Firing a Bunch of People Won’t Hurt Trump

The audience at Friday's Democratic debate stands to cheer after Joe Biden asked them for a round of applause for Alexander Vindman.ABC News

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For most of my readers, this sounds outrageous. Vindman himself won’t actually be hurt too much: he’ll return to the Pentagon a little earlier than planned, and in a few months he’s going off to war college. But his twin brother was also fired, even though he had nothing to do with the Ukraine affair. And Gordon Sondland is gone too, for making the fatal mistake of refusing to perjure himself to save Trump’s bacon.

But Trump himself wouldn’t understand why anyone is upset about this. He can hardly be expected to trust people who betrayed him. Right? And when Vindman was let go, his brother would probably harbor a grudge too. He had to make a clean sweep.

And here’s the key to all this: many of the kind of people who voted for Trump agree completely. Firing these people isn’t outrageous, it’s just common sense. Think about it. What kind of dope would keep people around who believed they were working for a guy who had broken the law? And in key positions, no less. It would be like keeping hand grenades with the pins half pulled lying around on your desk. Anybody with a lick of sense would get rid of them all.

To Trump’s base, this is the way any strong leader acts. You think it’s outrageous. They think you’re nuts.

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