In my opinion, President Trump has completely mishandled a couple of important things in the past week.
First, the impeachment effort by the Democrats. He has come out swinging when he should have remained quiet and allowed surrogates to carry the fight. The Democrats in the House are playing political games with this issue and he takes the bait and engages in a debate with them that only strengthens their resolve. By traditions and precedent in modern times the Democrats should be introducing Articles of Impeachment which requires a floor vote of every member of Congress before beginning an Impeachment Inquiry. This is what was done with both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment efforts. This puts members of Congress on the record about how they feel about this issue. But what Speaker Pelosi is trying to do is eat her cake and have it too.
There is a group of freshman Democrats that flipped House seats from Red to Blue in the last election and most were by very small margins. Many of them are very uncomfortable voting on impeachment so Pelosi is trying to prevent any vote that forces their hands while allowing all of this Impeachment Inquiry to move forward in committees. It is a breach of past precedent and she knows it. The Democrats are hiding behind the reasoning that there is nothing in the Constitution or House Rules that forces them to hold the vote first but if the roles were reversed, they would be screaming for a floor vote. Everyone in Washington knows this.
But instead of holding his fire and remaining calm Trump acted like Trump and lashed out. When Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) said he was disturbed by the phone call with the Ukrainian President Trump called for his impeachment. When Pelosi did not have the floor vote (something she should do) Trump called for her impeachment. He needs to stay calm and allow the Democrats to play out their political charade and not be attacking any allies in the Senate. I don’t believe there is any chance of getting 67 votes to remove him from office so don’t get involved in the political fray that Democrats want him to be involved.
The second issue that Trump has made a huge mistake in the withdrawal of American forces from Syria before a Turkish invasion. Even many of his most loyal supporters in the Congress are baffled by this move. Trump’s response has been his stock and trade by saying that he is fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from Syria. He follows that up by saying we cannot be a police force for the entire world. We only have a small contingent of military advisors in Syria, but they represent a commitment by the United States to the forces that we support in the region. It also leaves the Kurds at great risk since they are not considered allies of any Turkish invasion. The Kurds have been loyal allies to the United States, and we should have people on the ground to ensure that they are not attacked by the Turks.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the President to reconsider this “precipitous withdrawal” of forces that leaves the door open for enemies of the United States, including ISIS filling a void. Congresswoman Liz Cheney was even more forceful. Her statement was the following:
“Withdrawing U.S. forces from northern Syria is a catastrophic mistake that puts our gains against ISIS at risk and threatens America’s national security,” the House Republican Conference chairwoman said in a statement, referencing the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Pulling out of northern Syria ignores that painful lesson, represents an abandonment of our Kurdish allies despite their vital contributions to the fight against ISIS, emboldens Iran and serves as an undeserved gift to the Ergodan regime, which has only continued its steady march toward Moscow.”
She points out, correctly, that the present government in Turkey, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has not been a consistent ally to the United States. She is right and Trump is wrong. It sends a signal that we cannot be relied upon to those that ally themselves with us and support us.
Trump tried to support his decision by later saying that if Turkey did anything outside of what they are supposed to do we would move right back in. But that would require a much large force and more than likely U.S. casualties. It was another kneejerk reaction by Trump and this time it could have disastrous effects.
I said last week that the only way Trump was not running for office is if he decided he has had enough of this political chicanery and decided to go home to New York. Perhaps he should take a look at that option.