Sunday, December 10, 2017
American Maniac: Inside the Trump White House
I always knew that a close look at Donald Trump's White House, and the court of the Orange Emperor, would be a deeply disturbing experience.
I just didn't know how bad or how crazy it could get.
But now a team of writers from the New York Times has done that, and it's a real horror show.
Even worse than I had imagined...
A journey into the banality of evil, or as the Times calls it, Inside Trump's Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation.
For other presidents, every day is a test of how to lead a country, not just a faction, balancing competing interests. For Mr. Trump, every day is an hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation.
He still relitigates last year’s election, convinced that the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s interference is a plot to delegitimize him.
Other aides bemoan his tenuous grasp of facts, jack-rabbit attention span and propensity for conspiracy theories.
He's paranoid, he can't tell the difference between bad information and the truth, his staff can't control him, not even his designated nanny, John Kelly...
Mr. Kelly has told people he will try to control only what he can. As he has learned, there is much that he cannot.
His madness wears them down.
Mr. Trump’s insistence on defining his own reality — his repeated claims, for example, that he actually won the popular vote — is immutable and has had a “numbing effect” on people who work with him, said Tony Schwartz, his ghostwriter on “The Art of the Deal.”
“He wears you down,” Mr. Schwartz said.
He watches too much cable news...
People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.
Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.
He doesn't like it when he's NOT on TV...
He wants his terrified staff to think that every day is a new episode in the reality TV show of his presidency. From I love Lucy, to I Love Donald, that's how far we've fallen.
And I was right.
If he keeps this lifestyle up, with all that stress, all those Diet Cokes, all that fried chicken...
And all those tureens of gravy.
Mr. Trump has always relished gossiping over plates of well-done steak, salad slathered with Roquefort dressing and bacon crumbles, tureens of gravy and massive slices of dessert with extra ice cream.
He won't last long.
They'll probably be wheeling him out feet first and bottoms up long before the next American election...
He never should have been president.
He just wasn't ready.
And neither was the world...