Dear Commons Community,
After a horrendous week of protests, counter-protests, and mayhem that resulted in numerous injuries and several deaths in our country, the New York Times has a long editorial today lambasting Donald Trump as a “failing” president and a “prince of discord.” Here is an excerpt:
“With each day, President Trump offers fresh proof that he is failing the office that Americans entrusted to him. The rolling disaster of his presidency accelerated downhill last week with a news conference on Tuesday at which he seemed determined to sow racial strife in a nation desperate for a unifying vision.
Since the 1930s it has not typically been a challenge for an American leader to denounce Nazism. But there is nothing typical about this president; urged by some of his advisers and family members to summon the majesty and moral authority of the presidency to heal the wounds of last weekend’s neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, to put the good of the country before personal pique, he chose instead to deliver a defense of white supremacists that raised as never before profound doubts about his moral compass, his grasp of the obligations of his office and his fitness to occupy it.
This, in essence, is where we are now: a nation led by a prince of discord who seems divorced from decency and common sense. The alarm bells were loud and swift. Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff delivered a rare rebuke, condemning race-based extremism in the military and the nation. Foreign leaders, from Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations to Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, condemned intolerance and a failure of leadership in the White House.
Of all the many complaints and condemnations, the strongest came from Mr. Trump’s putative allies in the business community, a glittering who’s who of financial and corporate leaders who began resigning from two White House advisory councils early last week, ultimately forcing the president to dissolve both panels in order to spare himself the humiliation of further corporate desertions. The White House ultimately abandoned a third advisory council, on infrastructure, an area where Mr. Trump had hoped to fulfill at least one of his campaign promises to create jobs.
Mr. Trump was reportedly energized by his Tuesday performance, which he saw as a rebuke to politically correct forces that he thinks are determined to topple him. He crashed ahead, attacking critics on all sides and delivering Twitter bursts of anti-historical nonsense. Not the least of these was his repetition, shortly after the terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday, of the canard that Gen. John Pershing, known as “Black Jack,” had stopped Islamic terrorists in the Philippines by killing dozens of them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood, a strategy Mr. Trump thinks worthy of emulation.
One measure of the despair caused by Mr. Trump’s behavior is that we find ourselves strangely comforted by things that in any normal presidency would be cause for concern. One of these is the sheer incompetence that this president has displayed. Apart from threatening environmental, safety and financial protections with largely unfulfilled executive orders, a demonstrably cruel deportation policy, and lamentable court appointments, the worst of Mr. Trump’s plans have thankfully faltered, like destroying the Affordable Care Act, while others are nowhere in sight.”
The editorial documents Trump’s incapacity to govern but it will take a courage not yet displayed on the part of Republicans especially those in Congress to rid us of this monster of a president. Not likely to happen!