The calamitous week of the White House
Trump White House is in a perpetual state of discord. But even by its standards, this week was remarkable.
Just to recap, the week included:
Republicans failing — apparently for good — to deliver on a longstanding GOP and Donald Trump promise to repeal Obamacare, thanks to a statement vote from none other than Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose war hero status Trump poo-pooed as a candidate.
Trump announcing a ban on transgender members of the military that was apparently news to both the military and Congress and still isn’t sorted out, with several GOP senators opposing it and the Joint Chiefs of Staff issuing a statement that the military would continue to work with transgender employees.
Trump delivering a highly political speech to Boy Scouts in West Virginia that had the organization’s leaders distancing themselves from his remarks and making assurances that the Boy Scouts don’t take political sides.
Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, talking about killing leakers and deriding Trump’s other two top White House advisers, Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon, in graphic and vulgar terms.
Priebus resigning, becoming the fourth high-ranking White House staffer to exit within a little more than six months, alongside Michael Flynn, Michael Dubke and Sean Spicer.
The head of the Senate Judi- ciary Committee, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, telling Trump that the committee would not take up a replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions this year if Sessions is relieved of his duties, after Trump continually undermined Sessions on Twitter and in interviews.
Rebukes from Grassley’s fellow Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, S.C. and Ben Sasse, Neb., who said Trump’s potential firings of Sessions and Russia investigation special counsel Robert Mueller would be beyond the pale.
More rebukes from police organizations — including the International Association of Chief of Police and the police department where Trump spoke in Suffolk County, New York, on Friday — for suggesting that police shouldn’t be so nice to suspected criminals being taken into custody.
Trump seems to thrive on drama, and this week was chock-full of it.
The president even seemed to approve of Scaramucci’s very public effort to bring the White House’s internal dissension into public view.
To the extent Trump wants his presidency and his White House to resemble a reality TV show, mission accomplished.
But if this is a strategy, it continues to look like a broken one.
A president who promised so much winning that his supporters would become tired of winning is still creating much, much more drama than progress or legislation.
And even if he can’t see it, those around him apparently can. Check out this brutal quote from an anonymous White House advi- sor in The Washington Post’s story on Priebus: “I think any observer — including one that did not speak English and knew nothing about politics and came from another planet and solar system — could, after observing the situation in the White House, realize the White House is failing. And when the White House is failing, you can’t replace the president.”
At some point, those supporters have to wonder what the end game of all of this is, apart from keeping us all entertained and fomenting a narrative that a media that documents this chaos is out to get the president.
As this week showed, even those who should be allied with Trump are having trouble defending his methods.