Between the Lines

Throwing Off the Albatross

It came as a bolt of lightning out of the blue.  One moment the Trump administration was besieged on all sides.  The media were accusing him of treason, and the Democrats, having just taken control of the House of Representatives, were promising multiple investigations.  Robert Mueller was reportedly sharpening his prosecutorial knives, getting ready to fulfill the dream of the so-called Resistance: Behead the king!  Would the President last through his first term?  What fate awaited him as, one by one, former advisors were “turned” and prepared to testify against him in what has promised to be the kangaroo court to beat all kangaroo courts?

It was at this moment of alleged peril, when all seemed lost, that the President struck back.  No wall on our southern border?  Then he was shutting down the government.  His “advisors” were defying his peacemaking efforts from Korea to Helsinki?  Fire them!  And out went General Mattis, the alleged “adult in the room,” i.e., the official charged with making sure the President’s preferences are flouted, especially when it comes to immigration and foreign policy.

It was Mattis who had earlier convinced Trump to go against his better instincts and keep our troops in Afghanistan—indeed, even to increase their number despite 17 years of utter failure.  Now the famously vindictive...

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