Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump met for the first time during this week’s G-20 meeting in Germany. The G-20 is always contentious–at least outside among the ever-present protesters–however, the lack of conflict is what troubled a lot of observers. Trump has been dogged with accusations that he is too cozy with Russia for longer than his presidency. Whether those are true, baseless, or most likely, something, but not nearly as much of a something as alarmed liberals think is beside the point when faced with the disaster of Syria.
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President Trump’s latest spate of vitriolic tweets about Morning Joe co-hosts, “Psycho Joe” (Joe Scarborough) and “low IQ crazy Mika” (Mika Brzezinski), have once again drawn the ire of legislators on both sides of the aisle. House Speaker Paul Ryan characterized the tweets as inappropriate, lamenting that they didn’t help to “improve the tone” and “the civility of the debate.” Similarly, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asserted that the tweets “set a low standard for public officials in terms of their demeanor.” Yet the crux of the issue with the president’s tweets remains largely overlooked—much more than his tone and demeanor, it’s his regular aimlessness that’s worth criticizing.
Read more at: The American Conservative
President Trump has been a wildcard president so far — easily irritable, unpredictable and often openly defying norms of governance. But, his foreign policy has largely continued the status quo.
Writing in the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs, Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, argues the Trump regime is “not a revolutionary administration.” In fact, he believes, “The broad lines of its policy fits easily within the last few decades […] his foreign policy has been remarkably unremarkable.” Everything from his cabinet appointments and his backtracking on NATO, to his attitude on China and his missile strike in Syria, points to an abandonment of his anti-establishment rhetoric from the campaign.
But there’s another trend at work in the Trump administration, too: decision-making at the Pentagon has been pushed further down the chain of command to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the military commanders below him. In a break from liberal tradition, power is actually being shifted away from the president. This not only has bad practical consequences, but risks setting a precedent that could change the nature of our institutions. The military could end up as essentially an autonomous agent, setting policy without public debate. This means military actions would be free of any political accountability.
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