For all his bombastic bloviating and bravado, Donald Trump has spent his eleven months in office doing remarkably little. His near total lack of accomplishments are just the beginning of the story. What’s more telling is that, whenever he’s been faced a tough decision, he’s typically spent months indecisively taking no action at all, only to hit the panic button after it’s too late to help him. Now we’re seeing it yet again.
We first saw it back when the media exposed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s Russia connections. Trump spent four days publicly and privately hemming and hawing about the matter, before Flynn finally took a hint and resigned. We saw it again this summer when we first learned that there was a grand jury in place against Flynn, and this fall when we learned the full depth of the crimes Flynn allegedly committed. Trump had every opportunity to pardon Flynn, in the hope of preventing him from cutting a plea deal. As per usual, Trump indecisively did nothing.
Flynn did indeed end up cutting a deal two weeks ago, and he’s surely already turned over damning evidence against the likes of Trump and Jared Kushner. Just yesterday, Trump finally began publicly talking about how he doesn’t want to talk about pardoning Flynn. That’s like trying to lock the front door after the robbers are already in your house: it does you no good, and it has a strong chance of backfiring.
Donald Trump also had an opportunity this fall, before the arrests began, to try to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and maybe even get away with it. As per usual, he took a pass. He can try it now if he wants; it’s too late to matter much. The process is already in motion. He’s going down. He’s spent all year ensuring that by sitting on his hands. The one time Trump took timely and decisive action, by firing James Comey when he did, it backfired on him. That seems to have spooked him back into his usual pattern of running his mouth while skittishly doing nothing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report