Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Man Boy Who Cried Wolff

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart... I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!” -"President" Donald J. Trump, January 6, 2018
To paraphrase an old quote about discipline and genius, "Genius without discipline gives us artists. Discipline without genius gives us bureaucrats. And an abundance of neither gives us people like Joe Chadwick and Donald Trump.
     This morning, just before the Trump crime family went to the mattresses at Camp David a la The Godfather, Donald Trump put out a series of tweets today that, even by his abysmally low standards, had to be seen to be believed. In a way, it was predictable that Fire and Fury, the #1 hottest-selling book in the nation, if not the world, would bring out the street fighter in Trump.

     So it was highly ironic and more than a little amusing when Trump decided to amplify his message that first went out on Twitter and made himself an even bigger laughingstock by proclaiming before the media, "That's what I do. I do things proper." Repeatedly. Yes, the man who bragged about going to "the best colleges, or college" apparently hadn't learned a baseline of English language skills.
     OK, this is all very funny and, yes, let's give him what for and laugh at the poor idiot with the language skills of a 19th century Lower East Side guttersnipe. But remember that this particular idiot has his tiny finger on a big button that, until days ago, he was bragging was on his desk (it is not). The real story, of course, is no laughing matter, even if Trump actually mentioned Alzheimer's victim Ronald Reagan while trying to scream that he was a "very stable genius."

     Kinda like that.
     This, of course, is the real issue, not his Norm Crosby mangling of the English language. And let's revisit that latest battle of "wits" between Trump and Kim Jong Un in which Trump threatened nuclear war, again, on Twitter. And, as Johnathan Capeheart wrote in his lede yesterday in the WaPo, "Wolff paints such a chaotic portrait of President Trump that we now know that the biggest nuclear button in the West Wing was the one on Wolff’s tape recorder."
     Which, while it may be a clever and topical bon mot, is of course not true. Trump's metaphorical big red button, a cartoon image with sinister implications if there was ever one, is the only true big red button that matters because this immature, sputtering manchild ravaged with insecurities that go back to his childhood has the capability to destroy the world in a nuclear winter that could last for tens of thousands of years.
     And, legally, since such a chain of events could happen with dizzying speed, there's no one who could or would likely stop him short of mass insubordination. And Trump doesn't even seem to have stopped to consider the corollary implications of bombing even a rogue nation such as North Korea. Such as their biggest ally China bombing us in retaliation.

Epiphany Day
In The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, Anthony Summers once related a nightmarish tale of Richard Nixon, still in his rookie year as president, ordering a nuclear strike on North Korea while dead drunk. It was only stopped by Henry Kissinger, the unlikeliest of heroes, when he telephoned the Joint Chiefs and told them to belay Nixon's order until he sobered up in the morning. By Kissinger's own account, "If the President had his way, there would be a nuclear war every week!"
     Would Rex Tillerson do that if Trump decides to slam that big red button in a childish act of rage? It's one thing to call your boss "a fucking moron" behind his back (after a meeting at the Pentagon in which Trump expressed a desire to exponentially ramp up our nuclear stockpile in defiance of decades of non-proliferation treaties). It's another to call the Pentagon and tell our highest-ranking military leaders to hold off on a nuclear first strike. Plus, Tillerson's no Henry Kissinger and may be on the way out.
     And experts on the subject of nuclear strikes have different things to say on the matter. And just the very fact that we have to have this discussion, to begin with, and just two days before Trump's Twitter tirade and spittle fest at the media, is very discomfiting to say the least. The problem is that Trump has no plausible deniability. It seems to perpetually escape him that, in order to have that, you have to be plausible.
     He's also yet to learn after 71 and a half years on this planet that when your sanity is questioned by anyone, whether it be by a Harvard-educated psychiatrist of international note or a hack such as Michael Wolff, you don't punch down. Because when you do, you've immediately lost the argument. Johnny Pesky, the legendary Red Sox infielder, understood that decades ago when he was made the goat of the 1946 World Series loss to the Cardinals. He knew that the more he argued against him holding the ball too long, the guiltier he looked so he just took his lumps.
     Trump has never learned that and it's obvious he never will. The Bizarro World between his ears is such that a funny meme on Twitter went viral yesterday: The now-infamous Gorilla Channel hoax. The very fact that so many people were taken in by it is not a reflection of the gullibility of people but one on a so-called President who's so bizarre even down to his clownishly long ties that any wild fabrication calling his sanity into question invites more suspension of disbelief than Trump can ever muster.
     Today is Epiphany Day but that fact alone is hardly a revelation.


At January 7, 2018 at 1:08 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Wah, Fiona, the plainly superior writer is being mean to me again! Go fight my battle for me! I bet Becky Lynch would suplex him for that. Wah.


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