The first 24 hours of the Trump presidency were marked by a bizarre inauguration speech (“American Carnage”), frenzied claims of record inauguration crowds, and an unusual appearance at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency where the new president proclaimed his political brilliance. The shock of these 24 hours led pundits and politicians alike to proclaim that the so-called adults in the administration (Tillerson at State; Mattis at Defense; Coats as the director of national intelligence; and eventually General McMaster at the national security council) would exercise some restraint on a potentially unstable and unpredictable president.
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Meet Our New “Secretary Of State”…Nancy Pelosi
In any event, Pelosi’s travel to the world’s worst trouble spots creates significant confusion regarding official U.S. policies and politics. In flexing the flabby diplomatic muscles of the U.S. Congress, Pelosi is engaging the international community without any obvious coordination with the White House or the Department of State. The notion that anyone from the House of Representatives could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy or diplomacy is particularly ludicrous. Unfortunately, her trips seemingly amount to a last hurrah.
The Dangerous Civilian-Military Chasm In America
One of the greatest weaknesses of presidential leadership over the past 60 years has been the lack of presidential experience in the military and the inability to control the military. Several weeks before his seminal Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the White House, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.” His successors have been deferential to the military and too many of them have used military force to bolster their credentials. This has been a major factor in the expanded power of the military establishment.