(For both of these Trump-skeptic pieces, you can read the full article by clicking on the links embedded in the headlines.)

Moral hygiene is needed to fix Trump’s failed foreign policy (July 24): 

With President Trump’s foreign policy becoming more of a dangerous shambles with eachpassing day, the ongoing “virtual candidacy” against him for the Republican presidential nomination should outline a better approach. With help from some wisdom from the past, herein is that outline for more effective diplomacy.

The biggest problem with Trumpian diplomacy is that it is too heavily dependent on Trumpian bluster and Trumpian ego, but too little invested in American values. Trump rightly has emphasized American might, but fails pathetically at making the United States likeable. A better approach would combine might with right, and self-interest with enlightenment. It would not just demand respect it but earn it; it will inculcate societal friendships, not just supposedly personal ones between Trump and foreign strongmen….

Blame for bad budget belongs with Trump’s border bluster (July 22):

If the emerging Capitol Hill budget deal is “the worst in history,” as one watchdog group calls it, a large part of the fault lies with President Trump’s inept “government shutdown” over funding for a border wall last winter.

By fighting and losing that budget battle, Trump gave up almost all leverage for any spending restraint any time soon.

The impending deal reportedly calls for lifting existing discretionary spending “caps” by $320 billion during the next two years. The deal could add as much as $2 trillion in even greater debt (above the exorbitant debt already projected) in a ten-year span.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the centrist Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, called the reported deal “a total abdication of fiscal responsibility by Congress and the President. It may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.” The liberal Washington Post headline all but chortled that the “emerging budget deal [is] likely to include few or no actual spending cuts.” The conservative editorialists at the Wall Street Journal called it a “bad budget deal” that amounts to “another spending blowout.”

The seeds for this new fiscal disaster were sown in Trump’s mishandling of the border wall fight. …


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