Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The Emperor Has No Clothes
Both sides see it clearly now: Trump is just a feckless empty vessel, a dangerously incurious and unprincipled gameshow host.
Here are two succinct summations of recent events, both of which essentially draw the same conclusion. The first is by Steve Benen, a liberal writer for the Maddow Blog. The next is by David Frum, a neo-con Republican, Atlantic editor and former speechwriter for Dubya:
On health care, it was Paul Ryan who effectively told Trump, “Never mind what your instincts tell you; my plan is the way to go.” On Syria, it was his national security team that did the same thing, effectively telling the president, “Never mind what your instincts tell you; this is an issue 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles can make better.”
It’s a safe bet Trump’s entire presidency will continue to unfold this way. It’s not that he’s determined to deliberately do the opposite of what he promised voters; it’s that he doesn’t seem to take any of those commitments especially seriously. Someone he knows and trusts – Paul Ryan, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster, et al – comes into the Oval Office, presents him with an idea, tells him it’s the smart thing to do, and Trump says, “Sounds good.”
He didn’t necessarily change his mind about his vision; Trump never really made up his mind in the first place.