The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, June 30, 2017


Many people are fascinated by the game of Chess. The reason, I think, is simple—the game demands strategic thinking, often requires short term sacrifice to achieve longer term goals, and emphasizes the choice of effective tactics in the moment. Donald Trump would be a very bad Chess player.

Yesterday's twitter idiocy, in which he felt compelled to attack the hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe is being rightly criticized as "thin-skinned," "unpresidental," "crass," "embarrassing," and much more. His few remaining defenders suggest that he's a guy who punches back when attacked. That's all true—but there is no effective defense for the indefensible. Even the most vicious fighters, if they're effective, consider their opponent, the strategy to be employed, and the consequences of throwing the punch.

Trump's twitter idiocy is not unique to this instance, and that's what is most troublesome. It shows a lack of impulse control and a dangerous lack of strategic thinking. Trump sabotages his wins—every time. He gives his many enemies a way to change the subject, to move away from any policy accomplishment and into a maelstrom of controversy of his own making. It gives the trained hamsters in the main stream media an opportunity to bury successes and emphasize Trump's crass behavior.

The funny thing is that despite the full bore attack of the four constituencies, Donald Trump had an opportunity to accomplish things that would make the United States a better place. Despite the whining of #Resistance and the obstruction of Democrats, he could have succeeded.

There is little question that Trump's self-sabotage will continue, that he cannot and will not master his own impulses, think strategically, and win despite the opposition of the four constituencies. That means he will fail as a president.

And when #Resistance celebrates the firestorm of criticism in the days ahead, when they revel in Trump's failures, when they call for his impeachment, they're actually celebrating the slow erosion of a once great country. Then again, maybe that's what at least some of them really wanted all along.


Glen Reynolds takes a somewhat lighter view when he tweets: