All the hand wringing and consternation with the peculiar habits and impulsive eccentricities of our current President are at the same time appropriate and counterproductive. What we see is what we get. By now it should come as no surprise that the man child is wholly unfit to be leader of the free world. While we must protect against normalizing his behavior on the one hand we must cease feigning surprise or shock at the dangerously destructive potential of his actions.
He is a dangerous person. Period. He is so inappropriately juvenile in his actions and pronouncements that we must conclude he will not change and is comfortable with a decision-making process which produces them. He is not going to pivot to a “presidential” mode. The most serious problem we face is that he will become exceedingly frustrated with the counterproductive results of his actions and it will exacerbate the risk of danger inherent due to the gravity of the issues he will face.
Face it folks, things are only going to get worse, not better. If the Republican Party collectively does not take action to excise this curse from the body politic we may find ourselves in a situation where the consequences are irreparable. I sincerely doubt that impeachment is on the horizon anytime soon. The pace of the investigations by the Special Counsel and the various Congressional committees offers little comfort that anything will happen soon. Section 4 of the 25th Amendment sets in motion a process that would effectively have the Vice-President and a majority of the Cabinet overthrowing the President on the grounds of incapacity to carry out his duties and could ultimately involve a two-thirds vote of both Houses. This may be the most promising option among a slate of dubious options for addressing the urgency to deal with what we might call the “presidential problem” facing the nation and the world, but it is unlikely to happen anytime soon if at all.
As the Donald shortly will sit down with Putin, one can only imagine the Bear licking his chops at the prospect for manipulating Trump and the United States on the world stage. The most distressing aspect to this whole sordid deal will be that Trump will never know what hit him. It is said that the President envisions himself as a counter-puncher. Well that is of little value if the opponent knocks you out first. While administering the smelling salts to the Western heavyweight Russia may be hoisting the title belt. It is bad enough that Trump publicly idolizes the former Soviet KGB operative, but he has also shown to be so outclassed in worldly affairs and lacking in diplomatic awareness that it is almost an unfair fight. For all his body mass, Trump is a featherweight in this arena.
Furthermore, there is no indication that Trump is prepared for the encounter. What substitutes for training exercises in this metaphorical bout is attention to details, an appreciation of the potential consequences of any actionable items, knowledge of the historical perspectives of the opponent, and exhaustive study of the strategic approaches and tactical prowess of the enemy. In this instance we have a fighter who does not even realize that in fact his opponent is intent on knocking the stuffing out of him. And we have a fighter who could possibly be on the take, willing to take a dive at the right price. That price may be affected by embarrassing information that could damage his ability to compete in the future. In sum in every respect this will be a donnybrook.
We are in the throes of a long slow slide into practical irrelevance on the world stage and the only ones who can prevent such a catastrophic inevitability are busy telling Trump he is the champ, when in actuality they believe he is the chump. But their money is on the contender so there is the hope that the cornermen, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, may be able to patch him up to fight another day, or maybe just enough to keep him metaphorically alive. In this fight the punches land and the damage is real.
The only way America wins in this scenario is if we front a real heavyweight contender. The only way that will happen is if the GOP changes the rules under which they are currently operating. There are few palatable options, but options do exist. But as in the boxing match the stakes are real. The inability to recognize this will affect all of us. It is likely to not be a pretty sight.