Many Americans talk about "running government like a business." While business principles can be applied to governing, President Donald Trump's "CEO" approach has been nothing short of disastrous.
In business, public companies are governed by boards of directors who hire a CEO and answer to the company's shareholders. Private companies are sometimes led by a CEO who answers to no one. Trump's business was the latter. He's finding out that the United States government does not work that way.
The president must deal with Congress, which may or may not do his bidding. The courts have the power to strike down executive orders. Ultimately, he answers to the public — the shareholders — who want their tax dollars to return the kind of government they desire.
Even within the executive branch, the president's power is tempered by traditions of independence. Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey raised questions about his motivation. Reports that he demanded of Comey a pledge of personal loyalty and asked Comey to drop the probe of national security adviser Michael Flynn suggest he neither understands nor respects those traditions.
Trump's decision to reveal classified information to Russian diplomats is unlikely to inspire the confidence of allies or of the American public.
When a CEO loses the confidence of the shareholders, the board can remove the CEO. In government, it's not nearly that simple.
But even some of Trump's most fervent defenders are beginning to question his actions. And his presidency is only 117 days old.