Noonan on Trump
Peggy Noonan on the President’s staff:
It is absurd to think the president can solve his problems by firing his staff. They are not the problem. He is the problem. They’re not the A-Team, they’re not the counselors you’d want, experienced and wise. They’re the island of misfit toys. But they could function adequately if he could lead adequately. For months he’s told friends he’s about to make big changes, and doesn’t. Why? Maybe because talented people on the outside don’t want to enter a poisonous staff environment just for the joy of committing career suicide. So he’s stuck, surrounded by people who increasingly resent him, who fear his unpredictability and pique and will surely one day begin to speak on the record.
Pretty much (emphasis mine). A question in my mind is how long the handful of competent people in position can either avoid being fired or continue to hold their noses in an attempt to steer the president in the right direction (assuming that is what they are trying to do) without quitting.
Two other comments on the Noonan column.
First, she asks: ”A mystery: Why is the president never careful?”
That is not a mystery. He lacks the maturity one would expect of a 17 year-old, let alone a 70 year-old. He is insecure, ignorant, and egotistical as well. None of this leads to careful behavior. (Plus, “careful” did not get him where he is now. There is no mystery, therefore, that he remains incautious in his words and behaviors).
Second, she suggests:
Here’s an idea.
It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job. Stop tweeting. Stop seething. Stop wasting time. You lost the thread and don’t even know what you were elected to do anymore. Get a grip. Grow up and look at the terrain, see it for what it is. We have limited time. Every day you undercut yourself, you undercut us. More important, you keep from happening the good policy things we could have done together. If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone. Act like a president or leave the presidency.”
Could it help? For a minute. But it would be constructive—not just carping, leaking, posing, cheering and tweeting but actually trying to lead.
The president needs to be told: Democracy is not your plaything.
All well and good, save that a) I see no such likely leadership from the Congress, and b) he wouldn’t listen if they tried.