Blogs: Paul Pillar

Why Donald Trump Might Become an Interventionist

Evaluating Obama

Paul Pillar

Finally is Barack Obama’s personal conduct as president, marked by grace and fairness as well as by intelligence.  Importantly and related to this, he has exhibited spotless personal integrity and the highest ethical standards—going so far, for example, as to seek a government legal ruling on whether it was permissible for him to accept his Nobel Peace Prize.  He has led an eight-year administration with no significant scandals—again, not something to be taken for granted, given modern American history.

As of noon on January 20th, the nation is in for a severe turn away from most of the above.  Regarding divisiveness, the incoming president has set a record for being the sorest winner ever, never getting out of what was already a highly combative and insult-filled campaign mode.  Regarding reliance on good information, the new president rejects not only book-learning but also the assistance of government bureaucracies that exist for the purpose of informing policy decisions.  Regarding the method of decision-making, policy, at least declaratory policy, is as likely to be made with impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets as through any careful review.  And as for ethics, the incoming chief executive is a walking bundle of conflicts of interests whose flouting of ethics principles has set so big and bad an example for others in his administration that the whole process of ethics scrutiny and elimination of conflicts of interests seems to be breaking down for senior nominees.

As previously mentioned, we need to grade presidents on the curve.  The curve is taking an exceptionally sharp turn downward, and that ought to put Barack Obama in an even more favorable light.

Much of the wider public may be beginning to realize this, as indicated by recent poll results that have seen Mr. Obama’s job approval ratings rise significantly while Donald Trump’s ratings are probably the worst of any incoming president.  Barack Obama will be missed.  

Pages

The Illusive Purposes of Toughness

Paul Pillar

Finally is Barack Obama’s personal conduct as president, marked by grace and fairness as well as by intelligence.  Importantly and related to this, he has exhibited spotless personal integrity and the highest ethical standards—going so far, for example, as to seek a government legal ruling on whether it was permissible for him to accept his Nobel Peace Prize.  He has led an eight-year administration with no significant scandals—again, not something to be taken for granted, given modern American history.

As of noon on January 20th, the nation is in for a severe turn away from most of the above.  Regarding divisiveness, the incoming president has set a record for being the sorest winner ever, never getting out of what was already a highly combative and insult-filled campaign mode.  Regarding reliance on good information, the new president rejects not only book-learning but also the assistance of government bureaucracies that exist for the purpose of informing policy decisions.  Regarding the method of decision-making, policy, at least declaratory policy, is as likely to be made with impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets as through any careful review.  And as for ethics, the incoming chief executive is a walking bundle of conflicts of interests whose flouting of ethics principles has set so big and bad an example for others in his administration that the whole process of ethics scrutiny and elimination of conflicts of interests seems to be breaking down for senior nominees.

As previously mentioned, we need to grade presidents on the curve.  The curve is taking an exceptionally sharp turn downward, and that ought to put Barack Obama in an even more favorable light.

Much of the wider public may be beginning to realize this, as indicated by recent poll results that have seen Mr. Obama’s job approval ratings rise significantly while Donald Trump’s ratings are probably the worst of any incoming president.  Barack Obama will be missed.  

Pages

Ideological Warfare Against Nonviolent Political Islam

Paul Pillar

Finally is Barack Obama’s personal conduct as president, marked by grace and fairness as well as by intelligence.  Importantly and related to this, he has exhibited spotless personal integrity and the highest ethical standards—going so far, for example, as to seek a government legal ruling on whether it was permissible for him to accept his Nobel Peace Prize.  He has led an eight-year administration with no significant scandals—again, not something to be taken for granted, given modern American history.

As of noon on January 20th, the nation is in for a severe turn away from most of the above.  Regarding divisiveness, the incoming president has set a record for being the sorest winner ever, never getting out of what was already a highly combative and insult-filled campaign mode.  Regarding reliance on good information, the new president rejects not only book-learning but also the assistance of government bureaucracies that exist for the purpose of informing policy decisions.  Regarding the method of decision-making, policy, at least declaratory policy, is as likely to be made with impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets as through any careful review.  And as for ethics, the incoming chief executive is a walking bundle of conflicts of interests whose flouting of ethics principles has set so big and bad an example for others in his administration that the whole process of ethics scrutiny and elimination of conflicts of interests seems to be breaking down for senior nominees.

As previously mentioned, we need to grade presidents on the curve.  The curve is taking an exceptionally sharp turn downward, and that ought to put Barack Obama in an even more favorable light.

Much of the wider public may be beginning to realize this, as indicated by recent poll results that have seen Mr. Obama’s job approval ratings rise significantly while Donald Trump’s ratings are probably the worst of any incoming president.  Barack Obama will be missed.  

Pages

Russia Had Plenty to Work With: The Crisis in American Democracy

Paul Pillar

Finally is Barack Obama’s personal conduct as president, marked by grace and fairness as well as by intelligence.  Importantly and related to this, he has exhibited spotless personal integrity and the highest ethical standards—going so far, for example, as to seek a government legal ruling on whether it was permissible for him to accept his Nobel Peace Prize.  He has led an eight-year administration with no significant scandals—again, not something to be taken for granted, given modern American history.

As of noon on January 20th, the nation is in for a severe turn away from most of the above.  Regarding divisiveness, the incoming president has set a record for being the sorest winner ever, never getting out of what was already a highly combative and insult-filled campaign mode.  Regarding reliance on good information, the new president rejects not only book-learning but also the assistance of government bureaucracies that exist for the purpose of informing policy decisions.  Regarding the method of decision-making, policy, at least declaratory policy, is as likely to be made with impulsive middle-of-the-night tweets as through any careful review.  And as for ethics, the incoming chief executive is a walking bundle of conflicts of interests whose flouting of ethics principles has set so big and bad an example for others in his administration that the whole process of ethics scrutiny and elimination of conflicts of interests seems to be breaking down for senior nominees.

As previously mentioned, we need to grade presidents on the curve.  The curve is taking an exceptionally sharp turn downward, and that ought to put Barack Obama in an even more favorable light.

Much of the wider public may be beginning to realize this, as indicated by recent poll results that have seen Mr. Obama’s job approval ratings rise significantly while Donald Trump’s ratings are probably the worst of any incoming president.  Barack Obama will be missed.  

Pages

Pages