ODD as it may seem, when Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that he worries that Donald Trump approaches his job like a “reality show” and may set America on “the path to World War III”, he was not voicing the fear that causes Republican senators to lose most sleep. True, thoughtful Republicans really do worry that the president seems not to care if the world places more weight on his words than he does. Figures close to Mr Trump describe a man more interested in being seen to win, than in picking fights wisely. But most cling to the same hope that Mr Corker has now voiced in public: namely, that such “good guys” as the defence secretary, James Mattis, the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, and the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, will be “able to talk [Mr Trump] down” if he “gets spun up”.
In the short term leading Republicans fear something less apocalyptic but more plausible: that Mr Trump is so thin-skinned,…Continue reading