As Charlie Pierce notes, the most recent Vanity Fair article detailing the happenings inside the zoo-break that is the White House makes a couple things perfectly clear: “The country is being led by a man three sandwiches short of a picnic, and there are still cowards who are willing to tell us about it, yet unwilling to do a damn thing about it.” It is fascinating and frightening to ask oneself where the country stands – security-wise – when the White House staff feels free to describe the President’s most recent insane episode as “different.” When we ask “where we stand” in such a situation, well, this is where things stand:
More than ever, Trump is acting by feeling and instinct. “Trump is nuts,” said one former West Wing official. “This time really feels different.” Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine has privately expressed concern, a source said, telling a friend that Trump’s emotional state is “very tender.” Even Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are unsettled that Trump is so gleefully acting on his most self-destructive impulses as his legal peril grows. According to a source, Jared and Ivanka told Trump that stripping security clearances from former intelligence officials would backfire, but Trump ignored them. Kushner later told a friend Trump “got joy” out of taking away John Brennan’s clearance. His reaction to the death of John McCain—quashing a White House statement in praise of the senator, and restoring White House flags to full staff—falls into the same self-indulgent category.
As Pierce notes, the above paragraph tells anyone with the least bit of discernment exactly how quickly “Jarvanka” will throw “Daddy” overboard if things get really dicey and indictments get issued. That information came out because Jared and Ivanka wanted it out, they want separation from the leader of the free world as he descends into the latest, “different,” episode.
And so would you, because Trump isn’t doing well.
“He spent the weekend calling people and screaming,” one former White House official said. According to sources, the president feels cornered with no clear way out. His months-long campaign to get Sessions to resign—so that Trump could appoint a new A.G. who would shut down the Russia probe—not only failed to get Sessions to step down, but it’s caused him to dig in, as evidenced by Sessions’s rare statement asserting the independence of the Justice Department. “Trump knows at least through the midterms he won’t get another A.G.,” a former White House official said.
My god, the odds that I would ever feel even the slightest bit of sympathy and/or …gulp, admiration? For Jeff Sessions? I just …Never mind. Sessions is interesting, and not just because he is both loathsome and honorable at the same time. According to this RawStory article written by a neuro-scientist, people with narcissistic personality disorder tend to lash out and place the blame on others the moment they begin to feel as though they’re losing control. It would seem that Trump has determined that Jeff Sessions is the cause of all his troubles, that had Jeff Sessions simply fired Robert Mueller, all Donald Trump’s troubles would magically float away, and thus Jeff Sessions will bear near the entire burden of those “lash outs.” Read the article to see what the narcissist does when things get really bad – fair warning, don’t do so in a dark room or if you’re subject to anxiety or nightmares.
Speaking of which, poor Melania (another person, for whom I would never have thought I’d have much sympathy, not with her Birther past), she is apparently the only person in America who didn’t know that Trump would have sex with a rabbit if it slowed down long enough for an overweight, 70-something year-old man to catch it. Because, and I swear you’ll find this is true, apparently Trump’s attorneys believed the best defense to having the payments to women found to be an illegal campaign expense, was for the president to admit he had affairs and paid off women all the time, man, so it was just regular business, not campaign business. Which, I have to admit, I almost whistled in appreciation, as an attorney, at the brilliance, the creativity, the elegance of it mixed in with bravado AND contrition. But, the strategy was nixed due to Melania.
Where were we?
Ah, yes, yes, I recall now, how this time is different, in that it’s not a normal crazy episode. It is also, evidently, not clear how it will all turn out: Because, it appears that our president no longer “cares”:
Trump has told people he’s considering bringing in a new lawyer to draft a Manafort pardon, if McGahn won’t do it. “He really at this point does not care,” a former official said. “He would rather fight the battle. He doesn’t want to do anything that would cede executive authority.”
Well, I’m no lawyer – at least I’m not as good a lawyer as Don McGhan, who is abjectly opposed to both firing Mueller and pardoning Manafort – but I could tell the president, were I his lawyer, that one way to ensure he has NO executive authority, is to carry out his duties “without care” for what the rational people around you think are battles worth fighting.
That particular sentence, the “he doesn’t want to do anything to cede executive authority” really bears in on the problem. The man desperately wishes he was Putin, that he truly had control of everything, and apparently didn’t do all that great a job researching the position for which he applied. If only the country had hired the person that the majority voted for.
TWITTER TIME: @MiciakZoom, and my puppy is on the mend, but STILL not home from the hospital.
BOOK TIME – Because I probably ought to do this more. If you wish to visit a better-governed America, again, a fictional one where our president sounds much more like Obama, and where at least half our problems truly aren’t “our” (as in Earth people’s) fault, and wanna know how a regular college kid, alien abductee, who agreed to help out some nice aliens in exchange for ending his abductions, ends up as a critical cog in the war for Earths’ future, I gotcha covered: Right here.