What to make of the latest round of chaos surging through the White House?
Perhaps the most important thing in circumstances such as these is to remember that, while unprecedented in their current form, the United States has been through much worse than this and emerged in one piece – a civil war, a couple of world wars, Vietnam, Iraq, assassinations, segregation, race riots, the Watergate affair, McCarthyism, the Great Depression and much else. So we may as well get the sacking of “The Mooch” into some sort of perspective.
The current cavalcade of clownery in the Trump administration will be little more than footnotes, albeit an unusually large number of them, in the history of this time. As in most nations, indeed many organisations large and small, chaos at the top, even for an extended period, doesn’t mean that government or corporate administration simply ceases. To a large degree, a bureaucracy as large and resilient as that of the United States, underpinned by a revered and venerable constitution, is well able to take the strain of some resignations on the White House communications team.
All that said, it is not good for America or the world that the President cannot get anything done, for good or ill, even including retaining his closest advisers and officials. When President Trump’s minimalist proposals to repeal Obamacare came before the Senate, it was defeated, probably rightly; yet his reaction was not to regroup and try and try again to find a way through the undoubted financial strains imposed by President Obama’s laudable scheme of health insurance. It was rather to tweet that he looked forward to the whole thing imploding and, in effect, damn the consequences for ordinary Americans. That was an extraordinary and unpleasant glimpse into the personality of a man that so many of those same ordinary Americans came to place their trust and faith in, many of them re-engaging with politics for the first time as a result of the Trump campaign last year. He is close to betraying them.
Stephen Colbert reacts to Scaramucci’s firing
On North Korea, relations with Russia and China, on the Mexican wall, even protectionism, there has been little real progress on substance and policy these six months since Mr Trump enjoyed his, obviously very well attended, inauguration. Instead the White House has had to deal with a self-inflicted cat’s cradle of scandals and crises, all stemming from the President’s personality, his…