Recently there has been another defection from the stable of White House legal eagles. Ty Cobb, not to be confused with the Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder of the same name, is not the first, and I suspect not the last, of Mr. Trump's inner circle to vacate his position. It leaves one to wonder why so many of the Twitterer-in-chiefs' close advisers are bailing, like rats deserting a sinking ship.
Trump's lead lawyer, John Dowd, a veteran advocate for white collar defendants, left his post and was replaced by former New York mayor and governor Rudy Giuliani. Cobb's replacement, Emmett Flood, was part of the defense team during President Clinton's impeachment trial. These two, like their predecessors, have strong personalities and experience on their side, but that combination hasn't stopped the president from jettisoning others.
Are the lawyers and cabinet officers leaving simply to escape the petty sniping over some decision or point of view on a given subject? Perhaps some have decided that they could earn more, without all of the aggravation, by returning to their previous professions. Could it be that they foresee the very real possibility of a protracted fight that could lead to the first successful impeachment of a sitting President? With all of the negative Twitter comments on the Mueller investigation that come daily, to quote Shakespeare, "doth protest too much, methinks."
It can't be easy working for a boss whose long-range plans and policies change from day to day and often from minute to minute. In government, as in business, consistency in policy making by the leadership is important. Rapid and often unnecessary changes of direction make for chaos. Unfortunately, this has been the hallmark of the current administration since the inauguration.
Admittedly, some of the sudden change of direction may — and I emphasize may — lead to some positive results. The switch from taunts and insults toward North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to more diplomatic language may have hastened the meetings between the leaders on the Korean peninsula as well as the proposed summit with Trump. Maybe the president will put on his most excellent smile and convince Kim that ridding his nation of all nukes and missiles would be in the best interest of the whole peninsula. I'm all for anything that could possibly reduce the prospects of a conflict in that part of the world.
In another of the hot spots in this unstable world, the deal with the Irani on their nuclear program seems to be heading for a showdown. On this problem, I do agree with Trump that changes need to be made to the existing treaty. However, that won't happen without the cooperation of several of the Arab states as well as many European nations. Unfortunately, if the pact is dissolved, Iran will have a viable nuclear weapon ready to go in, by my estimation, five years, maybe less. If Iran becomes a nuclear nation, it won't be long before some terrorist group gets control of one, or more, and uses them against the United States or another of our allies. Trump simply has to rely on negotiations in order to prevent the doomsday scenario. Going it alone, with his trademark bluster and braggadocio, simply won't cut it.
As I've said many times, buckle your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Bill Kennedy writes every other Monday from Taneytown. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.