On Morning Joe, Trump "isn't OK"—and "it's getting worse!"

TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017

They stage the right discussion:
This weekend, we googled the topic.

Yesterday morning, we discussed the topic with a friend at the coffee joint.

This morning, Joe and Mika staged that same discussion in the first half hour or so of Morning Joe. They were asking a very good question:

Is Donald J. Trump showing signs of dementia?

At the start of the program, Scarborough keyed the discussion to Trump's recent strings of weird interviews, including but not limited to his comments about the Civil War. Early on, he said this:
SCARBOROUGH (5/2/17): My mother's had dementia for ten years. That sounds like the sort of thing my mother would say today. She would say, "People don't ask that question. Why did we have a civil war?"...That's something that a 5-year-old might ask. But that is not anything that any grown-up that I've ever been around in my entire life would ever let pass from their lips. Because that has been the central question of how did America begin, with slavery as our original sin, and how did we move past that original sin in part through the Civil War.
Mika added this:

"I'm not sure he's OK. I'm not sure he's OK, and you have that feeling with people who are not OK, where it starts to dawn on you that they're not OK."

"And it's getting worse, worse than it has been," Scarborough said. He played tape of Trump from earlier years, showing him at a time when he seemed much more lucid.

Over the weekend, we had the same general reaction to Trump's recent string of weird remarks. For the leading authority's report on dementia, you can just click here.

To watch the first twenty minutes of this morning's show, you can just click this. Some of the program's pundits wanted to engage this discussion. Others avoided the topic.

We'll only add this:

Our national discourse has been demented for much of the past twenty-five years. Very major national figures made crazy remarks about Candidate Gore in 1999 and 2000. All others agreed not to notice this crazy downward spiral.

Now we seem to have the real thing. This is a very dangerous situation.

We built this culture of lunacy over time. Very major "liberal" figures were very deeply involved.


  1. I don't think Trump's Civil War comment was demented. First of all, it's just hypothetical speculation, so it can't be judged as true or false. I can understand why someone might speculate as to whether that horrible loss of life could have been somehow avioded. One sees similar speculations about how WW1 or WW2 might have been avoided or, at least, not so horrible.

    Furthermore, I think it's good that Donald Trump is thinking about how Presidential leadership might avoid a war. He sounds like someone more interested in avoiding war than in fighting a war.

    Bottom line: If a Democrat had made this identical statement, it would have engendered no criticism.

    1. They are not talking about the civil war. They are talking about how Trump expressed himself and what that means about his cognition.

  2. I read through the diagnostic criteria for dementia and I don't think Trump fits them. Also, there are other causes of dysfunction, such as stress, lack of sleep, depression, and medication side effects. There is something wrong but I doubt it is dementia.

    I find myself wondering who let him give those interviews. If there are no restraints on his behavior (e.g. no one he will listen to) that is a problem, given his ignorance and impulsivity.

    I don't think you can Article 25 someone for incompetence and a bad personality. Misapplying dementia criteria would constitute a coup.

    1. Read this transcript of his word for word response when asked if he stands by his allegation that President Obama spied on him.

      (“I don't stand by anything.

      [reminder: this is the president of the United States speaking]

      "I just — you can take it the way you want."

      I think our side's been proven very strongly.

      Diagram that sentence. A 3rd grader speaks better English.

      And everybody's talking about it. And frankly, it should be discussed,” Trump said.

      Everybody is talking about? No, pussygrabber pervert is the only one talking about it. The man is seriously demented.

    2. I agree with you that Trump speaks clumsily. He sometimes speaks in a kind of shorthand. You have to fill in the missing words to discern his meaning. When you're watching him and listening to him, you can generally make out what he means.

      But, so what? The fact that he speaks clumsily doesn't mean that he's lazy or insane or senile or a bigot or a fascist. it doesn't even mean that he's stupid or ineffective. His mode of speech has served him well in a lifetime of unusual achievements in the diverse fields of money-making, TV, and politics.

    3. I think our side's been proven very strongly.

      That's a fucking outright slanderous lie, Comrade. A fucking LIE. Do you even fucking care anymore?

    4. His mode of speech does mean that he's stupid and ineffective.

    5. He's as shitty a speaker as he is a businessman.

  3. How could Lincoln have avoided the Civil War? The southern states started seceding even before his inauguration. When he tried to resupply a US army base, they bombarded it.

    What was Lincoln supposed to do?

    1. [LINK]

      There's been a long debate between the "blundering generation" and the "irrepressible conflict" schools as to whether the Civil War could have been avoided. Once, however, the Republicans in 1860 nominated as their candidate an unflinching Unionist, who would win Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, war was inevitable.

      Months before, in his
      Cooper Union Address, Lincoln summed up the situation:

      [QUOTE] You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper's Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper's Ferry enterprise.

      If any member of our party is guilty in that matter, you know it or you do not know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable for not designating the man and proving the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable for asserting it, and especially for persisting in the assertion after you have tried and failed to make the proof. You need to be told that persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true, is simply malicious slander.

      Some of you admit that no Republican designedly aided or encouraged the Harper's Ferry affair, but still insist that our doctrines and declarations necessarily lead to such results. We do not believe it....

      A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper.

      Even though the southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

      ...[W]hat will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them.

      Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure.

      We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us....

      [T]hey have not, as yet, in terms, demanded the overthrow of our Free-State Constitutions. Yet those Constitutions declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis, than do all other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have been silenced, the overthrow of these Constitutions will be demanded, and nothing be left to resist the demand....

      Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right, and a social blessing.

      Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality - its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension - its enlargement.... [END QUOTE]

  4. The somewhat overblown civil war thing is only relevant in that Trump is playing to his racist base, the people who will stick with him til the (we can only hope) not too distant bitter end. Beyond that, Bob is kinda correct, no one who took in Trump's campaigning can be surprised that he is now behaving like a malevolent, blithering idiot. We might sympathize with people who find it increasingly frightening.

  5. Bob. Look in the mirror. What Joe and Mika, who you usually deride, are saying about Trump is what your own dwindling readership has been saying about you.

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  7. I personally think that the President just really doesn't know all that much about history or government or certain other topics, probably because they never really interested him all that much (I bet if you heard him talk about something that would make the trump organization millions he wouldn't sound sick or demented). I think ultimately he is just out of his league in certain areas. My guess is he probably hears/reads something about Andrew Jackson or whoever from some BS article in a right wing rag (or from Bannon), and takes away some point that clicks with him, but when he goes to describe it, it comes out like his interview of late, cause he really doesn't know wtf he is talking about...I don't think he is sick or has dementia, I think he I just not too informed when it comes to certain topics...

    and wasn't it Joe and Mika that got caught with a live mic talking to Trump about lobbing soft ball questions during the campaign? and now they are worried? They made their bed, let them lie in it. These two should be fired.

    1. (I bet if you heard him talk about something that would make the trump organization millions he wouldn't sound sick or demented).

      There's no evidence for this. The problem isn't just that he doesn't know shit from shinola about anything to do with governing, it is that he cannot express himself in an adult manner. Middle school children have a deeper vocabulary.

      No problem, his fans don't mind if he sounds like a jabbering idiot.

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