During a panel discussion on MSNBC the other day, one of the participants surmised that a few of the grown-ups in the White House are prepared to keep President Trump's fingers away from the nuclear button. Thank God! Right? Trump is such a mercurial sort — a loose cannon, as it were — that it only makes sense […]
During a panel discussion on MSNBC the other day, one of the participants surmised that a few of the grown-ups in the White House are prepared to keep President Trump's fingers away from the nuclear button.
Thank God! Right?
Trump is such a mercurial sort — a loose cannon, as it were — that it only makes sense to block his access to dangerous weapons, especially when he's in one of his crazy moods (as if there are times when he's not).
We had reason to fear a president's nuclear powers when Richard Nixon was in his final days at the White House at the height of the Watergate Scandal. But Tricky Dick's lunacy was much different from Trump's. For one thing, he was far brighter. And he seems to have had a keen sense that history would be especially unkind to him if he didn't just pack up and get out rather than put the nation through the ordeal of an inevitable impeachment.
There was talk at the time — and later, among historians — that some people were concerned about Nixon's mental health in the weeks just prior to his resignation. And, of course, mental problems don't mix well with access to nukes. Still, it all turned out fairly well.
But it's hard to imagine that Trump would ever just walk away from the job before his term has lapsed. The cheers of his shrinking base of admirers are enough to convince him that America loves him. He simply — and probably with considerable sincerity — dismisses polls that indicate widespread disapproval of his performance as president.
No, I don't think Trump expected to win the election last November, but he did — and now he's convinced himself that he's become one of our greatest presidents. Just ask him.
Those of us who aren't total right-wing crackpots are supposed to feel better about reports that the former generals who work in the White House are conspiring to keep Trump away from the nukes. Still, I'm having at least a little trouble trying to distinguish this strategy from a palace coup. It simply doesn't comport with the dictates of the Constitution.
But prospects of a horrible nuclear war started by a deranged man in the White House are enough to persuade me that I shouldn't be too sensitive about constitutional niceties.