Weekend Reads: Opinions | Trump is in a tailspin — and dragging the country down with him - - PressFrom - Canada
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Weekend Reads Opinions | Trump is in a tailspin — and dragging the country down with him

05:45  18 october  2019
05:45  18 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

US prefers a 'big deal' with China: Trump

  US prefers a 'big deal' with China: Trump President Donald Trump said Monday he would prefer to strike a comprehensive trade bargain with China, in comments days before top US and Chinese officials are due to resume trade talks in Washington. But with little sign the two sides have made progress in bridging the distance between them, speculation has mounted in recent months they may reach a deal which addresses only some of Washington's extensive grievances. "I think it's not what weBut with little sign the two sides have made progress in bridging the distance between them, speculation has mounted in recent months they may reach a deal which addresses only some of Washington's extensive grievances.

The most powerful office in the world is occupied — and being abused — by a man who is entirely unfit and is spinning dangerously out of control. Everyone needs to stop pretending otherwise.

And it’s all getting worse.

President Trump’s train wreck of a performance on Wednesday, at a meeting with congressional leaders, represented a new low on a scale that seems to have no bottom. “I pray for the president all the time . . . I think now, we have to pray for his health,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said later, because “this was a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

Trump began by complaining about having to attend a meeting initiated by his own White House aides, according to published accounts. The subject was Trump’s sudden decision to move U.S. military personnel in Syria aside, allowing Turkish troops and affiliated militias to sweep across the border and attack the Kurds, who had been loyal U.S. allies.

Five facts that blow up the latest White House defense of Trump

  Five facts that blow up the latest White House defense of Trump Trump has declared war on the impeachment inquiry. It's based on demonstrable nonsense.President Trump has “declared war” against the House’s impeachment inquiry, we’re told, based on an eight page letter written by the White House counsel that openly declares a posture of maximal resistance, on the grounds that the inquiry is illegitimate.

The president then tried to make the case that he did not actually condone the Turkish invasion. Attendees were given copies of a truly bizarre and alarming letter Trump had sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 9. Just four short paragraphs long, the letter begins, “Let’s work out a good deal!” It ends by telling Erdogan, “History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen. Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool! I will call you later.”

That is how the president of the United States communicated with a powerful foreign leader at a moment of crisis. We have all witnessed more sophisticated attempts at persuasion on kindergarten playgrounds. Erdogan reportedly threw the letter in the trash.

Trump defends abandoning the Kurds by saying they didn't help the US in WWII

  Trump defends abandoning the Kurds by saying they didn't help the US in WWII When asked whether he felt his treatment of the Kurds sent a poor message to other potential US allies, Trump said, "Alliances are very easy."This came amid reports Turkish ground troops were crossing the border into Syria following airstrikes that began earlier in the day.

During the White House meeting, Trump went on to denigrate Jim Mattis, the decorated and highly esteemed Marine Corps general who served as Trump’s defense secretary before resigning last year over Syria policy. Mattis is “the world’s most overrated general,” Trump announced, according to the New York Times. “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”

Anyone in touch with reality knows that none of this is true. The territory held by ISIS — the Islamic State — was reclaimed by Kurdish fighters with the aid and guidance of U.S. troops and intelligence operatives. Shortly before the meeting, the House voted 354 to 60 to condemn Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, with most Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in expressing outrage.

Perhaps that vote was what set Trump off. “You’re just a politician,” he told Pelosi. Then he amended his assessment: “You’re not a politician, you’re a third-rate politician.”

Donald Trump's take on a death in the UK is breathtaking

  Donald Trump's take on a death in the UK is breathtaking You may not know the story of Anne Sacoolas and Harry Dunn. In short, it goes like this: Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat in Britain, allegedly struck and killed Dunn, a 19-year-old, in August while driving on the wrong side of the road. Soon thereafter, Sacoolas and her family left the UK and returned to America. Dunn's parents have appealed to Trump to intervene, bringing Sacoolas back to the UK to stand trial.Trump on Wednesday was asked about the Sacoolas case after he noted that he had just spoken to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

That’s what Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) heard; Pelosi thought she heard him say “third-grade politician.” In any event, she and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) rose to their feet and walked out.

They pressed Trump and his aides to explain what the plan was for fighting the Islamic State now that the Kurdish firewall is gone. They didn’t get an answer because there is no plan. The president doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he is doing.

Trump is in so far over his head that he doesn’t know which way is up. He also is intellectually, psychologically and morally unsuitable for the high office he holds. Those two problems — incompetence and unfitness — reinforce one another in the worst possible way, and have sent the presidency into a tailspin that puts the nation and the world in mounting peril.

Impeachment is no longer optional, given what we already know about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. But the prospect of facing a Senate trial — for which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is already making plans — can only boost Trump’s anxiety. His outbursts and tweetstorms are becoming more frequent and less tethered to the world of facts, events and consequences. Madness is a term laypeople use, not doctors. We must use it now.

Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle unveiled

  Secrets of the Bermuda Triangle unveiled The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most dreaded areas on the planet due to terrifying stories of ill-fated ships and planes that have ventured into its some 1.3 million to 3.9 million square kilometres (500,000 to 1.5 million square miles) and disappeared without a trace. These disappearances are often blamed on paranormal forces, such as aliens, sea monsters, and mythical cities that lie within its waters, but scientists argue that natural forces and human error are more likely the cause.

I once was confident that our institutions and processes were durable enough to easily survive Trump. Now, I’m less sure. “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” — a letter saying these things, on behalf of the United States government, was actually sent to the government of Turkey. Good Lord.

Senators, pay attention. You may prefer to let voters judge Trump in next year’s election. But you must realize, at this point, that we may not have that long.

eugenerobinson@washpost.com

Read more from Eugene Robinson’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Read more:

Michael Gerson: Trump is turning American ideology into a sham

Henry Olsen: Trump’s puerile letter to Erdogan should give every American the chills

Max Boot: Trump has lost Syria — and his mind

Doug Sosnik: What to expect when you are expecting impeachment

Submit a question to Eugene Robinson’s next live chat here

a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump in Fort Worth on Thursday.© Andrew Harnik/AP President Trump in Fort Worth on Thursday.

Trump should be very worried about Senate Republicans .
They won't defend him on the merits.Think of Senate Republicans’ current antics protesting “secret” House hearings on impeachment — in which Republicans sit on the relevant committees — as not simply spurious (recall that Benghazi depositions were held by the House in private), but a warning sign to President Trump that his allies in the Senate seem altogether unwilling to defend him on the merits.

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