Sunday, January 07, 2018

Have You Had Enough Of Fire And Fury Yet? Trump's Mental Health


Rick Wilson is a Republican strategist and Never-Trumper who has become something of a celebrity on MSNBC for his pithy denunciations of the Orange Orangutan and his supporters, once referring to Trump “alt-right” supporters as "childless single men who masturbate to anime.” His Daily Beast column Friday, Bannon Banished for Telling Truths About Trump as MAGA Monsters Turn on Each Other is the kind of schadenfreude that millions of Trump haters will enjoy. “Watching Bannon fall victim to the claws of the monster he helped create mostly invokes the response of ‘Alexa, order all the popcorn,’” he wrote. Even Trumpanzee might agree with some of Wilson’s analysis: “Bannon wasn’t just one of Trump’s most senior aides and an architect of the destruction of the Republican Party; he was the multi-shirted, red-eyed White House troll, leaking tales of his brilliance to a constellation of reporters in the ostensibly hated mainstream media. His house organ Breitbart and a host of Trump-right websites and news outlets sang praises to his dank genius. Bannon, they proclaimed, was Trumpism in its distilled essence: revanchist, ahistorical, racially inflected, and consumed with an imaginary war on the media and America’s broader society.” But not all of it.

Now, like two rats in a bag, Trump and Bannon are tearing at one another in a delicious public spat that has every possible bit of drama, except Bannon drunkenly bellowing for a round of fisticuffs with all comers and Trump offering to compare the length of their relative manhoods on live television. They deserve one another in so many ways.

Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury (President Postliterate Bestwords is waiting on either the audio book or for Kellyanne to organize tableaux vivants of the various chapters) is blowing Washington apart today, and the biggest rift is between Trumpism and Bannonism. I’ve written before about the inevitable, tragic dynamic of this brokeback bromance; Trump needs a mindless cheering section screaming hosannas no matter how often he stumbles toward the nuclear and political precipice. Bannon needs an avatar for his Alt-Reich national socialist-- oh, sorry, I meant populist-- fantasies.

The bold new counter-establishment Bannon sought to create in the wake of Trump’s fluke victory was like most of Bannon’s hustles: contingent on a kind of balls-out bravado and a willingness to lie and scrap with equal intensity. It was easy to be a political arsonist when Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah were writing the checks, but the Mercer money train came to a halt when the Metternich of Alabama, after getting beaten like a cheap drum in the U.S. Senate race, was then quoted boasting to Wolff that the Mercers would be funding his 2020 presidential campaign.

Late Thursday, rumors swept the media world that Bannon was about to be booted from his role as Caudillo of the Breitbart empire. For Bannon, this would be a fate worse the death. His power derives almost entirely from a website that bears the name of a better man, and rebuilding a new version from scratch would be a costly and difficult process. Republican senators are breathing a deep sigh of relief. After watching Bannon hitch the GOP’s wagon to a pedo-curious Roy Moore in Alabama, the idea of Bannon mounting a slate of National Socialist-- dammit, there I go again, populist-- candidates seems more distant, particularly without Sugar Momma Mercer keeping that sweet bank rolling in and the lights on at advertiser-poison “news” outlet Breitbart.

The other day I was in a room with CNN being broadcast and a host asked his table of clueless guests if he though people would still be talking about Fire and Fury the next day. They all agreed, solemnly, that it would fade away quickly. The segment should have been titled “watch the morons on TV who don’t understand what a feeding frenzy is.” You can’t turn on TV news anywhere in the world without seeing or hearing about Michael Wolff and his book.

Friday NBC News was reporting that Wolff called Señor Trumpanzee, quote accurately, "a man who has less credibility than, perhaps, anyone who has ever walked on earth." Maybe “ever walked on earth” pushes the boundaries a little... but only a little.
Wolff, in an exclusive interview on NBC's "Today," said that everyone he spoke to for the book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, described the president the same way.

"I will tell you the one description that everyone gave, everyone has in common: They all say he is like a child," Wolff explained. "And what they mean by that is, he has a need for immediate gratification. It is all about him."

Wolff added that "100 percent of the people around" Trump, "senior advisers, family members, every single one of them, questions his intelligence and fitness for office."

…Wolff writes in the book, and explained during his Today interview, that top aides said at various points Trump that is “a moron, an idiot.”

“Actually there’s a competition to sort of get to the bottom line here of who this man is. Let’s remember, this man does not read, does not listen. So he’s like a pinball, just shooting off the sides,” Wolff said.

Wolff also revealed how people around the president noticed an apparent decline in his mental stamina.

“In the beginning, it was like every 25 or 30 minutes, you would get the same three stories repeated," Wolff said about Trump. "Now it’s the same three stories in every 10 minutes."

Wolff was then asked to elaborate on an anecdote he described in an article in the Hollywood Reporter this week in which he said Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the winter holiday break, didn't recognize old friends.

"I will quote Steve Bannon-- he’s lost it," Wolff said, referring to Trump's former strategist.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, appearing on Fox News Friday morning, said it was “outrageous to make these types of accusations" about Trump's mental health.

It's "sad that people are going and making these desperate attempts to attack the president," she added.
And, yes, Wolff has tapes and notes to back up his reporting. In the new issue of the New Yorker, David Remnick begins by suggesting we imagine what it would have been like if Nero had a Twitter account. “Chaotic, corrupt, incurious, infantile, grandiose, and obsessed with gaudy real estate, Donald Trump is of a Neronic temperament. He has always craved attention. Now the whole world is his audience. In earlier times, Trump cultivated, among others, the proprietors and editors of the New York tabloids, Fox News, TMZ, and the National Enquirer. Now Twitter is his principal outlet, with no mediation necessary… Future scholars will sift through Trump’s digital proclamations the way we now read the chroniclers of Nero’s Rome— to understand how an unhinged emperor can make a mockery of republican institutions, undo the collective nervous system of a country, and degrade the whole of public life… Trump’s tweets are most valuable as a record of his inner life: his obsessions, his rages, his guilty conscience. No bile goes unexpectorated. Trump, who does not care for government work, is more invested in his reputation as a creative writer, declaring more than once that “somebody said” that he is ‘the Hemingway of a hundred and forty characters.’”
A new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, amplifies, in lurid anecdote and quotation, what we have been learning elsewhere every day for the past year: Trump believed that he would lose the election, but would multiply his fame, his fortune, and his standing in American life. To near-universal shock, however, he won. And the consequences followed. Trump has no comprehension of policy and cares about it less. He surrounds himself with aides who are either wildly incompetent or utterly defeated in their attempts to domesticate the mulish and bizarre object of their attention. There are no lingering illusions about the President’s capacities: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump ‘a fucking moron’ and spared us a denial. Wolff’s book, which leans heavily on interviews with Steve Bannon, makes it plain that pretty much everyone in the President’s circle agrees that he is, in terms of character and intellect, fantastically limited. There is no loyalty or deliberation in the White House, only a savage Lord of the Flies sort of chaos. Each day is at once preposterous, poisonous, and dangerous.

…Scandal envelops the President. Obstruction of justice, money-laundering, untoward contacts with foreign governments—it is unclear where the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will land and what might eventually rouse the attention of the U.S. Senate. Clearly, Trump senses the danger. A former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has been indicted. A former national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, has admitted to lying to the F.B.I. and has become a coöperating witness. The President sees one West Wing satrap and Cabinet official after another finding a distance from him. “Where is my Roy Cohn?” he asked his aides angrily, according to the Times, when his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, defied his wishes and recused himself from the Russia investigation.

In the meantime, there is little doubt about who Donald Trump is, the harm he has done already, and the greater harm he threatens. He is unfit to hold any public office, much less the highest in the land. This is not merely an orthodoxy of the opposition; his panicked courtiers have been leaking word of it from his first weeks in office. The President of the United States has become a leading security threat to the United States.

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At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

No, I have not gotten enough of Fire and Fury yet!

This book will do much to spread in the mainstream everything a lot of us have known for ages. And Wolff has tapes to back up his quotes. Kudos to him. Whatever he did to get access to the White House (and whatever shenanigans in his history) he has done our country a monumental service by exposing what is really going on in all of its ugliness.

Will this behoove the Republicans to do a damned thing about Trump? NOPE. Nothing will be done. Trump will continue to ruin our country and who knows what else in the world at warp speed. The Republicans will continue to protect him and have become clearcut obstructionists and traitors.

Krugman has it right - if we can last to the midterms (which is iffy) taking back Congress is our only hope.

At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again I plead with you, Hone, to please illuminate us on just how democraps retaking the house will change one. single. thing. Pelosi has already forsworn impeachment (again, still). Just what will democraps in a house majority *DO* to fix anything? Please. Perhaps Krugman has an answer that I missed. Maybe just a link to that please. I'm serious here. You keep parroting this but never 'splain just what you mean.

I don't know about all the quotes attributed to all those Nazi bootlicks, but the descriptions are plainly true. He's a despicable pig of a fat fuck manbaby. His kids and son-in-law are all despicable moron pigs in hominid form.

What that says about the R congress and the R cabinet and staff is even more damning: They know what he is and yet they surround him as a praetorian guard in order to enrich themselves and ass rape the 99.9% before they are run out on a rail, *IF* they are ever run out on a rail.

So very clearly republicans will gleefully destroy a nation... a world, kill millions as long as they all get rich doing it.

Of course, the democraps have also demonstrated a similar disdain for their official oaths when they are relevant.

And, still, voters affirm both parties at every election instead of demanding change.

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And still the Congress takes every possible step to avoid performing their Constitutional duty and ending this tragic farce. Does some city in the world have to disappear into atomic dust before they will act? Must not be enough money in it for them to act.


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