Incompetence as Threat to the Constitutional Order

For four years I have been describing corruption — in the classic republican sense that goes well beyond issues like personal financial gain– as the key issue in American politics, one that portends constitutional decay in the body politic analogous to terminal cancer in the human body.

But now an even more immediate and greater potential existential threat is the abject incompetence of the Trump administration. The failure to manage the COVID crisis, from the beginning and currently, combined with the latest news regarding cyber-security elevate national security to a level of alarm greater than any since the 1960’s.

We learned today that DHS cannot manage the distribution of vaccines. There are new estimates that there will be over 500,00 Americans dead from COVID by February.

And we learned this week that he U.S. has suffered the gravest cyber security attack in our history.

But unlike the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example, Trump has rendered the political culture numb. It no longer can react and recognize the seriousness of threat because, perversely and paradoxically, the threats are so massive, and like Trump’s personal outrages, they have become part of the landscape, part of a new destructive “normal.”

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