Donald Trump’s still nascent presidency has had more go wrong than any administration before it. And it began falling apart from day one. His inauguration was a poorly attended flop that Trump had to lie about to save face. He’s had two executive orders banning Muslims struck down by federal courts. His attempt to repeal ObamaCare failed in the GOP-controlled House before passing and stalling in the GOP-controlled Senate. He still hasn’t produced a tax reform bill. His first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, lasted less than three weeks. And, not surprisingly, he has lower approval ratings than any modern day president at this stage of their term.
All of this could have been (and was) predicted. During the campaign Trump was often criticized for his total lack of experience and temperament. Those were not idle complaints, but serious concerns for someone aspiring to such an important position. Leading the world’s richest, most powerful nation is not something you learn on the job. Which makes what Paul Ryan said on Thursday afternoon so bizarre (video below).
The Republican Speaker of the House was asked about Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director, James Comey, whom he later fired. Reporters wanted to know whether those conversations constituted obstruction of justice. Ryan offered that he would not have held similar conversations, but then gave this excuse for Trump doing so:
“The President’s new at this. He’s new to government. So, he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.” […] “He’s new at government, and so therefore I think that he — he is learning as he goes.”
Well that’s comforting. Ryan doesn’t seem troubled much that the President is such an amateur that he stumbled into an impeachable violation of the law. Trump is so ill-prepared for the job that he couldn’t even rely on more experienced staff to guide him through areas with which he was unfamiliar. And as far as Ryan is concerned, Trump should be excused because he’s still in training.
The problem with that is readily apparent. Trump’s cloddish behavior with Comey is just a taste of what can go wrong. What happens if Trump’s ignorance of “long-running protocols” causes him to crash headlong into an international incident? He has already shown a propensity for insulting our allies and praising hostile adversaries. What would prevent that from escalating into a full scale war? After all, Trump is still learning the ropes of this presidenty stuff.
The fact that America has a president who is patently unprepared for the job is frightening by itself. But compounding that with a Speaker who thinks it’s acceptable to tolerate an apprentice Commander-in-Chief is markedly worse. After all, the legislative branch of government is supposed to function as a check and balance on the executive branch. Unfortunately, it appears that Ryan will be about as effective as a drunken brakeman on a runaway train.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.