Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Vacant Presidency

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: A Vacant Presidency

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: A vacant presidency


An editorial from the Halifax Chronicle Herald, published Aug. 18:

Even before his stubbornly inadequate response to last weekend's racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Donald Trump was proving himself to be the weakest American president of modern times and, arguably, ever.

"Weak" is a taunt Mr. Trump loves to toss at critics in his compulsive tweeting.

But it is a witheringly accurate description of his first seven months as an ineffective chief executive of the United States government.

So far, he has achieved almost nothing, largely because he seems not to understand or care about a lot of things.

These things include the nature and limits of the president's power, how to deal with Congress, the role of courts and the press, details of legislation and how to assemble a competent, credible team of White House officials and communicators.

As a result, the Trump White House has been in a constant state of war with the courts, the Congress, the press, its own party and itself.

Judges have quashed executive orders. Legislators have refused to be bullied into passing a half-baked health insurance repeal. Generals aren't listening to Trump tweets banning gays and lesbians from the military. Senior Republicans are rebelling against Trump abuse. The White House is a bedlam of infighting, leaks, contradictory statements and sudden firings. …

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