So, When We Elected a Man Without the Temperament, Character, Knowledge or Experience to Be Presiden
If there was anyone still wondering what the Trump White House looks like, they got their answer this week in Bob Woodward's book and Wednesday's anonymous op-ed in the New York Times. For those who were paying attention, those sources simply reinforced what White House leakers had been saying since the beginning of the President's term. Our President is volatile, crass and vindictive, and knows little about foreign relations, trade policy, health care, or just about anything that you might expect your chief executive to have mastered.
Former Bush official, Michael Gerson captures it well in an Op-ed for the Washington Post:
Gerson, Washington Post: "Here is the increasingly evident reality of the Trump era: We are a superpower run by a simpleton. From a foreign policy perspective, this is far worse than being run by a skilled liar. It is an invitation to manipulation and contempt."...
“What we are finding from books, from insider leaks and from investigative journalism is that the rational actors who are closest to the president are frightened by his chaotic leadership style. They describe a total lack of intellectual curiosity, mental discipline and impulse control.”...
"The testimony of the tell-alls is remarkably consistent. Some around Trump are completely corrupted by the access to power. But others — who might have served in any Republican administration — spend much of their time preventing the president from doing stupid and dangerous things. Woodward’s book recounts one story in which then-economic adviser Gary Cohn heads off U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement by removing documents from Trump’s Oval Office desk. Think on that a moment. A massive change in economic policy was avoided — not by some brilliant stratagem — but by swiping a piece of paper and trusting in Trump’s minuscule attention span."
No one should be shocked by any of this. At the Republican debates, those with Hillary and at his rallies, Trump often sounded like a not too precocious 8th-grader when discussing policy. Actually, he had no policies, just general outlines of what a policy might look like some day. They often came spilling out of his mouth as half-baked fantasies, untethered to reality. But, somehow he captured American hearts with his juvenile name calling and ridiculous generalities about "fabulous" health care, "huge" infrastructure projects, and "beautiful" walls.
So, this is where we are 20 months later, hoping our President's advisers can save him [and us] from his worst impulses. And yes, its sad, humorous and alarming all at the same time. It's America in the age of Trump.