But Mr. Trump is president of the United States, and if prudent, disciplined leadership was ever required, it is now. Rhetorically stomping his feet, as he did on Tuesday, is not just irresponsible; it is dangerous. He is no longer a businessman trying to browbeat someone into a deal. He commands the most powerful nuclear and conventional arsenal in the world, and any miscalculation could be catastrophic.
.. This is a president with no prior government or military experience who has shown no clear grasp of complex strategic issues.
.. his inflammatory words were entirely improvised and took his closest associates by surprise. Intentionally or not, they echoed President Harry Truman’s 1945 pledgeto inflict a “rain of ruin from the air” if Japan did not surrender after the first atomic bomb was dropped at Hiroshima, which made them seem even more ominous.
It is hard to believe that they would condone Mr. Trump’s risky approach, and on Wednesday, the damage control began.
- While Mr. Mattis reinforced his boss’s belligerent tone and expressed confidence that North Korea would “lose any arms race or conflict it initiates,” he more prudently focused on the North’s concrete “actions” rather than on vague threats and voiced support for a diplomatic solution.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he saw no reason to believe that war was imminent.
- Meanwhile, some White House aides reportedly urged reporters not to read too much into the president’s remarks.
.. Since Truman, presidents have largely avoided the kind of militaristic threats issued by Mr. Trump because they feared such language could escalate a crisis.
.. Mr. Trump has again made himself the focus of attention, when it should be Kim Jong-un, the ruthless North Korean leader, and his accelerating nuclear
.. Engaging in a war of words with North Korea only makes it harder for both sides to de-escalate.
While the new language removes the actual libel, it’s still irresponsible and indefensible. Since there was absolutely no link between anyone’s political rhetoric (much less Sarah Palin’s) and Loughner’s crime, why continue to mention Palin? She was irrelevant to that terrible act. The editorial board continues to go out of its way to smear people it despises, this time through slimy guilt-by-association.
.. I’m the absolute last person to believe that vicious rhetoric or acts of violence are exclusive to the Left. White supremacists have been committing acts of violence and murder at an alarming rate, but the Times just can’t resist the temptation to demonize even mainstream conservative voices. Remember, this is the same paper that tried to link Omar Mateen’s jihadist attack in Orlando to Republican policies on, for example, transgender bathroom access.
Keep in mind, last week Vice President Mike Pence, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and the rest went out before the cameras and insisted that Ron Rosenstein’s memo was the driving force to fire FBI director James Comey… and then Trump told Lester Holt he was going to fire Comey “regardless of the recommendation.” Just last week, Trump declared on Twitter, “As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” The president will insist his surrogates can’t be expected to get everything right, and then a few days later, insist that you trust denials from his surrogates. You can’t have it both ways.
.. The bottom line is that there is absolutely no benefit to the United States to be sharing this kind of information with the Russian government — and if it alienates a friendly government helping us fight ISIS, then it is extraordinarily damaging.
.. It does not help that so many Democrats insist that every administration misstep is justification for impeachment
.. or the insane everyone’s-a-Russian-agent conspiracy theories .. But the insanity of lefties doesn’t get this White House off the hook. Unless the entire story is made up out of whole cloth, Donald Trump still doesn’t understand his responsibilities.