Why John Kelly won’t—in fact, can’t—save Trump

Here’s how you know Kelly can’t and won’t impose discipline on the White House, notwithstanding the bold-not-so-bold-out-of-the-gate move of firing Scaramucci. Anyone who would take this job, thinking that he—unlike everyone else before him—can somehow make Trump into what Trump is not, thinking that what Trump really wants is to be saved from himself (remember, Trump is 71 years old; he’s not really in the market for a change of life), suffers from the same magical thinking that is at the heart of Trump’s entire operation. Kelly is not an answer or alternative to Trump; he is Trump.


  1. xenon2 July 31, 2017 at 10:30 pm | #

    Kelly’s job was CEO of Gitmo.
    Force-feeding peaceful hunger-strikers.
    Denying men their access to lawyers.

    Trump has gotten what he deserved.

  2. John Maher July 31, 2017 at 10:59 pm | #

    Kelly’s job: Hold the pass like Leonidas until a new generation of Trumps comes of political age! Ivanka v Chelsea in the 2028 election. May the Republic live to see it!

  3. SteveLaudig August 1, 2017 at 12:27 am | #

    The thought occurs that Kelly is what Trump sees when he faces himself in the mirror in the morning. I look at Trump and see a Benito Mussolini gone to seed clown, Donald sees a “Marine” general. We see what we want to see. another thought occurs. If Clinton and the Americans intervened in the Russian elections, and they did, to assure a Yeltsin, then Trump is fair payback by the Russians.

    • Glenn August 1, 2017 at 2:07 pm | #

      If you haven’t yet, see “Spinning Boris”, a movie about the US interference in Yeltsin’s election.

  4. Thomas Rossetti August 1, 2017 at 1:33 am | #

    As I said on my facebook post if Donald Trump appointed Thomas Hobbes to be his chief of staff he couldn’t save Trump’s administration!

  5. Ken Rosenberg August 1, 2017 at 3:12 am | #

    We need to talk less about Trump — and more about the Republican agenda. Many Americans will think that the problem has been solved if Trump resigns or is impeached. They will stop paying attention to “tax reform” and the destruction of public schools and defunding the safety net.

  6. jonnybutter August 1, 2017 at 7:03 am | #

    I’m just relieved that the Trump WH will be free again of links to vulgarity.

  7. Howard B August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am | #

    Yes, but.. how does hiring a clean-up man for his White House work any less than hiring a clean-up man for his faltering campaign, which he did aeons ago in 2016, didn’t he?
    Trump’s pattern is to hire people to wipe up his messes.
    Kelly might serve as his mop up and fix up and structure turn to guy

  8. Billikin August 2, 2017 at 12:11 am | #

    Trump has shown little to no taste for governing. He wants to be king, and leave governing to loyal underlings. Has Kelly sworn personal allegiance to Trump? Why not? Chief of Staff is not like FBI Director or a cabinet secretary. And we know that Trump demands loyalty. As long as Trump perceives Kelly to be loyal, he could last a long time.

    • Donald Pruden, Jr., a/k/a The Enemy Combatant August 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm | #

      “As long as Trump perceives Kelly to be loyal, he could last a long time.”

      Trump or Kelly?

      • Billikin August 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm | #

        Kelley. As for Trump, historically, incompetent rulers have survived by retaining symbolic power while relinquishing political power to those who would take the blame for failures. OC, to get reelected Trump has to retain political power in terms of votes, but he does not actually have to govern like, by contrast, LBJ, who exercised political power over Congress but became unelectable. If Kelly is loyal enough to take the heat for Trump, he is Trump’s best chance for reelection.

  9. jonnybutter August 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm | #

    Trump or Kelly?

    Good question!

  10. Howard August 4, 2017 at 7:52 pm | #

    If Trump as reports hint is really a figure head like the nose in a Woody Allen film, Kelly may become the de facto ruler, or something similar.
    We have to be prepared for that possibility or likelihood. It may be happening already.
    I mean who the hell knows for sure?

  11. Howie B August 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm | #

    Corey, I’m all for throwing the book at Trump, any book except Mein Kampf or maybe the Constitution or the Bible, but you just have a theory that he won’t destroy us before hitting the self destruct button, and he is totally bad news.
    Neoliberal economists give us mechanisms of how markets clear.
    How is Trump going to be a passing storm?
    History takes all sorts of wrong turns and though I find it hard to believe that he can take on the left and everybody who despises him, most of us, and Wall Street once it turns out he is toxic to business as usual.
    But how are we going to defeat him?
    WW 2 was won by armies and battle plans. How will we defeat this repellent human being?

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