What Happens When We Elect a Madman to the Presidency

So, his staff knows he’s bonkers. Yesterday, we had the quotes from the Woodward book. Now, we have an anonymous op-ed in the Times. Kelly and Mattis are protecting us from war and economic collapse.

14 thoughts on “What Happens When We Elect a Madman to the Presidency

    1. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/this-is-a-constitutional-crisis/569443/

      David From:

      “Speak in your own name. Resign in a way that will count. Present the evidence that will justify an invocation of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, or an impeachment, or at the very least, the first necessary step toward either outcome, a Democratic Congress after the November elections.

      Your service in government is valuable. Thank you for it. But it is not so indispensable that it can compensate for the continuing tenure of a president you believe to be amoral, untruthful, irrational, anti-democratic, unpatriotic, and dangerous. Previous generations of Americans have sacrificed fortunes, health, and lives to serve the country. You are asked only to tell the truth aloud and with your name attached.”


      1. His late mom Barbara Frum is a journalism icon here in Canada. When I was 12 I wrote her because I had planned to be a journalist and she wrote me back. And not a form letter or generic response. She was left of Centre as well.


      2. If you strike at the king, best kill him… I think this guy could well last out his term, and if so the calculus of Mr/Ms Anonymous is in fact a service to the nation.


  1. I really don’t understand what this anonymous opinion piece adds to the discussion — unless, say, the person is John Kelly or Sarah Sanders. It repeats what we already know in public, adding no insider information. For example, we know that there’s “literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next.” He’s done it in public. We know he “engages in repetitive rants.” He does those things in the public eye. I don’t think anyone, including his supporters, thinks that he is measured and polite in private. There are those who think is erratic behavior will get positive results (say in a negotiation with either non-erratic people, like Canada, or erratic people, like North Korea or Iran).

    I find the editorial decision of the NY Times odd, unless, as I said, this person is very high profile in the administration (and not a cabinet secretary, who have their own fiefdoms).


  2. This is news? I mean, really. What single thing that has happened over the past two days have you found remotely new or edifying. We all knew this in 2016.

    These “revelations” don’t say much of anything about Trump, but they do teach us a lot about the people who voted for him.


  3. Jay said,

    “These “revelations” don’t say much of anything about Trump, but they do teach us a lot about the people who voted for him.”

    Speaking of the people who voted for Trump, this is interesting:


    Trump did better in 2016 with minority voters than Romney did in 2012–which is part of how he won.

    “But, remarkably, Donald Trump captured slightly more of the minority vote share than Romney did. To be sure, by “slightly more” I mean “slightly less disastrously.” Trump captured 8 percent of the black vote, 29 percent of the Latino vote, and 29 percent of the Asian vote.”

    “A big part of the story is that Hillary Clinton did much worse among minorities than Obama did. Not only was her share of the minority vote worse than Obama’s, but minorities turned out less for her than they had for him.”

    A quoted expert says, “The evidence, then, suggests that Clinton fell short among Latinos in one of two ways: Either she didn’t win as large a share of them as Obama, or she didn’t convince as many of them to turn out to vote. Since both the exit polls and Latino Decisions agree that turnout among Latinos was up, the latter explanation doesn’t seem likely.”


  4. I guess if you’re Bob Woodard, you get to be the person who decides when everybody talks about how the president is fucked in the head, but I don’t think there’s any reason it had to be this week based on anything Trump has done differently.


  5. Trump did better in 2016 with minority voters than Romney did in 2012–which is part of how he won.

    Your point, exactly, is what? That with minorities Clinton performed in line or better than Democratic candidates in 2004 and earlier and somewhat worse than a president who (for reasons that only a complete moron could fail to understand) was historically popular with minority groups.

    This has nothing to do with my point, which is that the drumbeat of news about Trump says nothing new about him. It is the same thing that anyone in 2016 or before knew, if only they had the eyes to see. It does say quite a bit about the crass amorality/immorality of the people who supported him then and continue to support him now.


  6. This op-ed was aimed squarely at conservatives. Any left of center opinions about it are meaningless. It was a justification and defense for continuing to work at the White House, while carefully ensuring the blame for anything that goes wrong in Trump’s lap.


    1. I can see that. Then, we explain the NY Times by a desire to spotlight the sheer trainwreck characteristics of this presidency. I think that’s the challenge for those of us who believe in rational government — that we don’t rubberneck to the point where we drive off the cliff.


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