Can John Kelly Tame Trump?

by Pitt Griffin on August 2, 2017 · 0 comments

in Trump presidency

With jut-jawed, steel-spined, 4-star, Marine General John Kelly as the new Chief of Staff, the inmates expect order will be restored to the asylum. With mealy-mouthed Reince dispatched, slippery Sean Spicer on to the next thing, and the volcanically foul Scaramucci smacked back to New York’s mean streets, discipline and morale will again roost in the White House. And best of all, the careening Donald Trump will be rerailed and directed with purpose and focus.

That, dear friends, is how the script was written. And it is the script which will be ignored.

Gen. John Kelly.

Early reports suggest that Kelly’s aura is such that even Trump has even been boning up on policy to impress the new man. But any adjustment that relies on constancy from the big toddler is doomed to failure. Let’s say Kelly is a success, he will attract kudos and Trump will not stand credit flowing anywhere but himself. Thus the experiment will fail. If he’s a failure … then he’s a failure. Either way, it won’t end well.

The only question is how long will Kelly remain effective. It is impossible to say. Trump has been remarkably disciplined on Twitter since Kelly took over. But we have seen this ‘presidential’ Trump before. His self-discipline lasts from one to three days. And the cracks are showing.

Reports surfaced about him calling the White House a dump – admittedly that was a while back. But more telling, Trump created two imaginary telephone calls extolling his magnificence.  One, from the – according to Trump – “head of the Boy Scouts’ saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful,”

And a second, from Enrique Pena Nieto in which Trump claimed the Mexican President complimented him on his contributions to reducing the number of illegal crossings on Mexico’s Southern border.

The White House was forced to admit that Trump’s claims of adulation were not as he reported. The party line is that Trump was not lying – he just confused the telephone with ‘direct conversations’ he had had with Pena Nieto at the G-20 (a month ago) and various Boy Scout leaders (who were no doubt just being polite)

Expect a full breach of the dam when new Russian revelations emerge. Or when the Senate refuses to act on his new proclamation slashing legal immigration. Or when he gets out of the wrong side of the bed.

As I write, Trump has just lashed out against reports of his “White House is a dump” remark. Falling back on his standard denials and whining, he has retreated behind his trite ‘it’s just fake news’ claim.

Trump is like any addict. He may be able to quit temporarily. However, unless he admits his addiction he will never conquer the habit. The problem is that when you are Trump you never admit to any fault.

 

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