Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

People close to Secretary of Defense James Mattis say he is “appalled” by the president’s decision to make a shift on transgender policy via Twitter. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on the verge of resigning, mainly out of frustration with the president and his staff. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is in charge of our nuclear weapons and was duped into spending a half hour with a Russian phone prankster who he thought was Ukraine’s prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman. Trump wants to fire his beleaguered attorney general who is pissed at him. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke just alienated the senator with the most influence over his department by threatening her state with petty retribution for her vote against Trumpcare. Trump’s first press secretary quit in disgust, which came shortly after his second communications director quit in disgust. Trump’s new communications director just said that his chief of staff is a “paranoid schizophrenic,” that his top advisor “sucks his own cock,” and that he wants “to kill” the rest of Trump’s staff for leaking. Trump’s “paranoiac” chief of staff is preparing to exit.

Trump’s former campaign chairman is quite possibly going to jail and is likely in plea negotiations to avoid that fate. Trump had to fire his first national security advisor who is quite possibly going to jail and is likely in plea negotiations to avoid that fate. Trump’s son was nailed dead to rights for talking to Russian spies about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton, turned in essentially by Trump’s son-in-law who also met with Russian spies. They both have lawyers, as does Trump’s daughter. Trump has a growing army of lawyers, none of whom he listens to at all.

And this (and much more) was happening before Trump’s push to repeal Obamacare died in the Senate last night, and before Special Counsel Robert Mueller announces a single indictment of anyone in Trump’s inner or outer circles. As I’ve been saying, the real problems haven’t hit yet. Wait until the Republicans discover that they can’t raise the debt ceiling and the country is about to default on its debts and cause a global recession. Wait until the Republicans can’t pass a budget or can’t pass a continuing resolution and the government shuts down. Or, more accurately, watch what happens to the party when its leaders need to go to the Democrats for help and get no help or cover from a White House that has no understanding of practical reality. Wait until we’re asked to follow Trump’s leadership during a crisis on the Korean peninsula or he inadvertently starts a crisis there by making careless tweets.

The failures so far have been spectacular, but they’re just the warm up act. The real consequences are just on the horizon, and all queued up to hit us between Labor Day and Halloween.

Trump has not yet begun to lose, and we’re all going to lose with him unless something preemptive is done by people in responsibility who currently show no signs of having any wisdom or any guts.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at