In the same way that a stopped clock is still right at least twice a day, an unconventional and obviously unfit President can sometimes be right. Just before the NATO talks last week, our European allies announced that they were going to increase their funding of the alliance by 30 million dollars. There's no doubt that President Trump is responsible for that, and that should have been the top story after his return. Unfortunately, as he usually does, he managed to make the top story about his favorite human, Donald Trump. He became miffed when he found out that the other leaders were laughing at him and, abruptly cancelled a press conference and left early.
It was unfortunate because the increased allied funding is not only a bigger story, it is far more important than news of another Presidential temper tantrum. Trump has been a vocal critic of NATO for years before becoming President. His main complaint has been that our allies haven't been paying their fair share for it. As painful as it is to admit, for one of the few times in his life he was right.
NATO was created after World War II first to prevent the rise of another Hitler. When the Cold War arose, it became the first line of defense against the Soviet Union. Now, even though the Soviet Union has fallen, Russia under Putin is still a threat to Europe.
For America, NATO means that we may never have to fight another madman bent on world domination. For Europe it means a lot more. It not only stands between them and Russia, it's military helps to keep their costs for defense lower than they would be.
That means that Europe has a greater need for NATO than we do. That is why President Trump was right to demand that Europe pay more for it. A lot of them have been getting away with paying far less than they should have. That needed to change.
That said, Trump is wrong when he says that NATO is obsolete. Putin is determined to make Russia a world power gain, and NATO is the main thing in his way. He knows it isn't obsolete, and is delighted every time Trump says it is. Without NATO we would have to have more bases and personnel over in Europe than we do. The cost would be much greater that what we pay for NATO.
If Trump could just stop acting like an adult with a chronic case of the "Terrible Twos", our allies' pledge to pay more for NATO would be the talking points this week. Unfortunately, his childish behavior, that his parents and military school could not tame, wouldn't let him. Instead of coming home in triumph, he threw a hissy fit and left early.
Even more unfortunately, despite his antics, and his obvious lack of fitness for the presidency, it looks like he will win a second term. He will be impeached, but he won't be convicted or removed from office. Like Bill Clinton before him, he will come out of impeachment even stronger, and cruise to reelection.
There's always the hope that something will happen to finally turn people against him, but what is it? The Access Hollywood tape didn't do it. His mocking of John McCain and a disabled reporter didn't do it. Calling racists "really fine people" didn't do it. I just hope that if something comes along to topple him, it won't also hurt the rest of us.