Saturday, July 21, 2018

Trump Can't Control Himself But Not Even Depends Will Solve His-- And America's-- Problem


Trump's motivation has aways been self-enrichment; it's how he experiencing whatever it is he's ultimately looking for: acceptance, status, approval. And since his earliest days he's never been able to control himself, not for anything. And no one else has been able to control him either, which is why he's been such a loser and why's he's always been such a criminal. Half of America saw saw him for what he's always been and puked, many even deciding to hold their noses and pull the lever for a candidate they weren't especially enthralled with but who was unquestionably the lesser evil. About 3 million fewer voters decided-- for whatever twisted reason (greed for some, hatred of life for others, a warped belief that God wanted him on "the throne" for others)-- decided he would be a better occupant of the Oval Office. So now the U.S. government spends inordinate energy on trying to keep him from doing anything too irreparable and horrfic.

Yesterday former NATO Ambassador Nicholas Burns said aloud what so many patriots have been whispering among themselves, that Trump is unfit for office. Republican patriots, meanwhile are starting to admit how much they miss Obama! Max Boot yesterday:
How I miss Barack Obama.

And I say that as someone who worked to defeat him: I was a foreign policy adviser to John McCain in 2008 and to Mitt Romney in 2012. I criticized Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy that resulted in a premature pullout from Iraq and a failure to stop the slaughter in Syria. I thought he was too weak on Iran and too tough on Israel. I feared that Obamacare would be too costly. I fumed that he was too professorial and too indecisive. I was left cold by his arrogance and his cult of personality.

Now I would take Obama back in a nanosecond. His presidency appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned. All of his faults, real as they were, fade into insignificance compared with the crippling defects of his successor. And his strengths-- seriousness, dignity, intellect, probity, dedication to ideals larger than self-- shine all the more clearly in retrospect.

Those thoughts are prompted by watching Obama’s speech in South Africa on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. I was moved nearly to tears by his eloquent defense of a liberal world order that President Trump appears bent on destroying.

The first thing that struck me was what was missing: There was no self-praise and no name-calling. Obama has a far better claim than Trump to being a “very stable genius,” but he didn’t call himself one. The sentences were complete and sonorous-- and probably written by the speaker himself. (Imagine Trump writing anything longer than a tweet-- and even those are full of mistakes.) The tone was sober and high-minded, even if listeners could read between the lines a withering critique of Trump’s policies.

...It can be depressing to think about our current predicament under a president whose loyalty to America is suspect but whose racism and xenophobia are undoubted. However, Obama’s speech gave me a glimmer of optimism-- and not only because he cited Mandela’s “example of persistence and of hope.” He reminds me that just 18 months ago-- can you believe it was so recently?-- we had a president with whom I could disagree without ever doubting his fitness to lead. We can have one again.
OK, back to Abigail Tracy's piece at Vanity Fair that first inspired me to write about Trump's control problems today. First though, keep in mind that Putin is 1- the richest man on earth and 2- the head of the most successful kleptocracy in history. "As much as official Washington has become numb to the daily offenses of Donald Trump," wrote Tracy, "there was something uniquely disturbing about the president’s transgressions in Helsinki. After months of combating Trump’s attempts to align himself with Vladimir Putin, the president was alone and unguarded with the man he had long sought to meet. National Security Adviser John Bolton, among other Russia hawks, had traveled with Trump to Finland in preparation for the summit. But when Trump and Putin entered the gilded Hall of State at the Presidential Palace for a joint press conference, the result was a shocking display of servility. Repudiating the hardline positions of his aides and advisers, Trump exonerated Putin for hacking the 2016 election-- and put the blame on 'foolish' Americans for driving the United States and Russia apart. Days later, insiders who know Bolton are still struggling to explain how the man who’s advocated violent regime change in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea could have allowed his boss to bend the knee before one of America’s greatest geopolitical adversaries."
Bolton isn’t the only senior Trump adviser who has been sidelined or subordinated. Defense Secretary James Mattis, an outspoken critic of Moscow, has not appeared in public or made any comments since Monday’s press conference, and the Pentagon has been unable to answer questions about the summit. Top military officials remain largely in the dark about what Trump and Putin discussed. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday that he “[doesn’t] know what happened in that meeting” and “would’ve suggested a different way.”

Meanwhile, in Foggy Bottom, the mood has only darkened since the president attempted to “clarify” his remarks made in Helsinki. “It was so transparently false and done under duress,” a current State Department official told me. “This is uncharted territory in terms of figuring out how you proceed on a whole number of issues when the leadership has gone so completely awry. It is just so stupid and senseless. No one seems to have any idea what to do or pursue following the meeting.” (A spokesperson for the National Security Council told me that they are still “reviewing the discussion between President Trump and President Putin, considering possible next steps, and have nothing further to announce at this time.”)

As the post-summit fallout continues, however, these foot soldiers of the Deep State are coming to a chilling realization: nobody has any control over Trump-- including Trump himself. For the legion of national-security, diplomatic, and military officials trying to smile while white-knuckling through the Trump presidency, Helsinki was a wake-up call. As a current administration official explained, Trump seems to believe that he alone can sit down with dictators and strongmen like Putin and Kim Jong Un to remake the world order-- and experts and advisers will only slow him down. “I don’t know anyone who thought the summit was a good idea ahead of time,” this person told me. “There is a reason why we tried to slow-roll/kill this idea . . . The president might think it’s us being ‘Deep-Staters,’ but the reality is we were trying to protect him. It was a bad idea from all sides: policy and politics.”

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At 3:40 PM, Blogger Alan Parker said...

Excuse Me But Fuck That Warmonger Neocon Max Boot

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These guys would make marvelous Monday morning quarterbacks!

If they are so smart, why didn't they heed all the warnings being issued -even by Republicans- that Trump was not suited for the office of the President? I'll pose just one answer: their partisanship is all about serving greed.

In this, they represent the best real-life example to become Al Capp's Shmoos, for they clearly demonstrate no sentient human qualities.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger Procopius said...

OK, so this Nicholas Burns jamoke is saying we should have invaded Iraq a second time to keep out troops there past 2011? Because that's what it would have taken. Bush promised to remove all our troops by 2011. Obama made some unsuccessful efforts to get the Iraqis to let some of our troops stay, and he was not successful. It goes back to when Bush "returned sovereignty" to the Iraqis. Now, I know the United States thinks nothing of reneging on its word, but I believe a lot more Iraqis would have joined the insurrection to drive the hated Americans out the second time.


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