Monkeys and organ grinders

The first 4 weeks of the Trump presidency have been more than enough to confirm that the U.S has a serious problem with it’s President being unfit for the job. A 77min press conference this week confirmed that Trump is in the words of many “batshit crazy”.

I’d agree except that is unfair to people who actually have disabilities. Trump lacks empathy and even when he controlling the process ( at his own conference) he comes across as severely confused, befuddled and incoherent.

In Mental Health Professionals Warn About Trump 35 health professionals signed a letter.

“We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer.

Mr. Trump’s speech and actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state, attacking facts and those who convey them (journalists, scientists).

In a powerful leader, these attacks are likely to increase, as his personal myth of greatness appears to be confirmed. We believe that the grave emotional instability indicated by Mr. Trump’s speech and actions makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”

 
I have seen news reports where various officials and others in government are seriously reviewing the 25th Amendment however that seems unlikely because the Republicans would have to act in the interests of the country rather than their own.

In Farewell to Flynn – The axing of Michael Flynn reveals deep problems in Donald Trump’s government, the Economist notes that:

“The qualities that made him a successful property developer are not translating well to running the government. But Mr Trump shows no sign of recognising this. He does not even appear to recognise the shambles his government is in.”

 
This would all be some kind of weird joke if Trump wasn’t actually President with his finger on the nuclear trigger. And despite protestations there is Chaos in the White House: ‘There’s never been anything like this’

Richard Wolffe writes Trump’s anti-press conference would be funny – if it weren’t so scary.

“He’s also been reading about uranium, which is cool. It’s best if he explains this one in his own words: “You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, like lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things.”

 
I wasn’t going to include that clip – but I have because it seems impossible this a functioning adult would talk like an 8 year old most of the time.

You have to think that the senior Republicans can’t let the president do any more “crazy” press conferences unless it is part of their plan to switch to the V.P. David Brooks at The NY Times writes What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like

“I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued.
 
Trump’s White House staff is at war with itself. His poll ratings are falling at unprecedented speed. His policy agenda is stalled. F.B.I. investigations are just beginning. This does not feel like a sustainable operation.
 
On the other hand, I have trouble seeing exactly how this administration ends. Many of the institutions that would normally ease out or remove a failing president no longer exist.”

 
And later in the same opinion piece

“President Trump can push all the pretty buttons on the command deck of the Starship Enterprise, but don’t expect anything to actually happen, because they are not attached.”

 
I’m beginning to wonder if the President is actually suffering from a medical health problem in addition to being totally unsuited to the role. His father had Alzheimers and with Donald being the oldest president ever elected. Trump is older than Regan who did have Alzheimers.

When Regan was reading off a teleprompter he was apparently ok but he couldn’t answer questions on the fly. It is very much looking like Trump can’t form a long sentence and whenever we see or read a transcript it looks incomprehensible.

Hopefully Trump will get medical help and or other useful advice to step down from the office for “medical reasons”.

When Trump goes on about lies but simultaneously shows no insight into what he is saying (even when he is saying it) that looks very troubling. Does he believe all the lies he keeps repeating? He very much seems to. Perhaps he genuinely can’t tell the difference and once again he needs help. OTOH maybe he is just lying.

There are two other interesting story threads around Trump this week. One is that Steve Bannon and the other political appointees (many of whom are actively hostile to the departments they are being appointed to run) are seriously dangerous people.

Having a helpless incoherent bumbling puppet as President helps them to dismantle the state and benefit themselves. We need to beware of the organ grinders in this scenario.

The other developing story is about what has been called the “deep state”*. Apparently the arms lobby and others who have a vested interest in maintaining hostilities with Russia may be sabotaging efforts to improve the dialogue regarding Russia. Whatever the situation – those connections need to be investigated fully by a non-partisan open committee.

Whenever there is a big shift in opinion we have to ask who will benefit most.

David Brooks writes: (BTW Brooks is a conservative)

“This administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state. It’s more “The Madness of King George” than “The Missiles of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s flattery.
 
The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave Trump a new jobs announcement he could take to the Midwest, and in return they got presidential attention and coddling that other governments would have died for.
 
If you want to roll the Trump administration, you’ve got to get in line. The Israelis got a possible one-state solution. The Chinese got Trump to flip-flop on the “One China” policy. The Europeans got him to do a 180 on undoing the Iran nuclear deal.
 
Vladimir Putin was born for a moment such as this.”

 

A very long time ago Winston Churchill said:

“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

 
I think this is very pertinent for our time. Trump is very clearly the monkey and there is some very serious power play going on in the back rooms. We need to be very careful any time we see a circus. It is probably a diversion from something else as Robert Reich and some White House insiders say. Bannon is the organ grinder. In DONALD TRUMP AND THE ENEMIES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

“Then came his press conference, last week, his first solo press conference in office, and it was epochal. Ostensibly an occasion to announce a replacement appointment to the Department of Labor after the first had to step aside, Trump instead took it upon himself to denounce repeatedly and at length the sinful, dishonest press and the “very fake news” it produces. It was unforgettable. With all his nastiness, his self-admiring interruptions and commands (“Sit down! Sit down!”) Trump resembled an over-sauced guy at a bar who was facing three likely options in the near term: a) take a swing at someone, b) get clocked by someone else, or c) pass out and wake up on a hard, alien cot.
But the venue was not a bar. It was the White House, and this was hardly a joke.”

and this

I’m thinking this is not a time to be fooled by either a play acting president or one who is completely incompetent. Whatever the situation is with Trump – he can’t stay on as President while he is acting like a complete monkey.

Note: Date – end of 2018 December. These days the orange trumpet is going off his rocker more than usual as Mueller starts to connect a few of the imminent prosecutions in public. This leaves less wiggle room for deals and hopefully will increase the pressure on T to just resign on medical grounds or something convenient. If I was the Republican party I’d be thinking this is now a super high stakes gamble. They must be hoping for a second term but surely they are better off with Pence as President?

Note * “deep state” when I mentioned the deep state theory above it wasn’t clear that was a code word for the rule of law and generally people doing the job they were elected to do. It has turned into a derogatory term.

In other news looking at the scenario last week where China and the US supposedly averted an escalation of the trade war and then they didn’t is starting to look very familiar. There is actually a phenomenon which the great con fits to a T.

It is called “Hero syndrome” which is related to “firefighter arson”. The orange trumpet seems to fit the profile with his economic “arson” of a whole economy. I’ve actually worked with people who did this. They created major problems in a business that they could then solve. The issues with that are obvious – not the least – unintended consequences.

Well summarised by this guy.

I’ve brushed up on my Nixon & Reagan political histories and T is easily much worse than any of them as a president of anything.

I wonder if his one smart move might be that he goes on twitter every day and has some kind of meltdown. It should be easy to get a doctors appointment on that sort of evidence at the very least.

There are other theories such as the king of distractions. We are all looking at the class clown while the real action is happening elsewhere or not. Incredibly the very machinery of government is being dismantled by wilful negligence.

In his new book The Fifth Risk, Lewis argues that the Trump campaign team never expected to win.

Lewis calls it the 5th Risk and it is worth a separate blog post. You can listen to the radio interview below.

In other news – T just appointed a former new anchor to the UN.

Who is Heather Nauert? The new UN ambassador with little experience
The state department spokesperson is a former Fox anchor with no background in policymaking or negotiating… and it continues.