Unfit to Command

By David Frum

The weekend news from Washington featured two story lines: the U.S.-led coalition missile strikes against Syrian government forces, and President Trump’s most extreme Twitter meltdown to date. The question for all the world to worry over: How closely are these two story lines interconnected? How and to what extent is the president’s increasingly extreme mental state obtruding on the national security of the United States?

The most important business of the day on Friday, April 13, was to sign off on that night’s planned missile strike against government forces in Syria. The decision was a heavy one, involving risks of conflict with Russia and Iran. It also sharply reversed Trump’s public statements only nine days before that the U.S. would be ending its Syria role soon.

And yet that’s not where Trump’s brain was. Starting at 8 am that day and continuing into the afternoon, the president erupted in a sequence of rage tweets against former FBI director James Corey, demanding that he be prosecuted, calling him as a “slime ball,” and congratulating himself for firing Comey.

Yet when the president stepped before the TV cameras at 8 p.m. to announce the strikes, most pundits and most politicians temporarily disregarded that same-day evidence of the president’s agitated mental state. The impulse to rally around the flag seized American elites, even many Trump critics, who saluted the president’s leadership. The strong dormant desire to discover some normality in this most abnormal administration reasserted itself. As happened the last time he launched missiles into Syria, almost exactly a year before, Trump went to bed that night to praise that he had proven himself presidential.

Whatever satisfaction he got from that praise quickly faded. On Sunday morning, Trump apparently awoke again in a state of crazed rage. He was angry that his Saturday morning …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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