WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2020
It can't get that sociopathic! Question:
How sociopathic does it have to get before we ask if it's sociopathic?
If the conduct belongs to Donald J. Trump, it can't get that sociopathic! By the prevailing rules of the game, the press isn't going to go there.
Because we're tilling this field this week, we want to restate a point we've made in the past:
Given the primitive state of our nation's discourse, there's zero chance that our upper-end press corps, such as it is, could have conducted that conversation in a competent, useful way.
Chaos and bedlam would have ensued. They would have been called every name in the book.
Rivers of crackpot pseudo-psychiatry would have emerged from the others. In our current state of cultural development—and given the state of the modern-day press corps—no such instructive conversation could ever have taken place.
We've acknowledged that problem before; we regard it as an anthropological point. Today, we'll add this thought:
It is surprising that no individual upper-end journalist has made this a hobby-horse.
At one point, and to her vast credit, the New York Times' Jennifer Senior tried to start a discussion about the commander's psychiatric state.
Also, Lawrence O'Donnell has spoken with Lance Dodes on several occasions about the president's apparent psychiatric state.
(On the down side, O'Donnell hasn't made this a regular part of the way he himself discusses Trump and his disordered behavior.)
When Mary Trump's book came along, everyone stressed the fact that she's a clinical psychologist. That said, she quickly agreed to play by the rules according to which her uncle's sociopathic behavior must be critiqued in lazier, safer ways.
Those few attempts have been made; we especially compliment Senior. In our view, it's surprising that no one—no one at The Atlantic, let's say—has chosen to raise this obvious question in a persistent, ongoing way.
No one has stepped forward in that fairly obvious way. As a result, we have overtly sociopathic behavior occurring on a daily basis, wrapped in the sounds of silence.
This morning, Donny Deutsch offered one of his occasional analyses of his former friend and associate on Morning Joe. We'd hoped to be able to quote what he said, but the videotape hasn't been posted.
(Have you looked for MSNBC transcripts of late? This is where you now find yourself taken. Presumably, the reason for this is obvious.)
Donny Deutsch knows Donald J. Trump. Paraphrasing, Deutsch said this about what we can expect from his former friend over the next four weeks:
Deutsch said something a great deal like this:
He said we can expect to see continued attempts at personal destruction, and at national destruction. Because the person in question holds the nuclear codes, you'd almost think that someone would be concerned about this.
How sociopathic does Trump have to get before someone interviews Bandy X. Lee?
He can't get that sociopathic! Upper-end scribes have made a pact. They have agreed not to discuss what everyone can see.
Everyone can see what it is. With sacred Lassie dead and gone, no one is going to speak.