Thursday, April 13, 2017

Evolution of a revolution

"What do I think Putin wanted? A third term of Obama. Under Obama, Putin was allowed to run wild in the world."

I might have told this story before. When I first met my wife and we were dating, I had a very foolish habit I picked up in the Navy. I smoked. I also drove a 1973 orange Super Beetle VW, which I had bought new for about $2k. Anyhow, it had a manual transmission (on the floor), so when I was driving, many times I could not free up my hands to light a cigarette.

My wife who did not smoke, would take one out of my pack, put in her mouth, light it, and then pass it over to me. Wow - what a woman! She did that while dating, after I proposed to her, and right up until our wedding. Then on the second night of our honeymoon, she told me how much smoke bothered her in the bedroom. Then the kitchen. Then the living room. Soon, I was relegated to the garage and driveway. What was happening? We were evolving into our new reality.

Yes, there is a point to this story. Donald Trump is now evolving in his role as President. With the "before marriage Donald" (prior to inauguration), we saw the Steve Bannon, tip over the tables, burn it down, drain the swamp candidate. Then he put his hand on the Bible. The "after marriage Donald", got his "scare the pants off of you" security briefing from his national security advisers. It is them when President Trump started to emerge.

The week, Putin said Russia's relationship with the United States is terrible under President Trump. Of course, Putin didn't want Hillary Clinton either. What do I think Putin wanted? A third term of Obama. Under Obama, Putin was allowed to run wild in the world. President Trump however, will "call Putin our on his s**t". And Rex Tillerson is no John Kerry. Tillerson is a very plain speaking, resolute man. He also clearly, puts the Russians on notice.

Slowly but surely, cabinet positions are starting to fill out. The inner circle in the West Wing is settling down. The "bomb throwers" are still there, but not allowed to handle pyrotechnics anymore. The National Security Team under General McMasters is really starting to take shape. General Mattis is everything we hoped he would be.

Recently in an interview, President Trump was asked if he thought he was changing since being sworn in. Surprisingly, he said he was. He had no idea of the magnitude of the "life and death" aspects the Presidency entailed. The "let's make a deal world" which Trump is so good at, turns out to be only a small part of what the President's job description is.

It will interesting to watch this evolution of our President continue. What will be the next stage? I have no clue. I do know this however - those who thought Donald Trump was just a "stooge" for the Kremlin are not saying much right now. Me thinks they are re-thinking that position - and fast.  

1 comment:

  1. The hope that Trump would yield to reason gained strength from his selection of sober-minded Cabinet secretaries—General James Mattis to run the Pentagon and Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state—and the choice of H. R. McMaster to replace Michael Flynn as national-security adviser. As administration spokespeople backed away from Trump’s statements on many issues—China, nato, mass deportations, the Iran nuclear deal, a two-state formula for Israeli–Palestinian peace, and others—the voices of good sense seemed to be carrying the day.

    Trump is not the first president to have assembled a divided team of advisers, or to face the near-united opposition of senior Cabinet officers. (Lyndon Johnson would have stories to tell Trump about how he handled such problems.) What makes the new administration’s predicament unique is the apparent commitment—still very much in place—to pursue a more activist foreign policy while reducing the costs and risks of America’s global leadership role. To start “winning” again at last.