Other than those who are his willfully ignorant enablers the entire world recognizes that Donald Trump is very bad at being President of the United States. Over the next few paragraphs I’d like to illustrate a few reasons why that is so. Let’s explore.
Trump was ill prepared to take on the job. He had never run a large organization. He was never before responsible to anyone other than his father (for a short time) or himself. While to many Americans politics is a distasteful business; governing is an applied science. Trump “malarkeyed” (thanks Joe) himself through the former due to a large and very weak 2016 GOP primary field and has proven to be a disaster at the latter.
Trump ran what was essentially a little boutique real estate firm that he inherited from his father. His wheeling and dealing included four bankruptcies along the way. If he had run a publically held company with stockholders and a Board of Directors he would have been fired. The federal government includes 545 members of Congress that answer to their constituencies not the President. Trump views them as well as senior bureaucrats as his executives (read: employees) which is his first mistake. He is keeping control of many of the Republicans because his base is crucial in their primaries (which they would like to avoid if at all possible). That will end at some point and when it does it will be interesting to see all the members of Congress who will distance themselves from him as they desert him disavowing that they ever supported him.
Politically Trump lived by the legitimate press and now he is dying by it. During the primary and general election campaigns they covered him extensively because he was colorful and made for great ratings. Now that he is President they still cover him intensely but with the spotlight shifted to his ample lies, transgressions and shortcomings. The ratings are still great. If you notice much of his policy (if you can call it that) goes largely uncovered because that isn’t “sexy”; just like policy people like Jeb Bush and John Kasich weren’t in the primary. The Washington Post basically took down Richard Nixon and they will have played a significant role in the ultimate demise of Donald Trump.
Trump is used to dealing with gossip columnists which he manipulated into giving him coverage for who he was dating. He went so far as to fake being his own press agent on several occasions to get gossip column coverage. Remember this is the guy who hung a fake Time magazine cover in one of his properties. Now he is dealing with the press’ “A team” of investigative reporters. They don’t simply reprint a press release or transcribe a telephone conversation, they dig. The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize winning David Farenthold cost Trump $1 million with a single article.
Governing is very difficult in the best of circumstances. You have a plethora of often competing interests tugging at you. An honest broker with the good of the nation and world at heart is challenged to give everyone what they want; it is often literally impossible. Coming up with and selling fair compromise is challenging at best. This administration is not a government with America’s interests at heart; it is an organized criminal enterprise whose sole goal is the enrichment of the Trump family and a small group of favorites. Expecting an equitable and honorable outcome when intentions are evil is unrealistic.
The only consistency in Trump’s policies (other than trying to steal money for him and his) is to undo anything Obama did. I often wonder if we told him that Obama voted for him if he’d resign. Perhaps Congress could tell him that they repealed Obamacare and replaced it with the Affordable Care Act. That might placate him and his equally ignorant base.
As I write this piece the controversy of the day (well it has actually been about a week now) is the timeline surrounding the Rob Porter scandal. Like Trump, his supporting cast is so bad at lying they can’t get or keep their stories straight. Kellyanne Conway (am I the only one who thinks she looks like she hasn’t gotten any sleep, drank too much or both?) has to resort to alterative facts. John Kelly gets caught in lies and simply refuses to apologize. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders looks disinterested and is not convincing at all. The most talented performer is Vice President Mike Pence who is the best straight faced liar I’ve ever seen. In this administration lying and talking are almost synonymous.
There is an old saying that pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. Trump wasn’t content to be a wealthy but not respected businessman who begged for attention. He wanted the ultimate American “brass ring”. Trump’s greed both financially and egotistically will be his ultimate undoing. Both pride and greed are among the seven cardinal sins.
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