Another warning sign

It is not hard to see why Trump’s senior staff treat him as they do. They understand better than any of us that his distinct disabilities as a decision maker have to be accommodated in some extraordinary ways to prevent them from exacting terrible costs. But these extraordinary accommodations are unlikely to be sustainable in truly extraordinary circumstances. We can hope that the country is lucky enough to avoid a serious crisis of some kind that requires a functional emergency-management response under time pressure. Maybe that will happen, we are a very lucky country, after all.

Or we can hope that Trump’s advisers, and especially his national-security and economic teams, have worked out some procedures for emergency decision-making that take account of the unusual problem they face. But it isn’t easy to see how this could be done in any way that could be both effective and legitimate.

In any case, all of that is a lot to hope for. The peculiar willingness of Trump’s people to ignore or disobey him is a blessing and a curse. But more than anything it is a warning sign that ought to be taken seriously by anyone in Congress or in the executive branch who is in any way in a position to help prepare our government to handle serious emergencies.