Tuesday, 16 May 2017
How Long Can Trump Last?
It was reported last night that President Trump, at a meeting with a Russia foreign minister last week, revealed classified information he had not been authorised to reveal since it had come from an ally. Trump was aware of the information and that no such authorisation had been given but chose to tell the Russians anyway. The White House has of course, through a spokesman, denied the story labelling it false. But then the White House communications office is usually the last to know about anything anyway as we saw last week during the whole James Comey farce and so this denial is worthless.
Like many people I have struggled to make sense of last week's story and of the constantly changing excuse for the sacking of the FBI director. On the one hand Comey can have few complaints since his tenure had been controversial to the point of dysfunctionality. But then removing a director who is investigating you is such brazen, stupid politics that only a man of Trump's arrogance would attempt it. The initial excuse that it was over the Hillary Clinton emails never made sense. Trump just decided to fire Comey because he had incurred the president's displeasure by failing to show sufficient loyalty and reverence. The Justice Department was therefore tasked with reverse engineering the excuse for firing the FBI Director.
We are accustomed by now to the fact that Trump is entirely unaware of his own stupidity. Stupid people often do not realise that they are stupid. Some, like Trump, even think they are geniuses. But there are smart people around Trump. You have to wonder what they are making of this car crash president, this accident that isn't so much waiting to happen but that is like one of those motorway slow motion multiple crashes caused by fog in which nobody can stop in time and can thus only brace for impact. Why would you stick around being yelled at by president moron, taking the fall for him, being ridiculed in the press and on TV and then being threatened with being fired because of his inability to stop tweeting, talking gibberish, making bad decisions, trying to deflect and otherwise distract from his epic failures and pathological lying? Why, given the clear direction of travel towards impeachment and ignominy, would you not jump out of the car?
The problem is that Trump is a man who is accustomed to being a dictator in his own small empire of people who have to take an oath of allegiance to him personally and to his peculiar mafia-like operation and modus operandi. He is a petty dictator who thinks nothing of breaking rules, being serially unreliable, of stabbing as many backs as he deems fit to get what he wants or just to save his own skin. Nothing is ever Trump's fault. His triumphs are down to his unique genius, while his failures, often epic and unforced, are down to the treachery, incompetence and ignorance of others. If only they had listened to Donald.
Now it is revealed that once again he has been caught out doing favours to the Russians in a way that defies rational explanation and will once again create questions. There is simply no way that investigations into his links to Russia can be stopped and the calls for further inquiries, possibly including congressional inquiries will get louder and more insistent. If Republicans have any sense now they will start uncoupling themselves from the crash before their own careers are burnt. Impeachment may not be imminent according to the normal rules. But then this is a president who eschews rules and regards rules as being for other people.