The Washington Post)
President Trump on the South Lawn of the White House on Nov. 20. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
When the new year begins next week, President Trump will have an acting chief of staff, an acting secretary of defense, an acting attorney general, an acting EPA administrator, no interior secretary, and no ambassador to the United Nations. The officials originally in all those positions have either been fired or have quit in various measures of disgust or scandal. His former campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, national security adviser and personal lawyer have all pleaded guilty to crimes. His campaign, his transition, his foundation and his business are all under investigation. The United States’ allies are horrified at the chaos Trump has brought to our foreign policy. The stock market is experiencing wild swings as investors are gripped with fear over what might be coming and what Trump might do to make it worse — a situation alarming enough that the treasury secretary felt the need to call up the CEOs of major banks to assure them that everything is under control.
And, oh yeah, the government is shut down.
This, my friends, is exactly what we were afraid of when Trump somehow managed to get elected president two years ago. This is what we warned you about.
Political news refused to take a break for the holidays. Here is a recap of what occurred in the whirlwind week of Dec. 17-21. (Blair Guild/The Washington Post)
To give you a flavor of the president’s mind-set, here’s what happened over the weekend with regard to the departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, widely regarded as the sanest of Trump’s national security team and one of the few original members of Trump’s Cabinet who did not show himself to be incompetent, corrupt, or both. The president’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria because of a single phone call with the president of Turkey was apparently the last straw for Mattis, who has watched in dismay as Trump has set about to degrade the alliances that have shaped U.S. foreign policy for the last seven decades. So Mattis tendered his resignation, saying he’d depart in two months to give the president time to find a replacement. And then . . .