A sim­ple so­lu­tion

To a prob­lem that needn’t be one

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Add an­other name to the re­volv­ing-door cast that oc­cu­pies the West Wing of the White House, how­ever briefly, in this Trumped-up, all-aswirl ad­min­is­tra­tion. As of press time and sub­ject to change at any minute, An­thony (The Mooch) Scara­mucci is out as com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor and a far more rep­utable and sta­ble leader and or­ga­nizer, re­tired Gen. John Kelly, is in as White House chief of staff. Let’s see how long the gen­eral lasts, for this pres­i­dent may be al­ler­gic to any­thing as sim­ple and ba­sic as sta­bil­ity — in his ad­min­is­tra­tion or even in him­self.

It’s hard to keep up with the names of se­nior staffers who’ve come and gone in The Hon. Don­ald Trump’s en­tourage. The list of for­m­ers has grown far too swiftly for or­di­nary mor­tals to keep up with:

There was Mike Flynn, the for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser who quit when he was caught mak­ing state­ments about his con­tacts with Rus­sian of­fi­cials that didn’t add up even be­fore he was sworn in. There was Katie Walsh, for­mer deputy chief of staff who wisely chose to leave her job to join Amer­ica First Poli­cies, an in­de­pen­dent out­fit that’s sup­posed to sup­port this pres­i­dent’s agenda, what­ever it may be at any given mo­ment. There was James Comey, a show­boat of an FBI di­rec­tor, who was forced out of of­fice. The rea­sons for it change, but not the need. There was Mike Dubke, who was obliged to re­sign as White House com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for this White House, ex­plain­ing that the “rea­sons for my de­par­ture are per­sonal.” Like pre­fer­ring to quit be­fore he was fired? At any rate, he’s well out of this job. There was Sean Spicer, who was said to have quit as White House press sec­re­tary rather than serve un­der Mr. Scara­mucci. There was Reince Priebus, who by now has been re­placed by Gen. Kelly as White House chief of staff.

Suf­fice it to say that this tot­ter­ing house of cards called the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion may go wob­bling un­til it or the poor re­porters and edi­tors try­ing to keep up with it go quite mad. De­spite any num­ber of score­cards, there’s scarcely any fol­low­ing this ball­game as the play­ers hus­tle in and out of their re­spec­tive dugouts.

Hap­pily, cer­tain of the still new pres­i­dent’s ap­point­ments can scarcely be called back, like his choice of Neil Gor­such as the new­est jus­tice of the Supreme Court of the United States, which Mr. Trump rightly called his great­est ac­com­plish­ment and, over the years, may prove just that. A few more re­tire­ments at the Supreme Court, and this pres­i­dent might have a last­ing im­pact, all right. But for the bet­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the great Ger­man states­man Otto von Bis­marck, God looks af­ter fools, drunk­ards and the United States of Amer­ica. Yes, and He must have a de­li­cious sense of hu­mor, too, to have set the stage for this less than divine com­edy, this the­ater of the ab­surd. And what a show it is.

Our pres­i­dent points to all the signs that happy days, not to men­tion zany ones, are here again. He looks on his works and pro­claims them good: “Over­all,” he says, “I think we’re do­ing in­cred­i­bly well . ...” As for whether that’s be­cause of or de­spite his lead­er­ship, there’s no need go into de­tail. He noted that “the unem­ploy­ment rate is the low­est it has been in 17 years” and busi­nesses’ con­fi­dence in the econ­omy (if not in the pres­i­dent) re­mains high. “We have a tremen­dous base,” he says. “The coun­try is op­ti­mistic.” The next day, the pa­pers say in­come growth in June was the weak­est in seven months. Wha­daya gonna do? It’s the busi­ness cy­cle.

Any­way, there’s a sim­ple so­lu­tion to at least one com­pli­cated chal­lenge fac­ing this ad­min­is­tra­tion: how to rec­on­cile all those off-there­cord state­ments that its var­i­ous spokesper­sons have made on its be­half. An­swer: Just don’t go off the record. The whole ad­min­is­tra­tion should try it. It would like the re­sults.

There aren’t any ques­tions that sim­ple can­dor would not re­solve in an in­stant. Like mama said, if you al­ways tell the truth, you don’t have to re­mem­ber what you said yes­ter­day.

That’s our con­sid­ered opin­ion and, yes, it’s on the record.

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