Probably not a good sign for the current administration that I’m right now seeing a lot of “how Trump can still turn this around” headlines. In an abstract, theoretical sense, this is of course true. But in the specific case, I’m afraid not. It’s too early to say that Trump is just done like Dubya was in 2007 where nobody had any confidence left that he could do the job and just tuned him out, but we’re a hell of a lot closer to that point than I would have thought by now, and getting to that point seems like an inevitable geometric progression more than anything else. And there’s really not much that Trump can do about that. Sure, he could fire some of the problem spots in his staff and hire actual professionals to run the government, and he’ll probably do some version of that soon. But the reason why those problem spots have exerted so much influence is because they’re people who share Trump’s twisted ideas and know how to get him to do their bidding–by exploiting his weaknesses of tribalism and inattention to detail. In other words, the disasters have been due to ideology and an unfit, sloppy executive. There are no staffers that are going to fix that! A proper, professional White House staff could well cut down on some of the self-inflicted wounds, but it is not going to protect a weak, ignorant, paranoiac narcissist from himself. Pretending that it’s the process that’s the major problem here is ridiculous.

Also, while it’s undoubtedly better for all involved to fix the problem sooner than later, I’m not really sure how Trump is able to do take-backsies on picking massive flops of a White House Chief of Staff and a National Security Adviser without getting a lot closer to Bush ’07 burnout. I don’t think anybody is going to give a fuck if he fires, say, Sean Spicer, and the fate of Reince Priebus is probably of interest only to his immediate family (though picking a glad-handing party hack to run the executive branch was always a questionable idea), but “Oops, the person I picked to keep America safe was a Russian spy! Now give me total power!” just doesn’t seem like something that’s going to scare Democrats, or convince anyone that he has any administrative or staffing skills. Though this does raise the question of which of these jobs will soon be held by Jared Kushner. My guess: both of them.

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