Tenuous Tenure

After taking office, Trump should have settled down to governing though a certain number of executive orders were necessary but without the accompanying fanfare.  Instead, the president has turned his tenure thus far into a circus; consequently, respected members of even his own party are justifiably disgusted even though the antics of some have matched Trump’s for inanity and political harm.

Trump’s Campaign tweeting was necessary for getting out his message and combating a mostly hostile media, print and electronic. Now, it’s reprehensible and childish, indicative of a playground mentality and obvious waste of time.  Matching tweet for tweet is like answering stupidity with stupidity.

An effective bombast mattered in the campaign, especially since Clinton’s success had been consensually accepted and needed to be neutralized by sheer numbers.  Clinton was mean-spirited to trot out the “gold-star-father,” actually a lawyer with connections to the Clintons, to berate Trump for a war she, not Trump, supported while in the Senate, thus trying to con the average citizens by insulting their intelligence.  Her mention of the basketful of deplorables (Trump supporters) was sickening, thus she was successfully ridiculed in the massive Trump rallies as insensative and out-of-touch.

Bombast-time is past and hopefully there will be no more rallies.  Trump’s braggadocio might have been marginally effective in campaigning.  Now, it’s boorish and often demeaning to both him and others.  Big crowds create neither jobs nor reasonable presidential decisions.  Using costly Air Force One for publicity stunts wore out its welcome with Obama.

There’s a fine line between an inferiority- and superiority-complex.  Each can drive a sufferer into paroxysms of attention-demanding behavior.  Trump seems afflicted with at least the latter and hasn’t learned that others have far more knowledge and experience than he.  He made good choices for his cabinet (surprisingly) but needs to let the secretaries function without carping criticism.

His choices of a billionaire CEO for State and military generals for Homeland Security, Defense and the NSC were good in that these people are disciplined and have been inordinately successful; however, they’re as strong-willed as he—and as smart or smarter—so he should not bicker with or about them.  They, like Trump, are accustomed to making decisions and giving orders and should not be expected to change.  Dragging his family into places of prominence was a tragic mistake.  Nepotism is okay in private enterprise but ugly in government.

In short, if Trump had done a 180 from campaign methods to governing, he would be sailing now.  Instead, he, like Obama before him, is still in campaign mode.  The most effective tool would have been shutting his mouth almost completely and growing another layer of skin.  He’s done neither.

Other prominent republicans have helped Trump to suffer.  For instance, high-profile Senators McCain, Rubio and Graham seem to have staffers searching congressional halls for the nearest TV “reporter/commentator/network-apparatchik” in order to appear nationwide throughout both day and night.

Each tries to conduct foreign policy, with McCain and Graham having insisted that Obama invade Libya and Syria, efforts both wrong-headed, foolish.  McCain even had photo-ops with his choice of insurrectionists in both places (though Syria was doubtful, probably Lebanon) as recipients of U.S. weapons.  All three waged unsuccessful presidential or veep campaigns, thus might suffer bouts of jealousy. 

Other republican leaders have joined virtually the entire democrat contingent in Congress in going after Trump for the “Flynn affair,” Russian collusion (already investigated to exhaustion with no charges), the Comey-firing and anything else that might elicit simply being fed-up with Trump’s buffoonery but matching it themselves. Vengeance is a politician’s stock-in-trade, and party/individual-loyalty is often not observed when elections are more important than legislating.

Like Obama before him, Trump’s main problems have been self-inflicted, the result of a super-inflated ego with tongue in gear before brain engaged. The one redeeming feature: Hillary Clinton is not president, and the Russians had nothing to do with that.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark