Saturday, April 8, 2017
Trump's Mar-a-Lago Getaway Goes South This Time - Thanks To His Lack Of Impulse Control
"I'm firing cruise missiles from Mar-a Lago tonight and when I'm done President Xi is gonna believe I'm one tough hombre!"
For his regular Mar-a-Lago getaway this week, Trump believed he'd play the big man in front of China's President Xi Jinping. No one told this moron, aka 'The Donald', that you don't entertain a powerful head of state at a weekend hacienda, you do it at the White House, usually preceded by a state dinner. But Trump , uneducated baboon that he is, would hardly be able to process that.
He's become too accustomed to these "business" and golf vacays - this now the sixth weekend in a row (and the 10th weekend in a row on a Trump property according to the WaPo's Philip Bump). In all, Trump has now spent time on one or more Trump properties on 28 percent of the days he's been president - or nearly 3 out of 10.
This Mar-a-Lago stay was different from the preceding ones in that he did what he believed was a "presidential" thing - ordering a cruise missile attack on Syria. The word was that he was "emotionally upset" by the images he saw of the effects of the nerve gas attack on Syrians (who might have been spared had he allowed them to immigrate to the U.S.) even blabbing in indignat
"No child of God should ever suffer such horror,"
So seized by his volatile and reactive emotions, as we've seen multiple times before (e.g. with his deranged March 5 tweet about Obama "wiretapping" him), Trump acted on impulse and phoned in the missile attack. . Never mind that days earlier he was solidly convinced this was all "Syria's problem". We've seen this inchoate behavior time and again, especially how the man's often discordant emotions have him changing on a dime. That's his nature: impulsive, emotionally primitive, lacking reflective pause and temperance. That is part of how he got elected by the hoi polloi that get off on that sort of unthinking, reactive dynamic.
Besides, in his febrile brain Trump could also envision a big PR payoff: a firm, though impulsively driven action, could earn him bigger job approval ratings, especially from an American public (and politicos) that feed on bombs or missile action. So never mind it was driven by his gut, his command to launch 60 Tomahawks (which ended up being 59) would accomplish something that eluded him in his congressional address: presidential timbre! He'd be seen as a "decisive leader", plus the media - which often has the attention span of a gnat - would take its focus off the Russian probe.
In addition, given he was entertaining President Xi at Mar-a-Lago Trump saw another payoff, in showing Xi he was a guy who meant business and didn't take shit from some little asshole like Bashar Assad.
But for anyone of sentience and intelligence the optics made no sense, and in fact, detracted from whatever this ignorant ape was trying to pull off.
First, as I noted, Mar-a-Lago was the wrong venue, including for the location of the "situation room" within which the launch order would be dispatched to two U.S. naval craft in the Mediterranean. Instead of the proper situation room - such as Obama used with his staff when Osama bin Laden was taken out, Trump used a makeshift wedding reception room at his Florida hacienda. Any sensible person watching the images would find them jarring, out of place. Most unpresidential! Followed by "What was this asswit thinking?"
Then there were the persons in attendance. As opposed to the security and intel staff Obama had summoned back in 2010, Trump allowed individuals with no connection to military isues. These included: Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, Jared Kushner - Trump's son -in -law and Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary who had once been head of a Cyprus bank that helped Russian oligarchs launder money e.g.
What were ANY of these guys doing sitting in on a situation room meet to launch an attack on a sovereign state? Again, their presence, far from dignifying the optics, detracted mightily and plus it disclosed an inability to understand the appropriateness of staff to be present at such confabs. It also showed Trump's total amateurish orientation, not to mention a lack of understanding of the departments of government..
But nowhere was that amateur profile more apparent than launching those damned cruise missiles at the same time President Xi was at Mar-a-Lago. As the WSJ pointed out today ('Attack Intrudes on China -U.S. Summit', p. A9): "The U.S. Missile strikes on Syria overshadowed Chinese President Xi Jinping's first summit with President Trump"
Indeed, it was an immense faux pas given the Chinese, as the piece noted, "are hugely sensitive to protocol and media coverage during presidential visits". In other words, they would not have taken kindly to Xi's visit being trumped in optics by a cruise missile attack on Syria.
An expert on Chinese foreign and security policies at MIT (M. Taylor Fravel) , quoted in the article - said:
"For China, the optics of the attack during the visit, most likely during the dinner itself, would be viewed as a sign of disrespect. Everyone is going to be talking about the Syria strike and not Xi's visit, thereby undercutting the symbolic value of being feted at Mar-a-Lago"
And oh, by the way, Trump would now be seen by Xi and most Chinese as the uncouth, barbaric buffoon he is.
So in effect, Trump -dumbass amateur "resident" that he is - gained nothing by this week's Mar-a-Lago rendezvous. And what about President Xi? He likely learned that in any future face off vs. the U.S. - say over the Spratley Islands - if bases there are facing a 'Tomahawk' attack, it might be a good idea to preemptively fire China's Dongfeng 21D missiles before the attacking fleet gets into firing range.