Giving Trump the Boot
Max Boot is an extremely thoughtful and insightful conservative analyst who is a senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations. I don't agree with everything he writes, but I admire that thinking and perspective he puts into his work.
He wrote an article last week the Foreign Relations website which I was going to bring up here at the time, but other news stories got in the way. It had a most-decided provocative title -- all the more so since he's generally a very low-key, even-handed writer -- though as blunt as the article is, he makes his points with highly-researched reasoning. The article is "Donald Trump is Proving Too Stupid to Be President." (The sub-heading is, "'You know, I'm, like, a smart person.' Uh-huh."
He begins the article by saying that Trump is so far from being smart "that he may not be capable of carrying out his duties as president." And Boot then goes on to give example after example.
Like Trump's exchange with a couple of Presbyterian pastors, bragging how well he did with evangelicals -- when they had to explain to him that they weren't evangelical. When he demanded to know what they were, and they answered Presbyterian," he shot back, "But you're all Christians?" The lager point isn't that they had to "reassure" him that they were -- but that Trump himself is Presbyterian.
Or the recent story where Trump tried to convince editors of The Economist that he had come up with the expression "Priming the pump." (When I initially heard this story, it was beyond cringeworthy since I couldn't imagine Trump even having the slightest idea that pumps had to be primed.)
There are more examples, and Mr. Boot goes into a analysis of the difference between "stupidity" and "ignorance," the latter of which his defenders have been trying to explain Trump's gaffes, by his being "new on the job." But as Boot points out, Trump is 71-years-old and has given no sense of learning on the job or wanting to.
As Boot writes, "The surest indication of how not smart Trump is that he thinks his inability or lack of interest in acquiring knowledge doesn’t matter. He said last year that he reaches the right decisions 'with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words common sense, because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.'"
To which Max Boot asks, "How's that working out?"
His analysis jumps off from here, from his firing of James Comey to his responses toward the recent London terror attacks, and leading "code-level" top secret information to Russia, as well as starting a Twitter fight with Qatar, and pulling out of the Paris climate accord because he believes global warming is a hoax. Boot gives Trump defenders' their say -- and then explains why they're wrong.
He ends the article this way --
"The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet certify that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” he can be removed with the concurrence of two-thirds of both houses. That won’t happen, because Republicans are too craven to stand up to Trump. But on the merits perhaps it should. After nearly five months in office, Trump has given no indication that he possesses the mental capacity to be president."
You can read the whole thing here.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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