With Kelly and now Mattis gone, who's going to babysit the President?

Defense Secretary James (Mad Dog) Mattis, who presumably disagrees with President Trump's decision to support Russia's strategic objectives by withdrawing American troops from Syria, hasn't really seen eye-to-eye with our erratic leader all along, any more than has the other most prominent adult in the administration, departed Chief of Staff John Kelly. It was ominous when Gen. Kelly left. The outlook became dire when Sec. Mattis announced that he would be leaving the administration for policy reasons at the end of February.

Well, Mr. Trump has responded by firing him two months early.

Whatever the timing, Gen. Mattis's departure is a serious matter.  He has hitherto been one of the grownups in the administration who has kept our naive, unstable, and emotionally immature president from sticking metaphorical forks into metaphorical electric sockets. A Trump administration without James Mattis is a dangerous thing for America.

As the members of the administration who know what they are doing continue to drift away, the prospect for America's security and interests in the 25 months remaining in the Trump administration (barring Mr. Trump's impeachment or removal from office under the 25th Amendment) are becoming bleaker. With fewer senior members of the administration in a position to reign in the child president, his erratic personality is apt to manifest itself more and more in policy. The consequences for our national interest and for world peace will not be good.

I have never subscribed to the notion that Donald Trump is consciously in thrall to Vladimir Putin or is actively disloyal to America despite Mr. Trump's extensive holdings and associations in Russia and his often bizarrely and inexplicably pro-Russian tilt even in matters where America's sovereignty is at risk, like his weird denial through the early part of his administration that the Russians were responsible for the hacking of DNC computers during the campaign despite the use of proprietary FSB software and the arrest and indictment of the very Russian agents involved. I don't think that Mr. Trump actually has a coherent foreign policy or worldview. While competent professionals like Gen. Mattis and his fellow former Marine general, departing Chief of Staff John Kelly, were around, a modicum of direction and common sense could be imposed on the commander-in-chief's mental chaos. But both of them are leaving now, and I fear for the country in the coming months,

With people like former Secretary of State Tillotson and Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly gone, who is going to keep the loose cannon in the Oval Office from blowing up in all our faces?


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