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.