Donald Trump sounded more like a twentieth-century European strongman on Friday than the president of the American republic.
Minutes after being sworn in as president, Trump accused the congressmen and -women, senators and former presidents who surrounded him on the steps of the Capitol of sapping America’s strength and prosperity.
A property mogul and hotelier who inherited most of his wealth, Trump complained that politicians are “all talk and no action” and promised that, under his leadership, government would be given back to “the people”. Read more
I wasn’t a fan of Barack Obama eight years ago, when we started the Atlantic Sentinel. It unnerved me how many people, especially here in Europe, fell over themselves to praise the new president and I disagreed with his policies.
Now I’m sad to see him go.
It’s not just that the Democrat looks like a paragon of grace and wisdom compared to his Republican successor, although Donald Trump’s shortcomings in both areas are profound.
It’s that I’ve become less right-wing and Obama was a better president in his second term than in his first. Read more
Israeli Right Jeopardizes Alliance by Hectoring Obama
With less than a month left in his presidency, Barack Obama has managed to infuriate the Israeli right by hardening America’s stance on the construction of West Bank settlements.
Whatever the merits of their quarrel with the American president, though — and there are leftwingers in Israel and Jewish supporters of Obama in the United States who are disappointed as well — the over-the-top reaction from the Israeli right is unjustified and, more importantly, ill-advised. Read more
Republicans Put Party Before Country in Election Hack
Since The Washington Post reported on Friday that the CIA believes Russia intervened in the election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, more damning revelations about his party have surfaced.
We now know that President Barack Obama, wary of publicizing the CIA’s findings unilaterally lest it be seen as an attempt to help his chosen successor, Hillary Clinton, summoned leaders of both parties to the White House in hopes of presenting a united front against Russia’s mischief.
Democrats were in favor; Republicans split. Senate leader Mitch McConnell reportedly raised doubts about the intelligence and told Obama he would consider it an act of partisan politics if the administration revealed to the public that a foreign power was manipulating the electorate to the advantage of his party’s candidate.
Since Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy in the summer of last year, a cadre of self-described realists has jumped to the Republican’s defense whenever he challenges Washington orthodoxies in his foreign-policy statements.
These observers — wishfully and mistakingly — believe Trump’s utterances reveal a shared disdain of the liberal internationalist establishment and a common desire to put narrow self-interest (back) at the heart of American strategy.
The reality, as Philip Gordon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes for Politico, is that Trump has few, if any, fixed policy positions and can easily be manipulated into actions that damage America’s relations with the rest of the world. Read more
Now that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, there will be a tendency to normalize him. Blame a combination of status quo bias and a continued refusal to take the man at his word.
There have already been calls for a “clean slate” and to keep an “open mind” as well as predictions that Trump will finally “pivot”, by which is meant: stop behaving so atrociously.
Remember how Trump similarly “pivoted” after winning the Republican presidential nomination in July?