Friday, June 9, 2017

Deconstructing America - and the World

After James Comey’s sworn Senate testimony Thursday, even stalwart Republicans are finding it harder to deny that Donald Trump has no business being president. But it’s not stopping them from defending him anyway or from bringing the nation closer to disaster.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to excuse the most incriminating portions of Comey’s statement [...] by saying that the president is “just new to this.” In other words, Ryan was saying, Trump isn’t a crook; he’s just ignorant.

Leaving aside the civic bromide that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to breaking the law, Ryan is off the mark, at least in this case. Trump kicked several officials out of his office before twisting the FBI director’s arm. As Comey asked at his hearing, why would he do that if he didn’t know he was about to engage in improper behavior?


Chris Christie came closer to honesty, dismissing the president’s exchanges with Comey as “normal New York conversation.” This might indeed be the perception of a man who once prosecuted white-collar criminals, including Jared Kushner’s father, in the New York metropolitan area. In other words, Christie was saying, Trump is just strutting like a slippery operator—not quite the exoneration that he may have intended.


It’s hard to believe that even the likes of Ryan and Christie aren’t a little disturbed by this state of affairs—not only because of what might be uncovered next, but because of what they are facing and abetting right now.

Just like "it's just locker room talk," these sleazebags have no better morals than Trump himself.
Yes, [Trump is] new to this—but he hasn’t taken a single step to grow into the job. Yes, he may have had what he sees as a normal New York conversation—but he doesn’t grasp that negotiating with Europe and the Middle East is different from dealing with tenants and contractors in the Manhattan real-estate market.


[A]ll presidents are “new to this.” [...] But Trump takes a novice’s limits to new levels. Not only did he enter the job with no knowledge of its nature (despite bragging that he alone could fix everything), he installed an equally clueless entourage. He somehow thought that his 36-year-old son-in-law could make peace in the Middle East. He thought that the best person to hire as an outside counsel, to deal with the fallout from the Russia scandals, would be his divorce lawyer.


Trump doesn’t know what he doesn’t know—and that’s the most dangerous kind of ignorant leader. Take the flare-up between the Gulf states and Qatar, which has a real potential of escalating to an all-out conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The underlying tensions of this conflict have been brewing for some time, but the flare-up is entirely Trump’s doing. First, his speech in Riyadh encouraged the Saudis to step up their pressure on Qatar. Then, instead of sending his diplomats to calm matters, he took credit for the development in a tweet, in which he also tagged Qatar as a financier of terrorism—perhaps unaware that Qatar also hosts the United States’ largest military base in the region, home to 10,000 American troops and the Central Command’s air combat center.


But this is why presidents have an experienced national security staff to consult before unleashing their ids.
Trump's id was never leashed in the first place. All he is is id.
Does anyone know what U.S. foreign policy is right now?
I think the answer to that is obvious.
The warning that Comey’s testimony sends to Republicans is this: If the bell ever tolls for Donald Trump, it will also toll for thee. The bigger worry is that, sometime before then, it may toll for us all.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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