Republican Leaders Are Endangering National Security By Excusing And Normalizing Trump

There are worse signs of danger than Steve Bannon’s appointment, argues conservative Never-Trumper national security expert Professor Eliot A. Cohen. The darker danger is the Republican leaders who are excusing and normalizing Bannon’s “sinister character.”

Cohen, while a Never-Trumper, also stepped up to suggest that conservatives give Trump a chance, albeit one with a resignation letter at the ready. But after interacting with the Trump transition team, Cohen became so alarmed that he reversed course, and his reasons are a must-read.

Tuesday evening, Cohen warned conservatives to stay away from the Trump transition team:

Cohen explained his change of heart in the Washington Post. Explaining the rage he encountered, he wrote of the friend on the Trump transition team, “He is in the midst of a transition team that was never well-prepared to begin with and is now torn by acrimony, resignations and palace coups. And then there are the pent-up resentments against a liberal intellectual and media establishment that scorned his ilk for years.”

Already. The transition team is already in the midst of palace coups. These are the people who will choose who will lead this country.

Cohen warns that to work for the Trump team at this early juncture, “would carry a high risk of compromising one’s integrity and reputation.”

And chillingly, Cohen dispels any notion that this will self-regulate. He writes of people out of their depth and unfit for the jobs they will hold, “One bad boss can be endured. A gaggle of them will poison all decision-making. They will turn on each other. No band of brothers this: rather the permanent campaign as waged by triumphalist rabble-rousers and demagogues, abetted by people out of their depth and unfit for the jobs they will hold, gripped by grievance, resentment and lurking insecurity. Their mistakes — because there will be mistakes — will be exceptional.”

There will be mistakes. Yes, every administration makes mistakes and transitions are rocky. This is the highest office in the land – no one can be truly prepared for the magnitude.

But it helps if the people doing these jobs know that they don’t know everything. This is a trait we haven’t seen yet in the Trump entourage.

What is frightening is that these “mistakes” pertain to national security. We have, for almost 8 years, had a man at the helm whose first priority was doing a good job, protecting the people of this country. Obama has always shown up, on time, prepared and informed. This is how he rolls. But Donald Trump doesn’t even want to be in DC.

There are bipartisan concerns “that the incoming administration will be ‘woefully ill-prepared’ once Trump takes office in January. These concerns are bolstered by the fact that Trump transition officials were missing in action from a series of important meetings this week.”

The Trump transition is not going well. In fact,
“two individuals with direct knowledge said, in a series of moves that have added to the anxiety across the upper ranks of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

As previously reported, Republican national security experts are refusing to work under Donald Trump. Tin foil conspiracy artist and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is in charge of staffing the national security posts, along with Trump’s son-in-law. This is alarming.

But I’m sad to tell you it gets so much worse. This is not bumbling Bush administration – this is not a frat party culture – this is the culture of vengeful, angry people who see themselves as victims and can’t wait to get revenge. This is the Sarah Palin wing of the Republican Party – those who don’t even know what they don’t know, and thus conclude that they are brilliant when it’s clear to people who do know things that they are deluded.

We’ve elected Sarah Palin to run the world. Trump, like Palin, doesn’t really want the job. He wanted the adulation, the power, and the victory.

Republicans who are excusing the behavior of the Trump team are stabbing this country and all that it is supposed to stand for in the back. They are cowards of the worst sort, who will do anything for power, even sucking up to and normalizing people who behave like Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.