Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve

trump-unfitBy E.J. Dionne Jr.
Let’s not mumble or whisper about the central issue facing our country: What is this democratic nation to do when the man serving as president of the United States plainly has no business being president of the United States?

The Michael Flynn fiasco was the entirely predictable product of the indiscipline, deceit, incompetence and moral indifference that characterize Donald Trump’s approach to leadership.

Even worse, Trump’s loyalties are now in doubt. Questions about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia will not go away, even if congressional Republicans try to slow-walk a transparent investigation into what ties Trump has with Putin’s Russia — and who on his campaign did what, and when, with Russian intelligence officials and diplomats.

Party leaders should listen to those Republicans who are already pondering how history will judge their actions in this wrenching moment. Senators such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham seem to know it is only a matter of time before the GOP will have to confront Trump’s unfitness. They also sense that Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser for lying about the nature of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States raises fundamental concerns about Trump himself.

The immediate political controversy is over how Congress should investigate this. Republican leaders say attention from Congress’s intelligence committees is sufficient, and for now Democrats have agreed to this path. But many in their ranks, along with some Republicans, argue it would be better to form a bipartisan select committee that could cross jurisdictional lines and be far more open about its work.

Those pushing for the select committee have reason to fear that keeping things under wraps in the intelligence panels could be a way to bury the story for a while and buy Trump time. Letting Americans in on what went on here, and quickly, is the only way to bolster trust in this administration, if that is even possible. And let’s face the reality here: It could also hasten the end of a presidency that could do immense damage to the United States.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in the meantime, must immediately recuse himself from all decisions about all aspects of the Russia investigation by the FBI and the intelligence services. Sessions should step back not simply because he is an appointee of the president but, more importantly, because he was a central figure in the Trump campaign. He cannot possibly be a neutral arbiter, and his involvement would only heighten fears of a coverup.

In this dark moment, we can celebrate the vitality of the institutions of a free society that are pushing back against a president offering the country a remarkable combination of authoritarian inclinations and ineptitude. The courts, civil servants, citizens — collectively and individually — and, yes, an unfettered media have all checked Trump and forced inconvenient facts into the sunlight.

It is a sign of how beleaguered Trump is that his Twitter response on Wednesday morning was not to take responsibility but to assign blame. His villains are leakers and the press: “Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?). Just like Russia.”

It is notable that in acknowledging that the news reports are based on “information,” Trump effectively confirmed them. At the same time, he was characteristically wrong about Russia, whose government prevents transparency and punishes those who try to foster it. There’s also this: Kremlin agents stole information from a political party in a free country. That is very different from the actions of the media’s informants inside our government who are holding our own officials accountable for their false denials and fictitious claims.

It will be said that Trump was elected and thus deserves some benefit of the doubt. Isn’t it rash to declare him unfit after so little time?

The answer is no, because the Trump we are seeing now is fully consistent with the vindictive, self-involved and scattered man we saw during the 17 months of his campaign. In one of the primary debates, Jeb Bush said of Trump: “He’s a chaos candidate and he’d be a chaos president.” Rarely has a politician been so prophetic.

And this is why nearly 11 million more Americans voted against Trump than for him. His obligation was to earn the trust of the 60 percent of Americans who told exit pollsters on Election Day that they viewed him unfavorably. Instead, he has ratified their fears, and then some.

As a country, we now need to face the truth, however awkward and difficult it might be.

  • letsstayhonest

    The whole note is fantasy. Hillary had exactly 1,322,095 more votes than Trump. And some of these votes where fraudulent. Not 3 millon, and where did the author get 11 millon. Trump so far is an outstanding President who is doing what he promised during the campaign. What a refreshing concept!

  • vs

    Die Dschihadisten töten sich jetzt gegenseitig http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2017-02/syrien-opposition-baschar-al-assad-gegner-konferenz-feuerpause

    The jihadists are now killing each other

    • Rascal

      The sunni jihadist and the shiite jihadist have been killing each other for a long time. Inter muslim fighting is the norm.

      • HebAlba

        old news, would you like the whole US CIA… & friends, plan for Arab sectarian Inter fighting?
        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65ac09b40fa9988455b02e3b2e04f5f0e91408fbf47b913f2d3557de5ac7e001.jpg

        • vs

          certainly easier to blame somebody outside
          until they are and like you are blaming someone from the outside, here will not change anything

          • HebAlba

            thr Looks like it’s the outside.

            bio6666666666666666“““““““““““

            rrrhimoi

            . unless you’re talking about Loom,ethr Moon..

          • vs

            🙂

          • HebAlba

            You live in a fantasy we’re talking about WWI what happened since 100 years. Hezbollah didn’t “invade” Lebanon.
            There was no Hezbollah before Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982.

          • vs

            Your beloved islam hardly etnically cleansed infidels also in Lebanon, it was easier than jews of Israel. May be you are live in a fantasy i see

          • HebAlba

            The bird singing non stop..(my beloved islam now(?)..

    • HebAlba

      not only now..ouff

      • vs

        Thank You for correction, i’m just google translating

  • vs

    February 17 AP news agency issued a statement that the administration of Donald Trump’s alleged plans to mobilize one hundred thousand soldiers of the National Guard for the operation to detain illegal immigrants.

    But the White House has officially declared immediately that this information is absolutely untrue and is a typical example of “false news”

  • vs

    Trump called CNN, NBC and The New York Times enemies of the American people https://lenta.ru/news/2017/02/18/trump_cmi_vragi_naroda/ https://twitter.com/intent/follow?screen_name=realDonaldTrump

  • HebAlba

    “Theory: People are fleeing NYT, WaPo and The Guardian so fast they are creating fake viewers on the net to hide it. Remember, Obama’s and Hillary’s internet followers were mostly fake accounts.

    Fakestream media is dying. The only thing that can save them is getting rid of Trump. Now they will turn themselves into NAZI media to save their own existence.

    (Impeachment of Trump takes years. They don’t have time for that”

  • Rascal

    There are a lot of leaders that are “unfit”. There is no moral high-chair for any to sit on. But is he less fit than others? Is Putin unfit? How about Khamenei, naa thats too easy. How about Merkel , she let her country be raped by immigrants….yah, there are a lot that fit the bill. Trump is no different and maybe he reflects the chaotic time we live in.
    Oh the hypocrites that cry about the horrendous crimes of Trump and turn a blind eye to far worse leaders and greater injustice everyday. It is too soon to call anyone a bad leader, and expect instant change so suck it up buttercup, I hope you fall off your bandwagon.

  • vs

    Canadian Immigration Citizenship and refugee Minister Ahmed Husen (a
    native of Somalia) said that in 2017 the Canadian authorities intend to
    grant asylum to about 1,200 Yezidis and representatives of some other
    groups affected by the “Islamic State”.

    At
    the same time, he noted that the Government of Canada will not rush
    with the adoption of decisions on asylum, because he wants to save,
    especially those whose lives are truly in danger. The Minister stressed that each asylum-seeker will pass a personal
    interview with a visa officer and security officer, as well as pass the
    biometric verification and medical examination.

    The ministry stressed that in addition to the state of refugee
    reception program will be encouraged and the actions of individuals,
    sponsoring the visit to Canada of representatives of vulnerable groups
    identified by the Government.

    At
    the same time, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said his
    country will not deny safe haven to illegal immigrants who pass the
    US-Canadian border after the promulgation of the decree of the president
    of the United States immigration Donald Trump. “Canadians believe in our immigration system and the integrity of our
    borders, in that we are helping people who are looking for security,” –
    he said, speaking in front of Parliament.

    Trudeau said that he intends to stick to the balance between the rigor
    of the system and the reception of people in need of assistance to
    ensure the country’s security.

    The flow of refugees from the United States to Canada intensified after the immigration decree Trump. In January 2017 asylum in Canada on the Canada-US border have asked 452 people (in January 2016 there were 137 such asylum) (GT)

  • vs

    Trump allowed an appointment with angering him Kim Jong-un https://lenta.ru/news/2017/02/24/trump_kchy_vstrecha/

    • vs

      Stephen Mode: “Похоже, Путин в том же списке”

  • vs
  • vs

    The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went
    down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/835479283699224576

  • Andre

    Don’t blame me for this idiot!

  • vs
  • vs

    Trump asked journalists to help him donate presidential salary (The annual salary of the US president is 400 thousand dollars. Also during this time he can spend on personal expenses 50 thousand dollars from a special account. In addition, he has at his disposal a travel payment fund of $ 100,000 and $ 19,000 for entertainment) https://lenta.ru/news/2017/03/13/trump_potratit_zarplaty/