The administration of Donald Trump careens all over the place and his behavior continues to be erratic, leading to an explosion of palace intrigue and gossip. Take this story:
With the White House struggling to gain its footing almost two months into Donald Trump’s presidency, administration officials are increasingly putting the blame on one person: Reince Priebus.
In interviews, over a dozen Trump aides, allies, and others close to the White House said that Priebus, the 44-year-old chief of staff, was becoming a singular target of criticism within the White House.
Forget the Priebus angle and focus on the phrase “over a dozen Trump aides, allies, and others close to the White House said”. It is extraordinary that so many people within Trump’s closest circle seem to be leaking information about the chaos in the White House less than two months into his term. At the beginning of a presidential term, the staff tends to be gung-ho and unified. This kind of porosity and backstabbing usually occurs well into an administration, when people have started to get fed up, think they are stagnating or are being ignored and overlooked, and start pushing independent agendas.
Such a high level of dysfunction has observers seriously speculating as to how long Trump can last. Since Republicans control both houses of Congress, then as long as they support him, he is secure and can continue to say what he wants and use his executive powers to his full ability to carry out any crackpot idea that comes into his head. It is only when that unified congressional front begins to crack that he becomes vulnerable. This has led some to speculate as to which Republican will step up and take the lead in opposing him or at least his more outrageous actions.
Ultimately, much of the success or failure regarding Trump’s ability to execute his policies is going to come down to whether the GOP congressional leadership stays on board, or not. If the Democrats can start peeling away Republican congressmen and start cobbling together some kind of working majority that way, then meaningful opposition to Trump can begin. Alternatively, the GOP can deny them that, but to do that they will likely have to exact some kind of influence on Trump to tamp down the worst of his excesses—they can do some inside dirty boxing and horse-trading to try to piece out of Trump’s platform some kind of workable policy and talking point structure that their members can take back to their voters.
People like the ever-mavericky John McCain and Lindsey Graham talk a good game about criticizing Trump but they have proven themselves to be utterly craven and never back up their words with any action, instead consistently following the party line. Their words seem to be designed merely to get themselves interviewed and in the news and nothing more.
Saturday Night Live produced a trailer for a future film of this updating of Waiting for Godot.