of Leadership

  1. We’re flooded in California! Of all places you’d never think that gets flooded.

    Fix it, Mr. President! Where’s the infrastructure upgrade you promised? That creates jobs.

  2. I think the Republicans were tired of Trump right about the same moment he announced his candidacy. The trouble with Trump is that he should have about a 5% approval rating, instead it is maybe between 40-55%. I don’t think he was unhinged at the press conference. Instead of letting the press set the narrative, he was working on questioning the meta-narrative. I don’t think you have to be too perceptive to say one problem with the media is that they were not that critical of Obama, and extra critical of Trump. You might be able to justify it, but explain his approval rating. A number of people just discount the press. I’m sure the press knows it too.

    I agree he doesn’t know how to govern, nor does I think he wants to. Generally Trump ran business with some initial success by being aggressive. People then got tired of him, and then he had to move on. I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen, other than the fact it is hard to move the status quo.

    The strange thing at this time is that people seem bifurcated. The narrative of pro-Trump and anti-Trump are so different. It is a good time to start learning about persuasion and manipulation, and to try to see it play out. I can see a lot of struggle of how to deal with multiculturalism. You can see that happening at this site. Along the same lines there is nationalism vs globalism. Of course there is also the left vs right, both have very different concerns. Trump is exploiting something that I think that got left behind by both the Democrats and Republicans. I don’t know if are current narratives are not adequate.

    Collapse of leadership? By whom?

  3. Kevin,

    Because we’d be talking about race. If Hillary or anyone else won, it would be the same old “Blacks are victims, and Asians are leeches” liberal nonsense that we hear all the time. At least things are now in the open.

    Jman,

    Those are good points. Right now people rate the media as less trustworthy than Congress.

    I guess we’re going to have to see what happens. We’ve never had a president who didn’t know how to govern, at least not in the modern era. My guess is that he’ll keep throwing insults at the intelligence community, the media, the Democrats, and everyone else. Real actors on the world stage will still get what they want by flattering him. Curiously enough, if we make it through this next four (maybe eight) years, it will be because the rest of the government refuses to listen to him.

  4. Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, and I hate saying this, but I think Trump’s still stuck in “reality” TV celebrity mode and haven’t gotten the memo he’s POTUS. You look at the way he’s handled the press conference and it’s really like all his Apprentice and general media appearances for sensationalism: he’s got the ratings.

    The TYT is heavily biased and has their own agendas, but nonetheless a rational youtube channel, sometimes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79GW5d_ZuJ0

    What’s scary is DPRK launching missiles and Russia’s spy boats are also launching missiles and testing how far they can go. I’m normally as critical of US foreign policy as any LIEberal, but for what it’s worth the US has kept the world at peace after WW2 and we never had any large scale conflicts. Hopefully neither Russia nor China become so brazen as to veto Security Council measures in order to perpetuate their own global agendas.

    The military will still do its job and protect US interests, but here’s hoping cooler heads will prevail and the world moves on beyond these petty Cold War mentality when these political dinosaurs die out and humanity can finally focus on solving global issues and reach for the stars. ^_^

  5. This is very funny.

    Nobody sees the method to his madness?

    Use himself as a magnet for hate. Outmaneuver opponents strategically and tactically at all levels, because they’re concerned only about single issue activism and symbolic acts, and protest activism, where “likes” are the paramount of success.

    Fatigue and exhaust opponents when you can’t eliminate them, because their followers can be exhausted and dispirited beyond the endurance of the cultivated professonal objectors.

    Most importantly, lay the groundwork for a New World Order based on America First, that all the elites of the world will certainly follow, as long as he can deliver.

    They are watching. They will follow and comply. Eight years is nothing next to an unlimited future of prosperity and “stability”.

  6. “I guess we’re going to have to see what happens. We’ve never had a president who didn’t know how to govern, at least not in the modern era. My guess is that he’ll keep throwing insults at the intelligence community, the media, the Democrats, and everyone else. Real actors on the world stage will still get what they want by flattering him. Curiously enough, if we make it through this next four (maybe eight) years, it will be because the rest of the government refuses to listen to him.”

    Is this really the best you’ve got? Cos if it is, if I know you as a genius you’d be hedging. If you’re something else, well then…

    I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as you play your role.

  7. lay the groundwork for a New World Order based on America First, that all the elites of the world will certainly follow

    Sengge Rinchen is a FSB plant and agent provocateur for Putin’s Global World Order where USofA is Russia’s puppet.

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