Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, October 12, 2017

There's a call for help coming from inside the house. The White House

by digby

He's losing it

I wrote about the reports that Trump's coming unglued for Salon this morning:

From the moment Trump went down that golden escalator back in June of 2015 to announce his candidacy, people have been predicting that his improbable foray into politics was on the verge of imploding. There were a dozen disqualifying moments during the campaign and since he's been president we've careened from one disaster to another, each time wondering if he's going to survive. The smart money says that he does because he always has.

Having said that, a shift does seem to be taking place in Washington. It may just be the realization setting in that the man people saw on the campaign trail was the real authentic Donald Trump and he's not going to change, but there are just too many reports coming from inside the administration and Capitol Hill expressing  concern at his behavior to write this off as just another example of a Trump storm that will soon pass. There are alarms going off all over Washington and it just feels different this time.

First there are the reports of Trump having to be handled like a small child because of his moodiness and irrational demands. This part does not surprise me. He showed his puerile temperament on the campaign trail from the beginning.  The infantile nicknames, his rage tweets, his narcissism all pointed to someone who was emotionally immature and intellectually in over his head.  Here's just one example from very early in the primary season:

This childish combativeness didn't change when he became president and it led to his greatest self-inflicted wound, the firing of FBI director Comey and the naming of a Special Prosecutor for the Russia investigation.

There is also a growing acknowledgement that he doesn't understand the job and isn't able to learn it. This too was obvious before the election. He was upfront about how he does business, admitting that he never bothered with market research or consultants of any kind. According to the Washington Post back in July of 2016 Trump said he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.” He told them that he didn't trust experts because “they can’t see the forest for the trees” and "when he makes decisions, people see that he instinctively knows the right thing to do."

No one should have ever expected that he would be willing or able to learn anything new as president and he isn't. He believes he is omniscient.

Still, we are seeing a lot of reports that he's getting worse. Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair wrote a piece yesterday in which numerous sources told him that the White House is in crisis and that Bob Corker's comments have "brought into the open what several people close to the president have recently told me in private: that Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” He is described as "increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods" particularly since his candidate for Alabama Senate, Luther Strange, lost the election and he felt that "his cult of personality was broken."

Sherman's sources believe that Trump is losing it, there's just no other way to put it. And there's reason to think they're right. Even by Trump's standards, he often seems a little bit confused. For instance on Wednesday's press availability with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he was asked how his lunch on Tuesday with Secretary of State Tillerson went. He replied:
Very good. You mean last week? John, you're so far behind the times. Do you mean today or last week? Because today I didn't have lunch with him.

No, I had a lunch last week, and we had a very good lunch. We have a very good relationship. The press really doesn't understand that, but that's okay. We actually have a very good relationship. 

It had been widely reported that he had lunch the day before with Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Mattis.  It was on the official schedule and MSNBC 's Peter Alexander checked with the White House and they told him that the lunch did take place.  Sherman reports that the White House doesn't want him doing any adversarial interviews because "he's lost a step" which indicates that perhaps there's something else going on.

On the other hand, Trump has never known what he was talking about and often just lies reflexively for reasons of his own. In fact, yesterday's NBC report that Trump wanted to increase the nuclear arsenal ten-fold is a case in point.  Back in July he had looked at a chart of the U.S. and Russia’s nuclear capabilities over time that showed America’s stockpile at its peak in the late 1960s. He saw the highest number on the chart, about 32,000 and said he wanted that many again. Clueless as he is, he didn't understand that decades of painstaking non-proliferation work is what brought the US nuclear arsenal down to about 4,000 which is more than enough to obliterate most of earth's population. The people present didn't take it as an order, mostly because his response to every item of military capability they brought up was "more, I want more" without any understanding or interest in the specifics.

On Wednesday, Trump denied ever saying he wanted to expand the nuclear arsenal. And yet even before that meeting there was this:

His response to NBC's report, as we've all heard by now, amounted to a frontal assault on the First Amendment. He threatened to withdraw the licenses of NBC TV stations in retaliation for what he (of course) described as "fake news."

It's now widely assumed that Trump is going to declare that Iran is in breach of the nuclear agreement this week and send the issue to Congress to sort out, which pretty much forecloses any more negotiations with North Korea. Abrogation of this nuclear treaty means that it's unlikely any nonproliferation agreement signed by the United States will be considered worth the paper it's printed on from here on out.

For the most part, elected GOP officials remain craven, cowering before the throne and hoping to get their precious tax cuts passed and their right-wing judges seated before Trump hits the nuclear button. But even Trump's close friends are worried enough that they are going public, and dozens of others are speaking to reporters off the record.

There's a cry for help coming from inside the house -- the White House. Everyone can hear it, but nobody can figure out how to disarm the crazy man who's holding the country hostage. He has no intention of surrendering.