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Kathy Sullivan: Donald Trump just keeps getting worse

By KATHY SULLIVAN
August 07. 2017 11:23PM


Donald Trump loves superlatives: biggest crowds, most bills ever signed, greatest victory! That they turn out not to be true does not matter to our President Trump. The one superlative that is turning out to be true, however, is worst President ever in the history of the universe.

In the last two weeks, his lack of leadership, bad judgment, lousy policy decisions and lack of truthfulness were on full display.

Trumpcare went down to defeat. The Republicans in the Senate tried to get something, anything passed, including many voting for a bill they did not really support. It failed, thanks to a unified Democratic caucus and three Republicans who knew that party loyalty does not mean enacting bad policy.

The bill’s failure was his failure. A good leader would have been involved in the policy details from the beginning, working to put together a bill that would pass. Instead, it seemed that Trump did not even know what various iterations of Trumpcare entailed. One minute he celebrated the bill that passed the House of Representatives. The next he called it a mean bill.

There also were many instances of bad judgment during these past 14 days. The most publicized was appointing Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director. The kindest thing one can say is, that did not go well.

However, in terms of the long-term prospects of turning his administration around, he showed even worse judgment with his attacks on Congress. He needs Congress for his agenda to be enacted. Yet he tweeted that Republican senators look like fools for not eliminating the 60-vote filibuster rule (even though Trumpcare only needed a simple 51-vote majority, which it failed to get).

Mr. Trump also tweeted that Congress was responsible for what he described as an all time and very dangerous low in our relationship with Russia. He is peeved that Congress passed a sanctions bill penalizing Russia for interfering with the presidential election.

Congress passed the sanctions bill with an unusual, near unanimous bipartisan vote in both chambers. They passed the bill because Russia interfered with our elections. It is Russia that he should be attacking, not Congress.

His tweet that our relations with Russia are at an all-time low was a typically Trumpian exaggeration. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the then Soviet Union was going to have nuclear weapons within spitting distance of the United States? Or how about the Berlin Blockade and Airlift? Trump may not know about the latter, given his apparent failure to read anything other than stock quotes and golf scores. But he would have been a teenager during the Cuban crisis. Wasn’t he ducking and hiding under his desk like the rest of us?

On policy, Trump tweeted out his decision that transgender people should no longer serve in the military. He made this major announcement without giving advance notice to the Pentagon. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the armed forces would not implement the tweet without direction to the Secretary of Defense and implementation guidance from the Secretary. Orrin Hatch, a firm conservative, objected, saying he did not believe we should be discriminating against anyone.

In short, it is a mess, and a cruel and unnecessary directive affecting approximately 15,000 openly transgender troops and countless others who are not serving openly. It is bad policy, made worse by the slipshod manner it was announced.

Then there is the needless, nearly constant lying, lies about everything, big and small. He claimed the head of the Boys Scouts called to praise his speech to the Scout Jubilee. It never happened. He said the president of Mexico called to compliment him on his immigration policy. Never happened.

Transcripts revealed that in January, he said New Hampshire is a “drug-infested den.” It isn’t. He said that is why he won New Hampshire.

Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire. Perhaps he meant the primary, but even then he had less than a majority.

Trump just doesn’t do something wrong every week. Every week he does several somethings wrong.

I just hope that our country gets through the next 3 ½ years in one piece.

Kathy Sullivan of Manchester is the former chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.


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