Andrew Coyne writes that, for those who thought -- despite his flaws -- Donald Trump would be a better occupant of the White House than Hillary Clinton, the truth has come home to roost:
Those who had convinced themselves that, whatever Trump’s manifest unfitness for office, “at least he isn’t Hillary,” if they had not already repented of their folly over the previous six months, must surely do so now. (He said with no conviction whatever.) The presidency is not a ceremonial post; neither is it a program of policy. It is a command centre, with decisions to be made, many on short notice, sometimes with the most profound consequences. All of the U.S. Constitution’s careful separation of powers and checks and balances — though thank God for them — cannot erase the awful power of the office. Only Congress can declare war, but a president can sure start one.
Granted, dealing with North Korea is a Gordian Knot that has defied solution:
Dealing with North Korea would tax the abilities of the ablest of presidents, and has. Trump cannot be blamed for the regime’s having acquired nuclear weapons: that was the legacy of previous presidents of both parties, whose concessions and bribes had no more effect on its actions than Trump’s threats. But now that it has nukes, it demands the most delicate and assured handling, one requiring deep experience in matters of state, subtle understanding of human nature, judgment, fortitude and sang-froid.
Having an occupant who is clearly unqualified and temperamentally unsuited for the job underscores the fact that it matters who occupies the White House:
Much speculation has surrounded Trump’s mental state, but as a madman he is not in Kim’s league. He is, rather, a fairly conventional bunkum artist — more unprincipled than most, to be sure, indeed seemingly unburdened by any commitment to fact, but ultimately a transparent bluffer. For all his attempt to play the bully, Trump can no more be counted on to deliver on a threat than a promise. Recall how his first bits of bravado, the suggestion that he might recognize Taiwan, or move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, ended: dropped at the first hint of pushback.
At this late stage in the planet's evolution, we cannot afford to have a monumental bunkum artist in the Oval Office.