Saturday, April 29, 2017

100 Days And Counting

Peter Wehner, in the New York Times, has an instructive evaluation of Donald Trump's first one hundred days in office:

The early days of the Trump presidency have been marked by extraordinary ineptitude. We saw it right out of the gate, with his botched executive order barring refugees from particular countries. Since then the missteps have piled up: the failure of the Republican House to pass the American Health Care Act; petty arguments with allies; the conscious decision to leave hundreds of key appointments unfilled, which in its faux populism is more significant than it may appear.

Taken together (and of course I am leaving a lot out), these developments paint a portrait of a man who was wholly unprepared to fulfill his primary job requirement — to govern competently and well. At some level, Mr. Trump knows this. As he put it this week, “I thought it would be easier.”

He thought it would be easier. Trump's unbridled ego led him to believe that he was up to the job. But, time and again, he has proved that the job is too much for him:

This has been something of a theme of the Trump presidency. One telling moment came when the president, speaking to the nation’s governors about his health care plan, said: “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” A second came when Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany reportedly had to explain over and over again to Mr. Trump that he could not make a trade deal with Germany directly but only with the European Union. A third came when Mr. Trump, in describing his conversation with President Xi Jinping of China about North Korea, admitted, “After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy.”

His judgement has proved feeble. More than that, he doesn't know how to do politics:

Effective political leaders are able to mobilize public opinion on behalf of their agenda, surround themselves with wise advisers who will challenge them and ask hard questions. They’re organized. They pay attention to details. They avoid creating unnecessary distractions and they stay clear of scandals. They find ways to work with the opposition party and they see the pattern of events sooner than the rest of us. And they know themselves, including their own weaknesses.

Trump sold his ignorance of politics as his strong suite. Unsurprisingly, it has turned out to be his Achilles Heel. As president, he is -- to use one of his favourite words -- a disaster.

Image: The Burning Platform


Anonymous said...

I thought we saw his ineptitude well before 'right out of the gate' due to his many failed businesses, numerous bankruptcies, and his serious trouble with grasping the concept of, well, family life. Evidently, not. Some - too many - of us missed those episodes, being blind-sided with realitywhichisnotreality tv, then carrying it to an extreme, dare I say radically militant extreme - because fantasy rules.

Anonymous said...

Trump sold his ignorance of politics as his strong suite.

A wonderful observation.
The sad thing is that his supporters are just as ignorant.
Trump and his supporters seem to have the same simplistic view of the world and when it does not work to their satisfaction then stomp on it, fire it, destroy it and ignore it.

Brute force and big bore engines will never die in the USA.


Owen Gray said...

The masthead on The Washington Post says it best, TB: "Democracy Dies In Darkness."

Owen Gray said...

The red flags were up early, lovingit. But Paul Simon's line in his song "The Boxer" says a lot about Trump's rise: "Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." There will be a price to pay for that disregard.