I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations…
-- Anonymous, OpEd, New York Times, September 9, 2018
The Deep State.
The Shadow Government.
Seems everyone is out to get Trump.
There’s a moment for most people.
It’s part of growing up. The foundation of emotional maturity. The basis of rational adulthood, that moment.
Not everybody gets there. Not everyone has that moment. No. Not everyone. We all have that one needy friend who lives a life of endless self-inflicted disaster. Bad investments. Bad relationships. Bad decisions. Their life is an ongoing car wreck and they just never seem to learn. They show up with a new partner and you know in the first second how it’ll go. You can see it in the date’s eyes. Selfish. Stupid. Too much money and not enough sense – or maybe not enough of either. Entitled. Spoiled. Emotionally crippled. And you’re like, goddammit, here we go again. You can see the whole thing, you know how it’ll play out. The relationship will go down in flames, smoke, wreckage, like a gut-shot B-17 auguring in over 1944 Berlin. You know exactly how it’ll end: on your couch, wailing “what’s wrong with me?”
What’s wrong with you?
You’re a goddammed child. That’s what’s wrong. You just never seem to reach that moment, the moment the rest of us face, the moment when you realize all those shitty horrible relationships you keep finding yourself in, all of those shitty terrible situations, all of the shitty misery that keeps piling up on your pointy head, all of that, the one thing all of that has in common is … you.
You’re the problem.
So, stop doing it. Whatever it takes, stop doing it. Stop being that person. Stop it.
Sooner or later, most of us realize we’re doing it to ourselves.
That’s the moment.
And we stop.
It’s part of growing up. Part of emotional maturity. Part of being a rational, reasonably happy, functioning adult. Stop hurting yourself.
But not everybody gets there. And even if you do, you always have that one person in your life who doesn’t.
Sooner or later, you have to slap some goddamned sense into these people or, for your own sanity, cut them loose – because they are your shitty relationship.
That’s who America is, your needy friend, crying on your couch.
And that’s Trump, America’s shitty boyfriend. Selfish. Self centered. Stupid. Too much money and not enough goddamned sense. Entitled. Spoiled. Emotionally stunted. And you can see the whole thing, can’t you? You know how it’s going to play out. You just hope that when it goes down, when it finally crashes and burns, when it augers in, you can avoid being killed in the falling wreckage.
You might be able to slap some sense into your friend, America, but not Trump. Not Trump. He can’t see it. He just doesn’t get it.
Trump doesn't get it.
He can’t get it.
He can’t get it because it’s not possible for him to get it. He’s damaged, crippled by his wealth and privilege. He's pathologically incapable of getting it and his comments this morning are another example of just how thoroughly Trump does not get it.
“The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy…”
No. It’s not the media. It’s not any “Deep State.” It’s not the Left. It’s not any shadowy conspiracy in the White House – though there are certainly forces conspiring against Trump. Hell, I’m one of them. I’m America’s friend, telling her to cut this loser off, kick him to the curb, throw him the hell out and change the locks, do it, before it’s too late. Again.
Goddammit, America, stop hurting yourself.
I’m reminded of Jenkins.
That’s right, Jenkins.
See, Jenkins was that guy. Emotionally stunted. Spoiled. Self-centered. Stupid. Goddamn was he stupid. The only thing Jenkins cared about was basketball. It’s all he ever talked about. It was his go-to move, every time. No matter what. If you were talking about some thing, politics, technology, whatever, that Jenkins didn’t understand, or wasn’t interested in, he’d interrupt with basketball. He never paid attention to anything anybody said, he just waited for a moment to bring up basketball. His wife sat home every night while he was out playing basketball with the fellas. Or she sat in the bedroom while he watched basketball on TV in the living room. At work, we’d be in the middle of some complex military evolution and Jenkins would interrupt to ask if anybody had seen the game last night. I was his supervisor. I’d yell at him, Goddammit, Jenkins, pay attention, you’re gonna get people killed. Yeah, he’d answer, but how about that game, right? Jenkins never got advanced. He couldn’t score high enough on the test. He couldn’t get good enough evaluations. He’d come to me crying, having been passed over for promotion yet again. What’s wrong with me? Well, I’d start… Hey, he’d interrupt, you see the game last night? His wife eventually left him for some other guy who paid attention to her. Jenkins never saw it coming, of course he didn’t. He could tell you the stats of every Hall of Famer, but didn’t know how miserable his own wife was. So she left him. Guy was wrecked. What are you gonna do, he’s one of your people. Hey, man, it’ll be OK. Jenkins broke down crying, I don’t know what happened! What’s wrong with me? Hey … did any of your guys catch the game last night?
He just never got it.
He wasn’t capable of getting it. He was emotionally stunted. Broken in some way and unfixable. He didn’t know how to listen. He didn’t know how to lead. He didn’t even know what questions to ask and he wasn’t willing to learn. And so he lived a life of loud misery.
He never figured out that he was the cause of all of his problems.
Rather than face it, he kept trying to change the narrative. Hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?
And as a result, his problems always became my problem, our problem, the unit’s problem – until he got himself thrown out of the service.
Look at this:
"Cosumer [sic] confidence highest in 18 years, Atlanta Fed forecasts 4.7 GDP, manufacturing jobs highest in many years. “It’s the story of the Trump Administration, the Economic Success, that’s unnerving his detractors.” @MariaBartiromo"
What the hell? What’s consumer confidence have to do with anything? Right now, this moment, the country is afire with rumors of chaos in an unmoored, drifting White House helmed by a self-centered lunatic and instead of facing that head on, Trump is talking about consumer confidence and hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?
Hey! Jenkins, you idiot, pay attention! You’re gonna get people killed.
Trump is not just off on a tangent. He pivoted to the economy, as he always does when faced with criticism. That’s his move, his basketball fake, the economy. But it’s more than that. Notice how he always quotes Fox News, but not his own Administration?
Why is that?
Where is Bartiromo getting these numbers? From the Consumer Confidence Board, right? Probably. That’s typically where the Consumer Confidence Index numbers come from. The board is an independent (supposedly) research organization, which attempts to quantify the level of optimism in American consumers based on the opinions of 50,000 households. The Consumer Confidence Index is 40% opinion, 60% Wall Street expectations, and some mumbo-jumbo, smoke, and a couple of rainbows thrown in for leavening. The CCI is considered a leading indicator of economic trends and it’s used by the Federal Reserve when determining interest rates and, naturally, it’s watched pretty closely by stock exchanges around the world.
So, why then doesn't Trump quote the CCB directly?
Or the Federal Reserve?
Or his own Department of Commerce? The Treasury. Anybody in his own administration. Why is he quoting Fox News?
Why? Because he doesn’t even know where the information he’s quoting actually comes from. He doesn’t know how to get it. He doesn’t even know who to talk to in his own administration. And nobody is stepping up. Nobody.
Most of all, he doesn’t really know what it means, so he needs somebody like Maria Bartiromo to whore it up with some flattery because he can’t do it himself. It’s just something he saw on the infotainment channel he watches and he threw it into the public narrative because he doesn’t have any goddamned idea what else to say. It's a pattern, he first attempts to discredit whatever the day's leading story is, Deep State, Fake News, Shadow Government, and then every time pivots to the economy filtered through his pet media outlet. Hey, fellas, did you see the game last night?
It's ironic, isn't it?
Trump daily complains about the news media, who he says doesn't really have the inside scoop on his administration…
…and then, instead of quoting his own staff, his own agencies, his own experts, his own government, he always, every time, presents information filtered through the media instead.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.
-- Anonymous, Editorial, NYT
He can’t see it.
He doesn’t get it.
And of course he does this because he doesn't have the attention span to sit through detailed briefings from his own people or the mental rigor to review in detail the reports from his own administration or the education and experience to know what questions to ask. Instead he gets his entire worldview from TV, filtered through a corporate agenda specifically tailored to get his attention, like a parent jiggling keys in front of a baby or a porn star jiggling her … well, you get the idea. This warped worldview is then reinforced by a stable of his own toadies and ass-kissers who tell him only what he wants to hear.
This is an incredibly dangerous situation for a president.
And a very, very dangerous situation for any nation.
It echoes the final days of any totalitarian regime where the leader retreats to his Eagle's Nest or Wolf's Lair or Spider Hole and ignores the rumble of approaching defeat for the comforting lies of his own propaganda.
"The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy - & they don’t know what to do. The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs, soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!"
Insulated from reality, Rich Business Guy crows about the economy. Money, Right? It's the only thing that matters to him and those like him. Money. So long as the economy is booming, what are you peons complaining about? Hey, how about the game last night?
It's a pattern with him.
He lives in an artificial bubble, created partly by himself and partly by those around him -- the ones whose own power and identity are irrevocably tied to Trump's. If he goes down, they go down, and so they work diligently to keep that bubble inflated at all costs. In a way, he is like Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, a child, isolated inside the Forbidden City, who spends his days playing while others run the nation, unaware that outside the walls is a very, very different and very dangerous world. Of course, the analogy only goes so far, unlike Pu Yi, Trump's power extends far beyond the walls and could easily, in a fit of childish temper or imperial ignorance, destroy us all.
And thus we come to that OpEd in the New York Times.
The one penned by an anonymous member of the Imperial Court.
The one that describes a fool, an emotional cripple, an amoral mad child of a president and a government in chaos.
The one that describes a secret resistance inside the Trump Administration, a cabal of unidentified, unelected, unappointed staffers who daily work to thwart this reckless fool and impose upon America their own agenda.
As somebody noted on my Twitter feed, what is most disturbing about the NYT article is we're all asking who wrote it, not if it's actually true.
Because we all, all of us no matter our political affiliation, we know that it’s true. It can hardly be otherwise. And it is all too likely.
I don’t need to analyze it, or prove its veracity, even if I had the data and the tools to do so.
Trump proves its truth over and over.
This editorial, comes the day after the release of Bob Woodward’s new book – a book written with meticulous care by a trusted legend of the genre and that describes the same situation, the chaos and disarray, in the White House.
A book, even one from a veteran like Woodward, an editorial, even one from The Gray Lady herself, those could be dismissed in isolation. But they are hardly isolated incidents. Everywhere you turn – everywhere but Fox News and its satellites – every source from inside the administration, every former employee, everyone who has to deal with Trump up close and personal, they all paint the same picture.
And Trump himself does nothing to dispel this impression. Because he can’t.
As I type this, literally as I typed the above paragraph, Trump posted this to Twitter:
And there it is. Look at that.
I mean, you do see it, don’t you?
He’s spent the last two days, the last year of his presidency, denying that any such sources within his administration exist.
He daily rails against “fake news” and says repeatedly that “anonymous sources” don’t really exist.
And yet, at the end of the day, he demands to know the source’s identity.
You don’t demand the name of the source, you don’t demand the source be turned over to the government for “national security purposes” (at once!), if you believe that source doesn’t really exist.
He knows the New York Times editorial is true.
He knows Woodward’s book paints a true picture.
We all know it. And I don’t know what’s more of a danger to the Republic, this buffoon of a president or some unelected cabal pulling the strings.
Trump has lost control, if indeed he ever had such – which I doubt. And he can’t figure out why all of these bad things keep happening to him.
It’s not the the Left, or Fake News, or The Swamp, or any Witch Hunt. There is no Deep State. And it’s not anonymous sources who are the problem.
He doesn’t know what to do, because he’s never had that moment, that moment where he takes responsibility for his own life and becomes an adult.
He doesn’t get it. He’s not capable of getting it. He’s intellectually crippled and emotionally stunted. Broken in some way and unfixable. He doesn’t know how to listen. He doesn’t know how to lead. He doesn’t know how to get critical information and he doesn’t even know what questions to ask and he is unwilling and unable to learn. And so he lives a life of loud misery and makes us miserable too.
Worst of all, he can’t seem to figure out that he and he alone is the ultimate cause of all of his problems.
He can’t face it. So he keeps trying to change the narrative.
Hey, fellas, how about the game last night, huh?
And unfortunately for us, his problems become our problems.
Trump is America’s Jenkins.
There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.
-- Anonymous, Editorial, NYT