Morning Briefing: The Fate of the Planet Rests In This Man's Hands. You Feel Good About That, America?
Look: I don’t like morning pessimism, but let’s all step back for a moment and take stock of our current situation: Yesterday, the President of the United States said that we will meet additional North Korean threats with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The “fire and fury” is getting all the attention, but it’s “like the world has never seen” that is the most chilling part of that phrase, because THE WORLD HAS SEEN SOME SHIT.
This morning, while his Secretary of State is trying to lower the temperature, Donald Trump is retweeting Fox & Friends, and basically reiterating what he said yesterday, adding the not comforting at all assertion that the United States will never not be the most powerful nation in the world.
…Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
So, we have a diplomatic crisis on our hands, and folks are calling it another Cuban Missile Crisis, only this one seems to be of our (Trump’s) own making. When you’re in the midst of a diplomatic crisis, you want your best people on the case, working around the clock. Well, in the case of the Trump Administration, here’s an accounting of their best people: Their Secretary of State is an oil man who has no idea what he’s doing, is on the outs with his own Administration, and has reportedly talked about resigning on several occasions. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense James Mattis is on vacation, and Trump has repeatedly ignored his advice anyway (see: Afghanistan). Meanwhile, the senior aide to the President, Stephen Bannon (who has no military experience) has waged a negative media campaign against the National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, who is under fire from thousands of Russian bots trying to get him fired. Oh, and by the way: Trump still hasn’t appointed ambassadors to most of the countries in that region after firing all of the holdovers.
In other words, it’s not an ideal situation.
Meanwhile, the world is freaking out. The stock market is falling, and people are legit afraid that Donald Trump is going to get us involved in a nuclear war. But Donald Trump doesn’t really know that because he lives in his own echo chamber, where Fox News — basically a state-run television network at this point — is propping up the President, boosting his ego, and making him feel good about flexing his muscle and threatening to wipe out hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.
Trump vows U.S. 'power' will meet North Korean threat https://t.co/od7Ohr51XD— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 9, 2017
This network, by the way, is not interested in reporting “facts,” as much as it is interested in appealing to the 35 percent of Americans who still support President Trump. That 35 percent of the population — which got us into this mess in the first place by electing an insane man — by and large also represents the least educated, most bigoted segment of our society, and I’m sure that most of them — like Trump — believe that bluster and empty threats is exactly what the situation calls for, never mind the fact that while North Korea is not suicidal, they are a country that will go down fighting. So, yes: If Trump decides to swing his dick and attack North Korea, they’re going to retaliate, which might mean massive casualties in South Korea or Japan or Guam or even the United States.
This is an incredibly delicate situation, and we do not have our best people on the job. With the exception of McMaster and Mattis, we do not even have qualified people on the job. We have people like Bannon and Trump who are far less interested in the potential casualties as they are in the political ramifications. The people in charge of making these decisions spend much of their time squabbling.
Should we be scared?
I don’t know. What track record do we have to go on? Trump’s personnel history? Where he makes a lot of empty threats about firing people, until one day those empty threats become a reality? Who is going to talk Trump out of launching a nuke? This is a man, after all, who asked three times during an intelligence briefing last summer why couldn’t he just use a nuclear bomb? The nuclear arsenal is a goddamn toy to this man.
So yeah, maybe we should be a little afraid. But what we should really be doing is praying for Bob Mueller to hurry the hell up and finish his investigation so we can get this psychotic man out of the White House.
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