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Hullabaloo


Sunday, April 23, 2017

 
Is he delusional or just dancing as fast as he can?

by digby





According to this interesting article in Politico, it's the latter:
More than a belief in the power of positive thinking or the casual audacity of a tireless salesman, Trump has perfected a narrative style in which he doesn’t merely obscure reality—he tries to change it with pronouncements that act like blaring, garish roadside billboards. Unrelenting in telling his own story, he has defined himself as a success no matter what—by talking the loudest and the longest, and by insisting on having the first word and also the last. And it’s worked. Again and again, throughout his adult life, Trump in essence has managed to succeed without actually succeeding.

This, not his much-crowed-about deal-making prowess, is Trump’s most singular skill, I’ve heard in more than a dozen recent interviews.

“He’s not successful at what he claims to be successful at,” said Tim O’Brien, the author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald. “He is, however, arguably the most successful self-promoter in United States business and political history. And that’s a form of success.”

“He knows of no other way,” former New York Daily News scribe George Rush said, “and that is to spin until he’s woven some gossamer fabric out of”—he searched for the right word—“garbage.”

Even his admirers, who dispute the notion that Trump has not accomplished important things in this first stage of his first term, grant that his ultimate success will depend in no small measure on his ability to convince people that he has succeeded. “I think by the power of persuasion he’s going to end up getting things done,” said Sam Nunberg, a political adviser early in his campaign who credits Trump with the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and a flurry of executive orders that have undone or loosened Barack Obama-implemented policies and regulations. “He certainly could sell ice to an Eskimo—and I mean that as a compliment. He’s the spinner of all spinners.”

And he’s only upped the ante over the last month.

“I don’t lose,” he told the Financial Times.

“It’s been very much misreported that we failed with health care,” he said in the Fox Business interview. “We haven’t failed. We’re negotiating …”

“We will be stronger and bigger and better as a nation than ever before,” he assured parents and their children by way of introducing them to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll. “We’re right on track. You see what’s happening.”

But what’s happening, many think, is that he’s failing, and that his transparent strategy to distract from his manifest lack of preparation is being exposed on this blinding-bright, highest-stakes stage. This is, after all, the hardest job Trump has ever had, and even he occasionally has alluded to that. “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” he memorably said back in February as his reform efforts floundered.

In one significant way, though, Trump’s never had it easier. Attention is his oxygen, and always has been, and for most of his professional existence, especially before the hit debut of The Apprentice in 2004, he had to work for it. Now he doesn’t. He’s the president, which he views (not wrongly) as a kind of proof in and of itself of success. “I can’t be doing so badly,” he explained to a reporter from Time, “because I’m president, and you’re not.” And when he asserts his versions of reality, they come, unlike in the past, with an immense governmental apparatus to back them up and the inherent authority of the office he inhabits. Trump no longer can be ignored. He has to be listened to.

“He creates his own reality,” said Barbara Res, a Trump Organization vice president in the 1980s and ‘90s. “He created the reality that he was this big, successful businessman, and now he’s creating the reality that he’s a big, accomplished president.”

“He’s gotten away with this game his whole life,” Florida-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson said.

It worked for him as a businessman, and it worked for him as a presidential candidate—and if it doesn’t work for him in the long run as president as well, it will be a first.

Read the whole thing.
It's worth it.

I find this fascinating. He is the living embodiment of "you can believe me or you can believe your eyes" and it actually works for him. This particular form of shameless dishonesty, extreme braggodoccio, self-promotion and spin is very difficult to keep up over a whole lifetime, I think. But he's done it. Spinning failure as success is his real talent.

And what it says about him is that he has a high tolerance for the stress that comes with worrying about being "found out" and it may even be the fuel that keeps him going. He can never relax, admit to fatigue or fear or defeat. He's always dancing as fast as he can.

He's 70 years old now. The stakes are so much higher than ever before and his enemies are legion. He's never had to dance this fast before.

But he's trying:







It takes guts to call a poll fake news and then lie about what it says in your favor.

Nobody ever said he didn't lie boldly and without shame. It's what he does.