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Trump’s Self-Sabotage and the Wrecking of the State Department

The president’s disdain for diplomacy is matched [1] only by his inflated self-regard:

“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me,” Trump said in an interview that aired on Fox News on Thursday night. “I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be [bold mine-DL]. You’ve seen that, you’ve seen it strongly.”

The president was responding to a question from Fox’s Laura Ingraham, who asked him, “Are you worried that the State Department doesn’t have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through?”

Trump’s insistence that he doesn’t need to staff his own administration may be one of the most impressive examples of the president’s pattern of self-sabotage. The administration would have had difficulty filling many positions at State and elsewhere in any case, but the fact that the president simply can’t be bothered to fill them and doesn’t think it matters shows both his ineptitude at governing and his failure to understand the basic demands of his position. The absurdity of declaring “the one that matters is me” should be obvious, but for some reason no one in Trump’s circle has managed to explain to him that he can’t implement his policies effectively if he doesn’t have fully-staffed departments to do just that. The more that the president insists that filling vacant positions is irrelevant, the less that he will matter on a wide range of issues. The inability and unwillingness to staff his own administration will hamper everything Trump wants to do, and that will make him even less successful abroad than he already would have been. In the meantime, the State Department will continue to suffer from the malign neglect that this administration is visiting upon it. Trump may be sabotaging himself in the process of wrecking the department, but it will pay a price over the longer term that will take many years to correct.

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8 Comments To "Trump’s Self-Sabotage and the Wrecking of the State Department"

#1 Comment By Whine Merchant On November 3, 2017 @ 7:50 pm

b’but…but…diplomacy is so s-l-o-w! Dear Leader will fix everything in just 140 characters.

Just you wait and see!!

…oh, and did you hear about Hillary?? Plenty to see there, just don’t look here –

#2 Comment By a spencer On November 3, 2017 @ 8:08 pm

Well, Bannon admitted their goal was to tear everything down. Lovely.

I want to sentence every Trump supporter to have to work at one of his properties, where they’ll be told their work is no good and they’re getting stiffed out of their payment on top of it.

Too harsh?

#3 Comment By Concerned Citizen On November 4, 2017 @ 9:22 am

Trump’s comment is straight from the lips of an autocrat / dictator in the making.

#4 Comment By James Hartwick On November 4, 2017 @ 11:23 am

My hope is that Trump is the inoculation against authoritarianism that American democracy needed.

#5 Comment By Egypt Steve On November 5, 2017 @ 1:58 pm

To James Hartwick — not a bad metaphor, but I had a college roommate who had gotten polio from his polio vaccine …

#6 Comment By Cassie On November 5, 2017 @ 10:03 pm

My hope is that Trump is the inoculation against authoritarianism that American democracy needed.

No, he seems to be a normalization of it. Similar racist wanna-be autocrats are poised to be elected in Alabama and Virginia.

Unless and until half the country stops watching FoxNews, and the other half get off their butts and vote, we will sink deeper into banana republic status.

#7 Comment By Grumpy Old Man On November 6, 2017 @ 10:54 am

Even geniuses need minions. A comic writer couldn’t have invented this guy. We have a Toon as President.

And I still wouldn’t have voted for Hillary.

#8 Comment By One Guy On November 6, 2017 @ 5:35 pm

James Hartwick-the thought has occurred to me, also

Egypt Steve-omelets and eggs. Or Tree of Liberty, Blood of Patriots, if you prefer