Loading...
BYH to Neil deGrasse Tyson who said 'I dream of a world where Truth is what shapes a person's politics rather than...

Failures range from cringeworthy to catastrophic

Marc Theissen

Marc Theissen

Loading…

Sunday, January 6, 2019

In his second year in office, President Trump did many positive things, and recently I offered my list of the 10 best things Trump did in 2018. But he also did a lot of bad things that ranged from cringeworthy to catastrophic. Here are the 10 worst:

10. His comment about "sh--hole" countries blew up negotiations for a deal that would have given Trump his border wall. Nearly a year ago, the president made a bold offer to Democrats — putting not just legal status but also a path to citizenship for nearly 1.8 million young illegal immigrants on the table. Then his abhorrent comment undermined Democrats who were serious about cutting a deal and gave those who were not a pretext to walk away.

9. His offensive tweets continued to undermine his presidency. Calling former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman "a dog" and Stormy Daniels "Horseface" — among countless offensive tweets — is not just unpresidential, it drives away potential supporters who like his policies but then are reminded how much they don't like Trump.

8. His misuse of power turned critics into martyrs. Revoking former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta's White House press pass turned partisan critics who were embarrassing themselves into victims — and gave them an even greater platform from which to attack him.

7. He drove away suburban voters and caused the GOP to lose control of the House. That's because the president has sought to energize his base in ways that drive those voters away. If he wants to win reelection, Trump needs to bring suburban Republican voters back into the GOP fold.

6. His graceless handling of Sen. John McCain's funeral was a new low. Trump didn't like McCain, but when you're the president, sometimes you must honor people you didn't like. McCain was an American hero. Trump's inability to muster a kind or generous word reflected poorly on the president.

5. His handling of Jamal Khashoggi's murder harmed America's moral standing. Trump is right that a permanent breach with Saudi Arabia is not acceptable, because there is no other country in the Middle East that can serve as a counterweight to Iran. But it was unseemly to declare that "It's all about 'America First'" and "We're not going to give up hundreds of billions of dollars in orders."

4. His news conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was an embarrassment. His meeting with the Russian president came on the heels of Russia's attempted assassination of a dissident on British soil using banned chemical weapons and the indictment of 12 Russians for 2016 election meddling. Instead of condemning these actions, Trump publicly sided with Putin over his own intelligence community.

3. His policy to separate migrant children from their families at the southern border was an avoidable tragedy. There is nothing wrong with a zero-tolerance policy for illegal crossings. But his administration's failure to anticipate and prepare for how to deal with migrant families was gross negligence — a symptom of the chaos that is undermining his presidency.

2. His planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a gift to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In 2017, my Top 10 Best list praised Trump for reversing President Barack Obama's disastrous withdrawal, which he said "would create a vacuum for terrorists." But in December, Trump ordered the military to start planning the withdrawal of roughly 7,000 troops. The news came just as U.S. officials were holding talks with the Taliban, whose No. 1 demand is the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Hardly the "art of the deal."

1. His pullout of all U.S. troops in Syria will take America's boot off of the terrorists' necks. Trump's claim that "we have defeated ISIS in Syria" is as bad as Obama's dismissing them as the "J.V." squad. The Islamic State still has up to 30,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria and about $400 million in their coffers. The Islamic State is not defeated, and not one member of Trump's national security team agrees with his decision to withdraw. If he lets the Islamic State off the mat like Obama did in Iraq in 2011, our nation will pay a terrible price.

It is notable that, with the exception of troop withdrawals and family separations, most of the items on this list were transgressions of style rather than substance. With the mute button on, the Trump presidency is pretty good from a conservative policy perspective. And yet Trump's approval rating at year's end is just 39 percent — because most Americans don't follow politics with the sound off.

Marc Thiessen is a columnist for the Washington Post.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

March 17, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., announcement that she is "not for impeachment" has caused resistance on the left. Pelosi is not trying to protect President Trump. She is trying to protect the Democratic Party from its lunatic fringe. It's an increasingly difficult challenge.

Pelosi is the…

Marc_Thiessen.jpg

March 17, 2019

On Feb. 12, Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka "El Chapo," was convicted of multiple crimes related to running the Sinaloa drug cartel, Mexico's largest. Thirteen days before his conviction, authorities seized enough of the synthetic opioid called fentanyl for 100 million lethal doses. It was hidden in a…

George Will

March 17, 2019

When President Trump signed the tax cut bill around the end of 2017, the most significant pro-growth legislation since the 1980s, the U.S. economy took off like an Atlas rocket.

Employment rose, unemployment sank, consumer spending surged, the stock market shot up, and the U.S. economy was back in…

lambro2

March 16, 2019

The Washington Post

The best that can be said for President Trump’s $4.75 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2020 is that it has no chance of becoming law. This is almost always true of presidential budgets, because ultimately Congress does the nitty-gritty work on spending legislation. Even by…

March 16, 2019

For a "progressive" presidential candidate, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is remarkably, well, conservative. Her proposals are neither new nor of the "democratic socialist" variety. In fact, her aim is, as Matthew Yglesias puts it at Vox, "to save capitalism" with stock proposals…

Knapp

March 16, 2019

This weekend marks the end of a sports era. Since I was around at the beginning, I want to join others in mourning the loss of over-the-air broadcasts of ACC sports.

Most pundits incorrectly credit the genesis of televised college basketball to the 1957 UNC championships. But it was actually UNC…

020417Campbell

March 15, 2019

 

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.”

This declaration is not new.

I heard it over and over again back in the early 1980s when old-line conservative Democrats, still smarting from Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation, were looking for a different…

DGMartin.jpg

March 14, 2019

At 29, with her Puerto Rican heritage, megawatt smile and 3 million-plus Twitter followers, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez embodies the rising power of younger female nonwhite digital natives in American politics. If Hillary Rodham Clinton, or HRC, reflects the past, AOC foreshadows the future.

But…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

March 13, 2019

With growing concerns about school safety, should schools be forced to open their doors to hundreds of unchecked adults?

Under current North Carolina law, election officials can compel local schools to open their buildings to be polling places regardless of security concerns that school officials…

AndyJackson

March 13, 2019

Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called "Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure" tweeted, "My goal…

Walter Williams
296 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»