The normally staid and conservative editors of the Wall Street Journal are not pleased with Donald Trump after a week in which they saw the stock market plunge and Defense Secretary James Mattis resign because he can't work with the volatile president.
Getting right to the point and under a sub-headline that bluntly declared, "The President indulges his worst impulses and loses a defense chief," the Journal scalded Trump for creating chaos.
"Mr. Trump entered the Presidency as a disrupter of the status quo, for which he has many fans," the editorial board wrote. "We include ourselves among those who believe the political status quo—here and abroad—was overdue for challenge. He has provided that with a sharp cut in the U.S. corporate tax rate, economy-wide deregulation and U.S. withdrawal from the Obama Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. "
Then came the "but...".
"The execution of those decisions, however, is a far cry from what is happening now," they continued. "Mr. Trump crossed over this week from considered disruption into a degree of political volatility that has the potential to raise the political risks for himself and U.S. interests."
After decrying Trump battling with the Federal Reserve over raising interest rates -- which has created market volatility -- the Journal turned to the matter of Trump's impulsive moves involving the military, which has further roiled markets while straining alliances.
"Withdrawing those 2,000 American troops from the Middle East is a significant act for which allies in the region and elsewhere needed a decent interval to prepare. Mr. Trump gave them none," they accused. "The decision, which emerged after Mr. Trump’s phone call with Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did earn public praise from one big beneficiary—Russia’s Vladimir Putin."
"Mr. Trump should take this week’s big market selloff seriously as a useful warning. The successful disruptions of the President’s first year emerged from planned strategies executed by allies in the government and Congress," the editorial continued. "His erratic actions this week are different. Heading into 2019 and divided government, Mr. Trump is acting less like a confident disturber of the status quo and more like a raging bull."
You can read the rest here -- subscription required.