By John Lynds
Each day there seems to be another explosive feud between President Donald Trump and someone else in the world. Whether it’s bizarre saber rattling with Kim Jong Un, attacking the NFL and team owners or more recently ripping apart Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee, a member of his own political party, it’s hard to make sense of the daily news coming out of the White House.
Many, including U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano, are left scratching their heads and wondering if there is any method to the madness.
“Everything you are hearing about what is going in Washington D.C. is true,” said Capuano during a Tuesday morning breakfast at Spinelli’s in East Boston hosted by Main Streets and the Chamber of Commerce.
Capuano was invited as the guest speaker at the breakfast and give attendees a glimpse into some current D.C. politics, and what it is like to be a member of Congress during this new presidency that is unlike any other.
“There a lot of people today in Washington trying to figure out the new President and the new world we are in,” he said. “Many democrats and many republicans I work with every day have no idea what this President is going to do next. For me it has more to do with inconsistencies. Everyone in this room, in your businesses and in your family lives, has some sort of idea of what you are going to be doing day to day. You have an idea when you wake up in the morning of what you are going to attempt to do and how you are going to get there. You can’t just stamp your feet in your professional or personal lives and get what you want. Life does’t work that way unless you are two years old, but even then it still might not work.”
However, Capuano’s said his observations of Trump are exactly that–a grown man and Commander in Chief of the most powerful country in the world engaged in daily temper tantrums and feet stomping.
“And I really don’t know if there is a method to the madness,” he said. “I hope there is, but I haven’t seen anything to make me believe there is. I do think there is an awful lot of distraction involved. Every time there is something disastrous on the horizon for this President a distraction comes out of the White House in the form of a tweet or some other activity or announcement.”
But what is keeping Capuano awake at night is the fact Trump, who the Congressman feels hasn’t yet exhibited his campaign promise of being a deal maker, has begun a war of words and threats against North Korea and Kim Jong Un that can quickly spiral out of control.
“This guy has his finger on the nuclear button and command of the military, and right now that scares the hell out of me,” said Capuano. “I’m not against worthwhile military activity. I’m glad I voted for the actions in Afghanistan, although I’m not happy the mission got changed years later. What I voted for at the time had nothing to do with rebuilding and policing a country. What I did vote for had to do with killing or capturing the people that killed 3,000 of our citizens. I don’t think military action is something you should take lightly. In my world, it is the most important vote I take. When I vote to send someone else’s child into harms way and possibly lose their life for something I voted for it better be important and it better be serious.”
Capuano said the problems with Iraq, Iran and North Korea and the world we find ourselves in with rogue nations acquiring nuclear capabilities can be traced back to former President George W. Bush’s State of the Union when he called the three nations the “Axis of Evil” that should be wiped from the face of the earth.
“Growing up in Somerville, and East Boston for that matter, you know you don’t poke the guy at the end of the bar in the eye unless you are serious and are going to what it takes to continue that poke. You never know, he might have a gun or seven friends. When Bush got up and said that and then invaded Iraq what did you expect the other two con tries to do?”
Pointing at three men at a table Capuano asked rhetorically, “If I said you three guys were the ‘Axis of Evil’ and then killed one of you, I’m pretty sure the other two of you would get a gun. Well, North Korea got a gun in the form of a nuclear weapon and Iran was working towards that.”
While Capuano said our military is the greatest military in the history of mankind, it doesn’t mean we should use it every chance we get.
“Do you really want us to nuke North Korea because they are bad guys? Well if you think so there’s a whole list of bad guys around the world I can provide you,” said Capuano. “Just because this guy (Kim Jong Un) is saber rattling does’t mean we need to go to war. If we do, we will see the rest of the world walk away from us. We don’t want to be taking on the entire world and its problems by ourselves. It is painfully irresponsible to be publicly threatening people and countries.”