Thursday, May 18, 2017

Who's Watching Trump To Make Sure He Doesn't Do Anything Dangerous?


Last night Trump's Art of the Deal ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, told CNN viewers on Anderson Coope’s 360 that Señor Trumpanzee is having a "significant meltdown. He’s in pure defensive mode. I think that he’s being run by the part of his brain that’s reactive and impulsive, not capable of reflection... The sense of siege that he feels because his sense of self-worth is so, so vulnerable that the series of things that have happened are overwhelming to him." This morning he took to twitter to whine about how unfair life is to him.

Katie Glueck, writing for McClatchy: "Pangs of fear and frustration are rippling through the Republican donor and operative classes as Donald Trump's self-inflicted wounds threaten to fully derail the GOP legislative agenda and tarnish the party's brand headed into the midterm."

Last night, the Time's Nick Kristof speculated that "the Trump presidency may now be disintegrating, tumbling toward entropy... If Trump thought he was removing a thorn by firing Comey, he now faces a grove of thistles." He seemed concerned about the dangers ahead for the country.
One is that America will be incapacitated and paralyzed by Mueller’s investigation and the suspicions-- this partly explains the stock market’s big fall on Wednesday-- and foreign powers may take advantage of this to undertake their own mischief. I would worry about Russia in both Ukraine and the Baltic countries, and we must make clear that we will work with allies to respond in kind.

Another danger is the risk of an erratic, embattled, paranoid leader at home who feels that he may be going down the tubes anyway. In domestic policy, presidents are constrained by Congress and the courts about what damage they can cause, but in foreign policy a president has a largely free hand-- and the ability to launch nuclear strikes that would pretty much destroy the world.

In 1974, as Richard Nixon’s presidency was collapsing, he was drinking heavily and aides worried that he was becoming unstable. Fearing what might go wrong, Nixon’s defense secretary, James Schlesinger, secretly instructed the military not to carry out any White House order to use nuclear weapons unless confirmed by him or Henry Kissinger.

This was unconstitutional. And wise.

Schlesinger also prepared secret plans to deploy troops in Washington in the event of problems with the presidential succession.

We don’t know how Trump will respond in the coming months, and let’s all hope for smooth sailing. But as with Schlesinger’s steps, it’s wise to be prepared.

There have been calls for Trump aides to resign rather than ruin their reputations, but I hope the grown-ups-- H. R. McMaster, Jim Mattis, Dina Powell, John Kelly, Rex Tillerson-- grit their teeth and stick it out. The White House has never needed more adult supervision.

The cabinet has the constitutional power to remove a president by majority vote under the 25th Amendment (if the president protests, this must be confirmed by two-thirds of each chamber of Congress). Such a vote is unlikely, but in the event of a crisis like the one Schlesinger envisioned, it would be essential.

I hope that cabinet members are keeping one another’s cellphone numbers handy in case an emergency meeting becomes necessary for our nation.

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At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even wiser to expand the Nixon rule as follows:

"No use of nuclear weapons, under any President, without confirmation by Secretaries of State and Defense."

Isn't "football" suppose to be a "team" sport?

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't been this disgusted with the American media since they led the cheers upholding Ronald Reagan's reckless dismantling of the Constitution.

I especially abhor the back-patting the media is awarding itself for keeping a close eye on Donald Trump's criminality coverup. When is someone going to challenge them to reveal their whereabouts while Trump was campaigning? I recall many liberals and progressives denouncing the positive coverage being given to Trump almost exclusively, while swamping the allegations which remain viable accusations against our most criminal "Thief Executive". This media fawning saved his campaign billions in advertising costs and essentially decided the winner for the American Sheeple.

I expect the media to try this case in their headlines and teasers. Such an effort will weaken whatever findings Special Counsel Mueller ends up presenting, which will make Wall St breathe easier. Their recent large drop in "value" was triggered by the fear that Trump will be removed and the gravy train halted at a distant siding. Profits Uber Alles!

Follow the Money. This is what will determine what Mueller finds, and what is done with that evidence. Rest assured that "private" profits are what drives this "investigation" and not a search for the truth.

And no matter what, the media will crow about serving the Public Good.

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Define dangerous.

His health care denial bill will kill millions.

If he nukes NK, it will kill millions.

His EO on abortion will create millions of babys who may starve or die of other deprivation and, if they do live, will not live well.

He wants tax cuts that may treble the debt in 10 years. What sort of misery/death would result in the crash from this?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Robert Murphy said...

Remember,debt is human invented and are just numbers. We don't owe the sun.

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, just tell the hundreds who died (many of suicide) from the 2008 debt bubble. And the Great Depression was another debt crisis that killed 10s of thousands (not including WWII which it gave a big push to start).

When our debt gets big enough, nobody will buy our paper any more. Please consider the crisis that would create... possibly impossible to fix without a war.

Just numbers? yeah. But numbers kill people.


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