The President’s Weekend
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Trump’s decision together with Britain and France to attack the source of the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile and industry was an appropriate response to Syria’s action which had been done no doubt with Russian and Iranian acquiescence. Unlike Obama, Trump has responded twice now to Syrian use of chemical weapons against its own people. The problem with these two actions is that they are not part of any strategy which the President has articulated on U.S. policy against the growing aggressiveness of Russian and Iranian forces in Syria.
This is again part of the inability of the Trump Administration to articulate a policy on any issue in a coherent and comprehensive manner. The President is running the country by impulse and reacting without thought or planning. This may be damaging to the country when it comes to health or immigration policy, but it is exceedingly dangerous to the world for friends and adversaries. America’s global interests are being conducted by a President who has no understanding of issues and who has proven himself unwilling to listen to any advisers who are not commentators appearing on Fox News or Sinclair. As dangerous as this modus operandi was before last week, now that Paul Ryan is moving on, Comey is going on his book tour, and Michael Cohen is preoccupied, the President is likely to be running the nation with no rudder.
Ryan’s move will only be politically damaging for the President. Comey will be more of the same, but Michael Cohen’s legal problem has clearly captured all of Trump’s attention. It appears that while Trump may well have had reason to fear the Mueller investigation, it looks as if the F.B.I. raid and capture of all of Cohen’s files, etc., have sent the President into a panic mode. Whatever truths the Russia investigation will disclose about Trump and his campaign’s cozy relationship with Putin, it appears to pale in comparison to what is likely to be disclosed with any releases from the Cohen files.
The President has always only been concerned with himself and how he is perceived. No one else matters and no actions are important. It is his ego that needs to be fed and stroked. He can lie all he wants now but when the facts will be placed before him Trump knows what the feds will learn from the Cohen stash. It is likely to be so explosive as to contain financial records, business deals, and extensive prurient details all of which will repudiate the wall of deniability that Trump has erected around himself.
This new investigation is likely to move very fast and the ugly truths will undoubtedly undercut all the lying in which Trump has engaged throughout his life. It appears that the President is beginning to sense that the law which he has flaunted and abused throughout his career is now beginning to close in on him. Eventually, even Trump will not be able to deconstruct the Constitution and the entire legal system.
Like Nixon, President Trump may also soon be talking to the paintings in the White House.