While I have never been a Donald Trump supporter, I do not want him to fail as President.
If he failed, the country failed, and that’s not good for anyone. With that said, Donald Trump’s biggest enemy is not the media, the Democrats or the D.C. Swamp, aka, the Establishment; it’s Donald Trump.
I base this conclusion on the last 25 years of my life as a reporter, spokesman for an elected official, attorney, and political commentator.
First, there are the “anonymous sources” the President and his supporters rail against frequently. It’s been my experience that politicians usually only complain about anonymous sources when they don’t reiterate the narrative they’re trying to push. I write a publication called The Cheat Sheet. It’s political newsletter that’s filled with “gossip, rumor and blatant innuendo” based on anonymous sources. The only time an elected official ever complains about what’s in it is when they don’t look good. When they look smart or like the front runner in a political contest, they or their staff, push it out to their friends. And by the way, 99% of the leaks either come from the administration or people close to them.
Secondly, as a spokesperson, it’s understood that you are promoting a position your boss supports and advocates. It doesn’t help when the boss comes out and contradicts everything you’ve been trying to sell to the media to get positive coverage. At best it makes you look like you at lying or are incompetent. At worst, no one trusts what you have to say, and it undermines the credibility and relationships you have worked hard to build.
Third, and most importantly, Trump is undermining the agenda his administration is trying to push. I think the President is on the right track by trying to streamline the federal regulatory scheme, give more choice to parents with their children’s education, give states more control when it comes to health care and simplify the tax code. But all that gets lost when your boss is on Twitter talking crazy. You are caught in the unenviable position of having to defend what he or she said instead of pushing policy positions that you think are good for the public.
Now is the impeachment talk premature, I would say yes. But is the groundwork being laid for a constitutional crisis? Yes. And if things go south, the person who is ultimately responsible is Donald Trump himself. It’s not the media. It’s not the staff. It’s not the Swamp. It’s Trump. He, of all people, should know this. And the fact that he is either unwilling or unable to figure this out says quite a bit. And while it’s not too late to turn the ship of state around, I recommend the folks who hang out at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue do an intervention real soon or start turning in their letters of resignation. They owe it to themselves and more importantly, to the rest of us.