It was really only a matter of time before Republicans were forced to use one of the worst possible excuses for President Trump’s words and actions. The newly given reason for such strange behavior from the man in the highest office of the United States, arguably the most powerful position in the world, is that he doesn’t know any better.
When asked by reporters how Trump rationalized speaking to former FBI Director James Comey about dropping an investigation into Michael Flynn, House Speaker Paul Ryan answered by saying that Trump has no government experience, so he’s learning the intricacies of the job as he goes through the duties of the position.
In other words, the new defense for Trump is that he’s primarily a businessman, which apparently means he is incapable of realizing what is appropriate and what is inappropriate for the President of the United States.
While it might seem as if Democrats would be highly critical of that excuse, certain Republicans have lost patience for the overgrown toddler as well. They mainly cite their frustration in terms of Trump’s lack of foreign policy experience and what that could mean for America’s position on the world stage. One example of that lack of foreign policy intelligence was recently given by Trump via Twitter when he suggested that Qatar supports terrorists. Qatar, as a matter of fact, is the location of a U.S. air base that plays a crucial role in operations for that region of the globe. Eliot Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a former member of the National Security Council, said that Trump must be ignoring briefings on the area if he was unaware of the American presence in Qatar.
Those who followed the presidential election should not be surprised by this defense from the Republicans. In many instances, the fact that Trump was not an experienced politician was actually used by his campaign to promote the idea that he would be able to do things politicians can’t. Many of his initial supporters had to justify their support when it became clear that Trump was serious about taking the White House despite his severe lack of knowledge in the areas of foreign policy, healthcare, and basically every other responsibility of the president. When the GOP nomination went to Trump, establishment Republicans had no choice but to take up a similar position of unjustified support.
The primary reason why so many of his supporters were willing to overlook his lack of political experience was that they wrongly assumed his success as a businessman would allow him to learn the subtleties of the position extremely quickly, therefore bypassing any potential issues that could arise from his lack of political knowledge. It has taken more than five months of strange behavior from the new president, but some of his most ardent supporters are starting to realize that the man isn’t learning anything at all, much less quickly.
Voters tend to forget that while candidates outside the standard political sphere are attractive because they don’t have the stigma of career politicians, they also don’t have the knowledge or skill to navigate those positions of power. One of Trump’s most devoted defenders, Matt Mackowiak of the Texas GOP, actually criticized the president’s shady attempts to prevent the Russia/Michael Flynn investigation from proceeding as highly inappropriate.
Almost everyone who has dealt with the law in any way knows that one can’t simply claim ignorance of it as a defense against illegal action. The trick is finding incontrovertible proof that the actions of the president were actually illegal and not just grossly improper.