Trump’s first couple of weeks have been less than stellar. Not that he’d ever admit he’s been less than perfect, but rumor has it that even The Donald is not exactly pleased with his track record in the White House so far.
I’m hardly letting the cat out of the bag in saying that our new President has a hard time suffering any criticism, deserved or not. One wonders just how well this bodes for Steve Bannon, The Donald’s “Chief Strategist.”
Bannon is the apparent architect of most of Trump’s executive orders and memoranda to date, including the one setting the stage for the deportation of millions of undocumented aliens in the U.S. and banning refugee admissions (that now supposedly isn’t a ban after all, at least according to the White House), and the one setting forth the members of the National Security Council further discussed below.
Bannon is also reportedly the instigator of Trump’s gratuitous bullying of anyone and everyone not promptly answering “how high” whenever The Donald says “Jump!,” whether we’re referring to the “so called” leaders of Mexico and Australia, a long list of “so called” local U.S. governments, “so called” judges not asking The Donald “how high,” and “so called” painting subcontractors on The Donald’s (or should I say The Donald’s two older sons’) real estate projects.
In contrast, Trump’s only fairly well received presidential action so far has been his Supreme Court nomination (assuming Trump doesn’t sabotage his own nomination by referring to judges who don’t roll over for him as “so called” judges, precisely as he tweeted last week in response to Washington State judge Robart’s injunction of the refugee ban). But, it should be noted, that Trump’s Supreme Court nomination is about the only significant act to date orchestrated by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus rather than Chief Strategist Bannon.
One of the strangest of the strange things to come out of the White House last week was an official memorandum signed by Trump naming the members of the National Security Council in which customary military representatives on the Council were all but removed in favor of the addition of Chief Strategist Bannon. This shift in focus from the military to civilian was unprecedented, and is inexplicable. What would have possessed Trump do that, to demote his own Cabinet military appointees, in favor of creating a seat at the Council table for someone like Bannon, who has zero experience in such matters? The word is that Trump didn’t do that. Bannon wrote the memorandum and Trump merely signed it, without being told, or taking the time to read, what it said. And now, Trump, being perfect (or narcissistic) of course can’t admit that it was a mistake, even though he also can’t possibly explain or defend it (other than to himself, that is).
“So called” Chief Strategist Bannon had better watch his own narcissistic ways. He’s as egotistical and surreptitious (no one really knows just what his agenda is, beyond running the kingdom) as he is smart. And he definitely enjoys the inside track with our freshman President. So far. But he’s still the new kid on the block, and pretty green, at least when it comes to running the world, or even the White House, and he, like The Donald, could stand to study up a bit on Emily Post’s rules of etiquette.
Trump is going to quickly tire of being criticized on more fronts than he can take on. Even with the benefit of Twitter. And when he does, he might just confuse Bannon for one of his painting subs, and conclude that it’s easier for him to fire Bannon than the rest of the world.
And as more and more people chatting around the water cooler are speculating that Bannon more than Trump is running the White House, Bannon’s days are still more likely to be numbered. There is simply no way The Donald will be able to tolerate that image—being nothing more than Bannon’s lackey. Nothing more than . . . a “so called” President.
Editor’s Note: Nor can Trump blame all of his shortcomings on Bannon. In taking on the propriety of the executive immigration ban, our judicial branch is venturing into the political arena far more than ever before. (This afternoon’s hearing in the 9th Circuit will be fascinating, and quite likely disappointing to constitutional adherents like yours truly.) Trump has contributed mightily to all of this by serially putting his foot on the subject precisely where it doesn’t belong–in his mouth. He’d be better advised to instead put a cork in his mouth. He may be counting on the Supreme Court to bail him out of what the ultra-liberal 9th Circuit panel is likely to rule, but he shouldn’t count on that; the Supreme Court has been quite reluctant to act when it sees that it’s likely to come out with a 4 to 4 split, drawing attention to its own political improprieties.
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