Saturday, January 6, 2018

The president believes he is a genius

   I know, I know. It seems both redundant and naive at this point to say that the president has lost his mind.
     Thank you, Captain Obvious!
     But looking at his tweets this morning. O.M.G. The only other individual I know who calls himself a "genius" also spends his days racing around the Southwest, chasing the Road Runner. 
    Yes, to expect modesty from Donald Trump at this point. And it is established that he somehow manages to hit rock bottom and keep digging.
    But a genius?
     "And a very stable genius at that!" That has to be a title of one or more of the 500 books someday parsing how a once proud nation could allow itself to be led by this brittle incurious ego-maniac. Assuming, of course, that we're allowed to publish books.
    Who calls himself a genius? The very act is self-indicting. No truly smart person would say that, intelligence being, in part, knowledge of how much a person doesn't know. The point of Wile E. Coyote's claim is, he's not a genius. Putting it on his business cards proves it. He can't even make the damn Acme products work properly. 
     Trump's pathetic bleat of self-love is in reaction to Michael Wolff's caustic new book, which, like the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, isn't saying anything people don't know. Rather, in classic the-emperor-has-no-clothes style, is saying what everyone already knows: the president is an erratic idiot, utterly unsuited to the job.
    Okay, not everybody. Some people, many people, deny it, vigorously. His family, his staff, those with a vested interest in manipulating the government and, not to forget, the masses of the duped, those who put put their faith in Trump and now cannot recognize that they've been defrauded. The money is gone, the Nigerian prince vanished into cyberspace. Easier to cling to the dream than to admit you were deceived. Occasionally I'll encounter somebody on Facebook wondering when Trump's followers figure it out, and I jump in and point out, with conviction: Never. They never figure it out. They're like those peasants in Russia still mooning over Stalin.
     Don't forget Fox News. They make a fortune catering to these people, chewing up the mash of hysteria and fabrication and then vomiting it into their audience's eager baby bird yaps. I watched a few minutes of Sean Hannity last night—the first time—and it was like holding up a naked baby with diarrhea while rushing toward the diaper table. No wonder so many Americans have shit for brains: look at what goes into them. Look at the disgusting pap they feed on.
     I haven't read Wolff's book—I don't plan to. Enough people are ripping through it, sharing whatever gems are found. You can get a contact high just scrolling through Facebook. And besides. Happy is he, as Kierkegaard says, who didn't have to go to Hell to know what the devil looks like.
     And we still have three years to go. Or seven. If you think this circus of dysfunction means Trump can't win in 2020, think again. All the Democrats have to do is to veer into their own version of tribal crazy, and we'll fall right back into the same hole. If you think it isn't possible, you aren't paying attention. 


  1. I don't necessarily think it's a matter of being "duped." As one Fox News contributor asked after the Wolff book excerpts emerged: "Do you really care?" Trump voters don't care who or how he really is. They often know, and still don't care. He's getting a lot of the work done that they wanted: dismantling regulation, down-sizing government, tax "reform." He still stands for racism and nativism. He won't get impeached; that's a political, not a legal matter (and if he does, he'll be acquitted). All the opposition can do is vote him and his out. Neither the law nor the government will do that for us, in my judgment.

    1. His supporters may not care about Wolff's book, but he sure does. It is quite impossible to imagine Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton reacting to one of the countless hack-job smear books about them by going off the deep end and tweeting about their "genius."

  2. EGD is the first thing I read each morning. I thought I was reading a satire, a column making fun of Trump's tweets by creating a fake tweet even more absurd than the real ones.

    I was sure that I was beyond being surprised by this lunatic. This morning's tweets pull back the curtain on the mind of a man who is utterly and completely delusional - and is in charge of the largest arsenal in the history of the planet.

    While the content of the tweets are madness itself, the grammar adds an extra element of lunacy "and being, like, really smart" "and a very stable genius at that!

    I'm going to go slam my hand in a car door. It might help take my mind off of the fact that a dangerous sociopath is president.

  3. Upon further review: An occasion might arise in which, while speaking, a young person would say "and being, like, really smart", inserting an unnecessary "like" into the sentence. No one writes an unnecessary "like" in a sentence. It is a verbal tic, not a written tic. Except for one guy.

    1. Maybe Ivanka, like, wrote it for him.

  4. 3 more years. My single greatest fear is that he'll be re-elected. My single greatest hope is that he won't finish his current term. Hope springs eternal in the human breast.

  5. The whole scene is a bit Shakespearian. Bannon as Iago to Trump's Othello. Or maybe Cassius, that "lean and hungry man." Will Ivanka turn out to be Goneril?
    We don't know enough yet about the great man's model wife to cast her as Lady Macbeth.


    1. Who would Spicer, who may or may not have escaped with his soul intact, be?

  6. "wondering when Trump's followers figure it out"

    I'm tempted to think that this is just a problem of people living in their own bubbles, such that Fox News watchers are not even aware of how off-the-rails this guy is. Which would be a huge problem by itself - how do you get people who believe in "alternative facts" to stick to the real ones? Even if you were the biggest Dolt 45 supporter in the world, how do you not recognize that he lies about everything, constantly? He contradicts himself so much that just juxtaposing tweets of his saying opposite things is plenty revealing. But, I fear Neil is right about them never coming around.

    Which is why the tedious, infuriating, ongoing media attempts to understand and check in with Trump voters are such a waste of time. Do you still support him after this? After that? After *this* even? "Uh, we started out by ignoring the fact that he was a thrice-married libertine who's supposedly a champion of Christian values, a supposedly brilliant businessman who settled a $25 million fraud lawsuit about a week after being elected, an alleged champion of blue collar workers who lives in a gold-plated penthouse, somebody who used to complain bitterly about Obama golfing who golfs more as President than a retired golf pro. He still takes shots at Crooked Hillary, doesn't he? So, yeah -- pretty much whatever he does, we still support him. Surprise!"

    But as depressing as that is, the Congresscritters who are fully aware of what's going on, know how dangerous it is and just fall in line so they can get their tax cuts, deregulation, etc., as Mr. Tindall notes, are even worse. At least there's something that can be done about that in November, though I'm not as optimistic about the likelihood as many are.

    On a positive note -- adding Mr. Coyote's business card to this post was a swell touch!

    1. I would have liked to see something other than "travel" on the card. "Think" maybe. "Cogitate" too fancy. "Will tell you about it" apt for Trump, not sure about Wile E. "Have Brain...Don't Need It" I like.


  7. So, there's a Twitter hashtag for "stable genius."

    Here's another fictional character to accompany Wile E. Coyote, though this one was much sharper:

  8. I believe the Republicans have figured out having an inept, incurious president works for them. That's why they've ended their infighting and pushed the agenda that favors the only people they care about, their wealthy donors. Trump isn't going anywhere and I believe you'll rarely see him speaking publicly or to the press in the future. He'll stay hidden away, playing with his phone while they try to suppress ongoing investigations. Like Putin figured out, better to have an ignorant ego-maniac in the Oval Office than an objective leader weighing what's best for this country. He'll sign off on anything the Republicans put before him.

  9. Prevailing liberal/progressive sentiment is that President Trump is an idiot and a buffoon. All agree that Trump calls his own shots.

    Yet this putative idiot and buffoon beat that pants off of 16 other Republicans and Hillary Clinton. And he spent a lot less money than Clinton in doing so.

    The economy did not tank after Trump was elected as many liberals/progressives predicted. Rather the stock market ( retirement savings), GDP, and unemployment soar.

    As Bill Clinton famously and correctly asserted "it's the economy, stupid." Those who voted for Trump know that the liberals/progressives deem them to be stupid and/or deplorable. Thus the Democrats start with writing off almost half of all voters.

    Whatever non-presidential behavior Trump exhibited before the election continues. Thus it is already factored-in with the voters.

    I am a moderated conservative/libertarian who supported Kasich and Rubio.

    I do question Trump's demeanor and wish he was more like Pence or Paul Ryan or even Bernie Sanders. But perhaps there is a method to his madness. Those who wrestle with Trump (including the mainstream media) come out diminished i.e. the wrestling with a pig syndrome.

    I agree with AMY WALTERS of the PBS NEWS HOUR and PBS WASHINGTON WEEK - that it will take something clear cut to derail Trump -- not confused allegations of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, or now insanity.

    1. Jerry, long time no see. Just curious, but what do you think of Bernie Sanders? Let's just say that Sanders, doddering old Wobbly, won the presidency, not over Trump, but let's say Ted Cruz was the Republic nominee. So we have this crazy progressive president, constantly beating the drum for equality, free education, lgbq rights, etc. and Ted Cruz with his rational Republican agenda is left on the sidelines, hoping Sanders doesn't ruin the country too much before he hands it over to him in four years. I bet you would feel just about how my friends and I feel about the happenings of 2016 and 2017.


    2. "this putative idiot and buffoon beat that pants off of 16 other Republicans and Hillary Clinton"

      He won because a critical mass of the electorate has been massaged for decades to make them believe up is down, black is white, conservative is whatever we say it is today, liberal is demented, and the Clintons are the embodiment of evil. They learned the lessons of Goebbels well and delivered a malignant narcissist to implement slashed taxes on the wealthy, gutted protections for the environment, and soon will deliver a death blow to the social safety net. Let's not get too cocky about the economy. So far Obama's policies have had more influence on the economy than Trump. We'll see how it goes when the wealthy, who have suffered so much, get their tax cuts. I'd bet we will end up like Kansas, the model for the tax cuts, which is paying for their exercise in reverse wealth redistribution. But like all libertarians, so long as it works out OK for you, then it's a win.

  10. Beat the pants off Clinton? That's a gross overstatement. Win he did, but it was a surprise to most and it was close, with Clinton getting more votes than the idiot and buffoon.

  11. Greetings Tate:

    I much preferred Sanders over Clinton in 2016. I much preferred President Obama over Clinton in 2008.

    I admire Sanders' demeanor. He is forceful and yet a gentlemen. He almost never takes a cheap shot. Too bad the Democratic Party rigged things against him.

    Sanders with a Republican Congress to counter-balance him would not have been a disaster. Sanders would have his "wish list" of the possible and if he got some of what he wanted it probably would have been OK with me.

    For example: tuition at a major university is a rip-off, thus as a taxpayer I do not want to pay for it. But I would be all for free community college and trade schools to make our citizens more productive.

    I do not want to abolish Wall Street, but would be in favor of breaking it up into many more entities.

    As a libertarian I am all for LGBQ rights except for letting high school boys into girls locker rooms. For adults this bathroom stuff is not an issue. Bruce Jenner should now use the ladies room. And most woman to men situations have the person looking like a man, with beards and baldness. No problem with them using the men's room.

    I do not know how you are using the term "equality." Equality of results implies inequality of opportunity. I am very happy that the innovators of yesteryear and today got and get enormously rich.
    I think "school choice vouchers" would help many poor motivated students rise. Let's siphon these motivated students away from the failing schools.

    I hope this is responsive to your question.

    1. Very good. Certainly not the answer I expected. Hope for the country after all.


    2. jerry ,why in the world would you bring up the bathroom issue? what does it have to do with anything thats important and troubling? i.e. North Korea , white supremacy, the new tax code, the economy, "fake news". such an insignificant thing for anyone to be concerned with or present themselves as the arbiter of.

  12. Of course Clinton received slightly more of the popular vote than Trump.

    I will not use the term "beat the pants off" when speaking of Clinton alone, so as to avoid any unintended innuendo. But Trump clobbered Clinton because she was the overwhelming favorite and with a ton more money.

  13. Hardly "slightly more of the popular vote". She got 3M+ more votes than Trump. Kennedy won by, I think, less than 100,000 votes in 1960.

  14. “There’s cheering in certain sectors that the economy created 2.055 million jobs in 2017. Those people lamented the slow pace of an economy that created 2.24 million jobs in 2016.”

    Trump didn't "clobber" Clinton. He only got 46% of the vote to her 48%. The key problem for her was the 6% who voted, but couldn't stand either of them, and the millions who stayed home. I'm sure sexism had nothing to do with that, of course.

    I realize that there are many intelligent folks, particularly in Congress, willing to put up with a dangerous, unbelievably unprepared, incompetent, impulsive, compulsive liar in the White House in order to see an anti-science, anti-regulation, tax cuts regardless of the consequences agenda moved forward. Focusing on the performance of their retirement portfolios while ignoring the possibility that this fool will stumble into a nuclear exchange, for instance. I'm very surprised -- no, amazed -- that you're one of them, Jerry.

    "I do question Trump's demeanor" Well, that's a start. I wonder what it might take for you to come around to the realization that he's "an idiot and a buffoon," when 2 1/2 years worth of idiotic buffoonery haven't moved the needle any further than that, though.

  15. Greetings Jakash:

    I will always admire you for coming to my defense after I was kicked off of Zorn's blog, unable to defend myself, and then it became open season on me.

    As you know I am in love with Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, Burke, Tocqueville, and Hayek. I am NOT in love with Trump.

    That is why I can objectively enjoy the drama of Trump -- as the grand puppet master -- pulling the strings of the liberals/progressives. This is a matter of enjoying tradecraft as I enjoyed watching Johnny Cochrane getting a Not Guilty for OJ.

    Now follow me on this one. You will agree that Romney was an alter boy/ boy scout compared to Trump. Yet he was thoroughly reamed by the Dems in 2012. Dems do not play nice. Just ask Bernie Sanders or the GPS Fusion folk working for Hillary.

    Trump realizing that he was never going to be loved by the liberals/progressives did the next best thing. He got so far into their heads, that they massively overreact to everything he does. He has made them into mirror image contrarians to everything he does. They dance to his tune.

    He has made them into the proverbial first wife, for whom her "ex" can do no good.

    This is a standard trial tactic -- discredit a witness by having him or her massively exaggerate.

    For example -- Trump is legitimately criticized for being crude. But he has induced his critics -- celebs and politicians -- to be equally as crude as evidenced by their frequent use of the F-bomb with respect to him.

    Trump thus transforms legitimate criticism of him into a roar of white noise.

    Frank Bruni of the NYT and Bob Woodward have caught on. But most liberals/progressives ensconced in their echo chambers have not.

    I believe Trump -- as a master of the popular media -- knows exactly how to yank the chains of the liberals/progressives inducing them to overreact.

    So for the midterms what will be your mantra -- "elect us so that we can impeach Trump." Trump would love that to be your tactic.

    Best regards,


    1. So Jerry , you don't think Trump is stupid? Or an irratic idiot unsuited to do the job?

    2. "This is a matter of enjoying tradecraft" When O. J. was acquitted, nobody died because their health insurance was taken away. Nobody began talking about cutting Social Security or Medicare because tax cuts are going to balloon the deficit. Remember the deficit? It seemed to matter a lot when Obama and Bill Clinton were in charge. After being acquitted, O. J. didn't take the opportunity to goad a maniacal dictator about whose nuclear button was bigger.

      Portraying this guy as a "grand puppet master" is mind-boggling. He's an amazingly egocentric, racist, xenophobic, incurious dolt. A "genius" businessman who manages to bankrupt casinos, for crying out loud. Who settled a lawsuit for fraud in order to tidy things up before taking the oath. The fact that Fox News has helped to empower an electorate in which a substantial portion of voters are unapologetically racist, xenophobic and incurious themselves and thus are willing to vote for a completely unqualified charlatan to "shake things up" says nothing about the boob's abilities. Are you also impressed with the way he pledged to "drain the swamp" of Wall St. insiders and then filled it to overflowing with Wall St. insiders?

      Democrats (and many, many concerned Republicans who don't think this is all a "drama" to be "enjoyed") are rightfully apoplectic about the way this fool has been allowed by his enablers in Congress to blithely destroy the norms which are as important as the laws in keeping the country on track.

      You're a very smart guy, Jerry. He is not your kind of conservative, to say the least. Which is why I'm so surprised that you'd be making such comments or giving Dolt 45 a pass. I'd be willing to bet that, given a 3-option multiple choice question "Name an economist," where one of the choices was "Kayak," he still wouldn't be likely to guess Hayek.

  16. Greetings FME:

    Does Trump play the buffoon? For sure. But perhaps much in the same way as Peter Falk's character in COLUMBO. COLUMBO always benefitted from being underestimated.

    I am currently of the opinion that the liberals/progressives "are playing checkers and Trump is playing chess." I may be wrong. Time will tell.

    Go to YouTube and type in "Javits Center Election Night." You will see liberals/progressives looking big-time clobbered. Next type in "Election Night Media Meltdown." You will see Colbert repeatedly delivering the F-Bomb and Rachel Maddow and Martha Raddazt choked up and holding back tears. Yes clobbered is the word -- and Trump did it with a lot less money than Clinton and he did it relying on his own instincts in contradistinction to Clinton's minions of experts.

    Yet Trump perhaps makes subtle mistakes. Making some enemies is often a good strategy. Trump makes too many unnecessary enemies. The key word here is "unnecessary."

    Even Limbaugh admits that Trump made an unnecessary enemy of McCain with Trump's disparagement of McCain's POW status. Our former President Obama had many in Congress running to his defense. Trump has very few of these.

    Again, I repeat. I simply have to call it like I see it. I may be wrong. Time will tell.

  17. Greetings Again Jakash:

    Life would be easier for you in debating me if I were not a moderate. Life would be easier for you if I said I adored Trump -- which I do not.

    And life would be easier for me if some of your gripes against Trump did not have some merit. But your gripes do have some merit.

    You too are a bright -- and more importantly -- an intellectually honest guy. I thus trust that I can make an intellectually subtle point, and you can see where I am going with it.

    I unequivocally state that slavery is evil. And yet I am in love with two slave owners -- George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Am I a racist for that? Do I want an extreme liberal/progressive in the Whitehouse branding me a racist for this? I think not.

    I live in Chicago's most ethnically diverse neighborhood -- West Rogers Park near Devon Avenue. I like ethnic diversity. And yet I support Trump's Travel Bans. Thus am I a vile xenophobe? I certainly hope that some liberal/progressive political official will not brand me as such.

    Your admitted apoplexy scares me more than Trump. Actually -- this is a misstatement. You are a good guy; you do not scare me. Rather it is this ADMITTED APOPLEXY coming from the Resistance that scares me and many other voters, more than Trump.



    1. He's playing chess, while his opponents are playing checkers, eh, Jerry? Wow. Harping on Obama's birth certificate for years, for instance -- brilliant tactical move. Not pandering to racists at all, just clever gamesmanship! As far as I'm concerned, you've abandoned your oft, very oft-stated "moderate" label with that comment.

      Just curious, do your buddies MCN and Greg share such a rosy view of this ongoing shitshow? I'd assumed that, while partisan, you were all at least objective enough to realize what a tragedy for the country this guy's election was. Up until yesterday, I'd have certainly believed that all 3 of you were "Never Trumpers," embarrassed to have such a transparently incompetent, incurious, poorly-read fool be the standard-bearer of your party. The ability of tax cuts for the wealthy to cloud a Republican mind is remarkable, indeed.

      Oh, hat tip to Julie, below!

  18. Our apoplexy doesn't have the nuclear codes.

  19. "Yet Trump perhaps makes subtle mistakes."

    You know Jerry, we aren't in the market for bottomlessly stupid comments here. If that's what you are bringing to the table, then you might want to hit the road again. I'm tolerating you because people I respect seem to find it worth their while to engage you. But remember: the only self-obsessed bore on this page is me. There isn't room for two. So try to be on your A-game, if you have one. Let's just say you're not off to an impressive start. This blog is something I do for fun in my spare time, not a format for dullards to twirl in the limelight.

    The proprietor.

  20. Jakash:

    As you can see the PROPRIETOR said "enough" for me on this thread. Thus you and others will have the last substantive words.


    1. Just my way of saying, "Welcome back Jerry. We did miss you. But play nice and in moderation."

  21. The latest from JerryB's chessmaster:

    Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!

    So what was that...the Queen's Pawn Gambit or the Sicilian Opening?

  22. Went right to my most reliable source this weekend. No, not my friend the shrink. My Magic 8-Ball. Asked "Is Trump certifiably nuts?" The answer: "All signs point to yes."


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