Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The United States is on the seventh day of a government shutdown sparked by Trump demanding $5 billion for The Wall. (Photo: AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

The United States is on the seventh day of a government shutdown sparked by Trump demanding $5 billion for The Wall. (Photo: AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

The Comical Incompetence of President Trump

It's worth remembering every now and then that Trump is horrible at being president

Ryan Cooper

 by The Week

President Trump is spending the last few days of 2018 in signature fashion, with a series of unforced errors and comical pratfalls around the world, any one of which would have been a multi-week scandal for any previous president. The government is shut down over total nonsense, and Trump's attempt to visit the troops for a quick propaganda coup instantly became a head-shaking discussion about his awful operation security and pointless lies.

It's worth remembering every now and then that Trump is horrible at being president. The basic tasks are as far beyond him as it would be for a parakeet attempting to operate the Large Hadron Collider.

Let's review. The United States is on the seventh day of a government shutdown sparked by Trump demanding $5 billion for The Wall. As many, many experts have argued at tedious length, any border wall is all but pointless for achieving its stated objective. Walls are easy to get around, and actually building one would ruin the lives and properties of many law-abiding citizens, in addition to presenting huge logistical and legal barriers. Anyway, since 2007 most people who immigrate illegally overstay their visas instead of crossing the border.

The Wall has always been a shiny bouncing ball, something to whip up the Fox News rubes and get cable news talking about Trump's favorite subject: himself.

The Wall has always been a shiny bouncing ball, something to whip up the Fox News rubes and get cable news talking about Trump's favorite subject: himself. The reality of the thing is entirely beside the point. Indeed, Congress already allocated $1.7 billion for border barriers in 2017 and 2018, and the administration only spent 6 percent of it.

Democrats naturally wonder why they should more than double that appropriation. Yet not only has Trump provoked this shutdown — and got baited into formally accepting responsibility for it by the comically inept Chuck Schumer — in a matter of days he will face a Democratic-controlled House and thus an even worse bargaining position. He capped it all off by bizarrely lying that most of the furloughed federal employees are Democrats.

Read the full article here.


© 2021 The Week
Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Hosts 'Saving American Democracy' Town Hall

"Republicans in state after state are working to make it harder and harder to vote. We can't let them succeed."

Common Dreams staff ·


As SCOTUS Considers 'Extinguishing' Right to Abortion, Calls Mount for Congress to 'Step Up'

"Despite the protections that the legal framework like Roe provides, it has never been enough," said one doctor. "We continue to work toward reproductive justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Time to Get the Job Done': Stacey Abrams Launches New Georgia Gubernatorial Bid

"Now more than ever, it's clear Brian Kemp's days as governor are numbered."

Brett Wilkins ·


US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution 'From Source to Sea': Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world's oceans each year.

Brett Wilkins ·


First US Omicron Case Confirmed as WHO Chief Decries Failure to Share Vaccines Globally

Factors including low vaccine coverage have created "a recipe for breeding and amplifying variants," the top health official said.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo