Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Opinion: Things are going to hell


In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, our commander in chief attempted to reassure the American people and the world that everything is fine and under control, that our self-described “very stable genius” in the White House was not ranting and raving in anger but in fact was, to use his own words, “very calm and calculated with a big focus on open and fair trade with China, the coming North Korea meeting and, of course, the vicious gas attack in Syria.”

As that tweet suggests, multiple international crises are now coming to a head, and they are doing so at a moment when we have no secretary of State, when Trump’s third national security adviser in 15 months is taking office and firing staff, and when we still have no ambassadors to critical nations such as  South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Union, among many others. Domestic politics are also in disarray, with House Speaker Paul Ryan announcing he will not seek re-election and with Trump himself trying desperately to fend off FBI investigators.

Even in all that, Trump tells us, we’re in good hands. He’s handling it with all the cool aplomb of Kennedy in the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Eisenhower in the Suez Crisis, or Clint Eastwood in almost anything. 

Except, not really:


This is freaking nuts compounded by ignorance. With two nuclear powers butting heads in Syria, with an enormous risk of military escalation and miscalculation, the very “calm and calculated” Trump takes to Twitter to publicly taunt our adversaries, to tout our military superiority and to make it even more difficult for the two sides to back down.

But wait, he wasn’t finished. A few minutes later, we got this:


In Trump’s addled mind, our confrontation with Russia is not rooted in Russian actions such as its illegal annexation of Crimea, its military excursions into Ukraine, its blatant intervention in our elections, its hacking of U.S. dams and electrical grid and election systems, or its backing and protection of international war criminal Bashar al-Assad in Syria. In fact, it’s not Russia’s fault at all, it’s Robert Mueller’s fault and Rod Rosenstein’s fault and the Democrats’ fault. In short, in Trump’s mind it’s all about Trump. 

We have put ourselves in the hands of a narcissistic, unbalanced fool. Have a nice day.


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.