Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Washington Post - the President Is Irrational

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin sums up Trump's terrible week.

There are two problems coming together at once. First, the president is blabbing about actions (real or not) that would constitute abuse of power, if not obstruction of justice. It is coming from his mouth. He does not even have the excuse of “fake news.” Second, because the Comey firing sent events spinning out of control, the president now appears to be irrational, if not ill. No one in control of his emotions or taking counsel from sober advisers would behave as he is.

And, it seems he still has the nuclear launch codes.

The Globe & Mail, meanwhile, argues that Trump has brought Congressional Republicans to a constitutional fork in the road. They must either choose to uphold America's democracy, or what remains of it, or opt for something else, something darker.

Republicans will play a crucial role. Some lawmakers have voiced misgivings about Mr. Trump’s decision to fire Mr. Comey, but very few have called for bolstering the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump’s popularity among the party’s core voters remains considerable, giving lawmakers little electoral incentive to distance themselves from the President. Behind the Republican united front, however, discomfort is growing.

In a single week, Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey, linked the dismissal to the continuing Russia investigation, issued a threat to the former FBI director over leaks to the press and alluded to the possibility that the President’s conversations were being recorded.

For some political scientists and historians, the situation represents not so much a crisis but an inflexion point: a moment that will either be remembered for the way lawmakers and the public reasserted clear boundaries on presidential behaviour, or as the time when those boundaries began to erode in important ways.


Ben Burd said...

Big problem Mound is that the Dems don't know how to respond - Pelosi refusing to talk about single-payer healthcare and Booker taking big money from big Pharma. these dinos have to get in the real world of Trump and turf him, and the rest of the slime in 2018.

I am not hopeful that they are up to the task, well Schumer has got the message but not the rest.

Anonymous said...

Typically the irrational people are the ones acting like hysterical assholes.

It's kinda funny that the fake-left believes the more they act up the more people will listen when in reality the more people are tuning them out.

Remember kiddies: if at first you don't succeed, cry, cry wolf again...

Ben Burd said...

"Typically the irrational people are the ones acting like hysterical assholes."

So who is the irrational one Anon?

Irrational - is the only adjective ascribed to Trump this week, kinda turns your statement around doncha think?

Owen Gray said...

This is a seminal moment, requiring more than one profile in courage.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ben, relax, he's a troll. He doesn't think. It wouldn't make any difference to him if he caught Trump diddling his 10-year old niece.

Dana said...

He already has...

Elsewhere in the G&M John Doyle has added this to the context.

"Here’s the rub: Trump has never stopped seeing himself as a reality-TV star. His time on The Apprentice defined him, utterly. This thing, the presidency, is his TV show and he expects to top the ratings with it. He studies TV and follows its coverage of his show, obsessively. His supporters are not so much voters as they are viewers watching his show, superfans of the show, and to keep the ratings at the desired level, the show’s fans must get the twists, turns and dramatic manoeuvres they expect. So he tries to deliver.

Think about it. The man is, essentially, indifferent about the job he’s landed. He has relinquished the job and empowered a group of well-off corporate types to do it for him. They can take care of the economy and whatever the heck administrations normally manage, foster and nourish.
He is engaged in running a show. His viewers must get what they went. Everything else on TV is competition for his show. The people on those shows are jealous of his show’s success and want to demean it."

Anonymous said...

It was supposed to be a different day, even if the helmet fits ;-(
Regarding the fork; as Yogi Berra said - when you come to the fork in the road, take it...

Anonymous said...

@ Dana
"Here’s the rub: Trump has never stopped seeing himself as a reality-TV star.

Much of the USA is real time reality TV or netherland!

The jokes and stupid sitcoms really are a way of life in the USA so we should not be too surprised at Trump and his supporters.


Anonymous said...

The real reasons why financial-military-industrial complex wants to have Drumpf's free presidency...

the salamander said...

.. this is building like a chapter of 'The Upside Of Down' Mound..

As much as Trump is a pathetic obsessive lying fool
staring into the Looking Glass of his prissy surreal tv reality psychodrama

.. its the fans, followers, fringe, droogs, enablers, official surrogates,
Big Business Pigs, GOP fops, his family & the rest of the truly ignorant
that are the fuel for the fire to come. Civil War ? Maybe.. but not a war of soldiers
I sense something worse coming.. along the lines of social mayhem
I foresee truly frightening polarization & splintering of society and culture
Some of them believing they have god on their side
or some other invisible friend up there in the clouds

Trump is the lid of Pandoras Box.. opening wide in the US of A
Land of the Free & The Home of the Brave ? ?
Point me to a single person connected to Trump in any way
family, political, financial, golf club.. anyone onside with him
then try to explain how they fit that description, embodying their National Anthem

Who? Sessions? Ivanka? His rally attendees? Fringe white supremacists?
Kelly Anne or Ms Huckabee or Spicer? Sean Hannity? Roger Stone? Koch brothers?
Bannon McConnell Manafort, Melania or his idiot big game hunting elder sons?
Its hard isn't it .. & likely impossible..
Its like their all heavily invested in a Great Ponzi Scheme and sucking koolaid
direct from Donald's teat or some other body part

Let me know what you see as 'The Upside' - Thanks
Get rid of Trump.. and you get what? The delirious evangelistic Pence? Haha...

The Mound of Sound said...

This may be a manifestation of late-phase neoliberalism. The 2014 paper from Princeton by Gilens (Princeton) and Page (Northwestern) made a compelling case that, over the course of several decades, Congress (and state legislatures) had been "Captured" by and harnessed into service of special interests (autocrats) rather than the public. Where the public will diverged from corporate wishes, the elected caste were far more likely to choose the corporate policy.

Legislative capture was followed by regulatory capture, particularly under Bush-Cheney when regulatory boards and tribunals were staffed by representatives of the regulated industries. Trump has taken that to a new level entirely.

Trump has now added the executive branch to the legislative and regulatory apparatus. All the fanciful promises he made to the voting public during the campaign have evaporated in the first few months. Instead of draining the swamp he's added more reptiles. The better, cheaper, more inclusive health care he promised has morphed into worse coverage at greater cost for fewer Americans. The rest of what remains of the social safety net is in the Republicans' crosshairs. And the Gullibillies cheer him on.

The social divide has grown deeper, angrier, more intractable.

Civil war? Perhaps. Possibly a lesser but broad-based form of resistance that simmers and then flares up in local unrest. As we've seen in the recent Wannacry ransomware attack, all states are vulnerable to this sort of dislocation. Something seems likely to break out.

deb said...

the upside is the common folks are revolting. The one health care town hall where that guy was just screaming at his rep, was a sight to behold. I hope more of that happens, and in bigger and bigger numbers, as the politicians are in for a big surprise in 2018.

ON the other side of this, the republicans, what are they waiting for, I keep asking myself....why not get rid of trump now, they hold the key, the have enough squirreled away to impeach him. Pence will do their bidding and keeping ticking off the wishlist.
then i realized....these guys are waiting for as close to 2018 as they can--so they can tell the American public( who will be frothing at that point) look....
"we impeached and got rid of the biggest swamp monster of all, Trump"

they are going to use the impeachment of this blowhard asshole as their saving grace, and their distraction.
and that brings us back to the reality tv show style that Dana so eloquently wrote about....the American people view everything thru the lens of tv, tv shows, and tv drama, the circus will go on, and the big finale will be Trump's head served on a platter:P
and the crowds will cheer, and the people will rejoice
ad they will once again vote against their interests, and elect the Republicans:(

The Mound of Sound said...

I expect you may be right, Deb. Trump has laid a fairly good foundation for his impeachment but he's a non-stop gaffe machine. He grows impatient and he cannot control his volatility. The strain must be enormous. No president has started his term with such poor approval numbers and, for a guy who is so TV oriented, this must be infuriating.

As for the Republicans staging a comeback, surely it's much to early to predict.

deb said...

I hope so Mound...and yeah Trump is getting really irrational, the ratings are sinking. He sees that when he bombs places, he gets a ratings surge, that is my big worry. I mean at least Pence is likely to keep the abuse to Americans:P(somewhat)