Friday, August 30, 2019

The Time Has Come

On Thursday's "Dateline White House," Nicole Wallace, White House communications Director for George W. Bush, led a discussion about an upcoming book by James Mattis. Mattis tendered to President Trump his resignation as Secretary of Defense late last year and part of the excerpt-which bears upon the role(s) of Wallace's former boss and his successor- shown by Wallace read

Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist's role is not sufficient for a leader.

Well-meaning, Wallace remarked

It is abundantly clear, if you take that statement from Mattis at the beginning with Mattis' letter- he resigned in a policy dispute with Donald Trump over the precipitous withdrawal of troops from Syria.... With that excerpt from the book, you have to me perhaps the most subtle but the most stinging rebuke of Donald Trump.

Yes and no, respectively. The American people, aside from a portion of individuals which voted against Donald Trump in 2016, do not do subtle. After Eugene Robinson (who mailed it in years ago) responded "exactly" and went on to say whatever he said, it was left to MattMiller to explain

I hate to be a contrarian. I have a great deal of respect for General Mattis; he's a great patriot. That essay left me thoroughly unimpressed, probably for the word you used- it was too subtle.

There are a lot of reasons that Donald Trump is President today. But one of the reasons is there are too many people that decided "it's not my fight to take him on: and I think Jim Mattis has decided it's not his fight to take him on.

Everyone in this country who knows how unfit Donald Trump is for this office has the responsibility to say something about it and do something about it but that responsibility is higher for those who served in that Administration and really know- really saw first-hand just how unfit he is for that office And I don't think this is the time for Jim Mattis to be subtle. I think this is time for him to tell the American public this man is not fit to be President and I know he probably thinks it inappropriate for him as a former military leader, and I know he's been marshaling his credibility, and his reputation, his integrity his entire life and this is the time to use it.

Miller was talking about James Mattis- but he might as well have been referring to someone else additionally. Wallace responded

Someone asks me once a week the same question about George W Bush- where's George Bush and why doesn't he same something? And I'm sure they ask Valerie Jarrett about Obama, too. And I mean, I take your point about people who have seen him up close- but you could say the same thing about HR McMaster, Dina Powell, Rex Tillerson ....

Bush is a former President and thus bears some responsibility. But it has been nine years since he left office, and President Trump's every move is not predicated on "what did President Bush do and how can I undo it?"

The Trump Administration has rolled back regulations on methane-emission rules. Predictably and justifiably, environmentalists and climate activists have denounced the move.  However, reaction from the fossil fuel industry has not been universally positive because it is a boon to oil and gas interests at the expense of natural gas. It is

the latest in a series of aggressive moves by the administration to roll back regulations imposed by the administration of former President Obama.

The EPA in June finalized plans for replacing Obama-era regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants. Administrator Andrew Wheeler also signed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, which gives individual states wide discretion to decide whether to require limited efficiency upgrades at individual coal-fired power plants.

Why, of course: Obama did it, and so it must be undone.  It's not enough for Barack Obama that candidate Trump and his surrogates routinely denounced the 44th President during the presidential campaign and that Trump's Administration, in its ideological extremism and commitment to corruption stands in stark contrast to "no-drama Obama."

President Trump seeks to implement policies through regulation and deregulation, Executive Orders and legislation as a means to rebuke Barack Obama. He is authorized to do, constrained only by constitution and law, and will do so, unconstrained. 

In an interview for the October issue of The Atlantic, James Mattis stated "There is a period in which I owe my silence. It’s not eternal. It’s not going to be forever." As Matt Miller told the MSNBC audience, "this is the time" for Mattis. But it's time also for someone else who has been  marshaling his credibility, reputation, and integrity, and it's a former President who is not short, a Texan, and bearing the name "Bush."

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