DIAGNOSING PRESIDENT TRUMP: Is it possible that Trump is mentally ill?

TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2020

Top journalists slipslide, evade:
Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is mentally ill?

Could he be severely ill? Could he be severely ill is a way which is dangerous?

John Gartner thinks he is. Gartner taught for 28 years at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. In his private practice, he specializes in the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

Way back in 2017, Gartner contributed to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a bestselling book which was assembled and edited by Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee. In an interview which appeared on April 25, Gartner discussed his assessment of Trump with Salon's Chauncey DeVega.

In his discussion with DeVega, Gartner offers a devastating diagnosis of Trump. For better or worse, his assessment clearly isn't "ready for (upper-end mainstream) prime time."

We don't mean to say that Gartner's diagnosis of Trump is wrong. It's entirely possible that his assessment is perfectly accurate.

We do mean that Gartner's assessment of Trump is so severe and so disturbing that, by the obvious rules of the game, it could never be discussed in upper-end publications. By tradition, by ability and by basic instinct, our journalists simply don't play the game that way, as we'll show you below.

Gartner's assessment is much too harsh for upper-end mainstream discussion. Tomorrow, we'll review what Gartner told DeVega, showing you what we mean.

For today, let's scan the timid, timorous way top scribes discuss mental illness. In particular, let's review the way they discuss the possible impairment of Trump, a subject they discuss behind the scenes but never discuss out loud, where such ruminations could jangle their careers.

We'll start with this morning's column by the Washington Post's Gene Robinson. Rather plainly, Robinson thinks something's wrong with Trump. He just doesn't want to say so:
ROBINSON (4/28/20): It is time to ask once again, in all seriousness, whether the president of the United States is of sound mind.

Even by his own standards, President Trump’s weekend ranting and raving on Twitter was bizarre and disturbing.
I know there are commentators who see his eruptions as some kind of genius-level communications strategy, a way of bonding himself to his loyal base by sending messages at dog-whistle frequencies others cannot hear. Others justify these tantrums as a way for an embattled president to blow off steam. But there is a simpler and more disturbing interpretation: What you see is what you get.

And what we got Sunday was a whole lot of crazy. It’s not good for the country, and it doesn’t seem very good for the president, either.

[...]

I’m not making a diagnosis, but rather just stating the obvious. If a loved one were raging in such a manner, you’d worry about his or her well-being. You’d hope it was just a bad spell. You might attempt to investigate, if only with a text reading: “R u ok?” We can only hope someone in Trump’s life is doing the same for him.
Robinson starts by asking, "in all seriousness," if Trump "is of sound mind." Typically, this language would suggest the possibility that the person in question may be cognitively or psychiatrically impaired.

Since the person in question holds the nuclear codes, this is a dangerous matter. But rather than state his concern in grown-up terms, Robinson quickly undermines himself, observing that Trump's recent tweets offered "a whole lot of crazy."

That's the kind of jocular language which invites us to chuckle and enter the realm of the merely colloquial. Robinson never directly articulates his apparent thought.

In the final paragraph we've posted, Robinson again suggests that Trump seems to be impaired in some basic way, as elderly "loved ones" sometimes are. But the best he can do in the face of this problem is to imagine Ivanka texting Trump to ask if he's OK.

"We can only hope someone in Trump’s life" is responding in this fashion. As journalists, we can't start a public discussion about his "crazy" behavior.

Robinson will slip and slide until the day we all die. Last Sunday, on CNN's Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter took a similar approach to Trump's peculiar behavior.

Stelter strikes us as an unusually decent person. In the passage shown below, he disagrees with viewers who say that the media shouldn't even report Trump's various crazy statements.

In the passage shown below, Stelter voiced his concern about Trump's mental state even more clearly than Robinson did. But as we'll see, in the end, he too slipslid away:
STELTER (4/26/20): We have to report this. Even though it's insane, we have to fact check what he's doing even though it's disturbing because here's why, because poll after poll shows most Americans don't trust what president Trump says, but some people do. Tens of millions do say they trust him. What he says, what he tweets matters to them and it reflects on America all around the world.

[...]

The president's statements matter. Even though many of you say we shouldn't air the briefings, the briefings shouldn't be seen. The president's statements matter because they show his wellness, his competence or lack there thereof.

Let me put it this way, when a grandparent is not well, the entire family feels it. The entire family shares the pain.
Thousands of families know what that's like right now. The American family is experiencing it too.

When someone is not well, when a leader is not well, we all feel it.
Yet in this. the president has really powerful enablers in the media...
In that passage, it's plain that Stelter is concerned about the president's "wellness" and possible lack of "competence." He directly evokes the familiar situation in which it becomes clear that an older relative—a grandparent—is no longer mentally whole.

It's clear that Stelter believes that something is wrong with President Trump. But if we might borrow from the speech by noble Nestor near the towering walls of Troy, Stelter "reaches no useful end."

He refuses to make a clear statement about what he's plainly suggesting. Instead, he scolds Sean Hannity as an enabler, then prescribes what we should do:
STELTER: When someone is not well, when a leader is not well, we all feel it. Yet in this. the president has really powerful enablers in the media. I think we need to make sure we don't overlook this part of the story.

This is a screen grab from Sean Hannity's show back in the end of February, February 27th. Hannity went on there with a big graphic proudly displaying that zero people in the United States died from coronavirus.

Now, Sean doesn't use this graphic anymore. He doesn't put this up on the screen anymore. So we took the liberty of updating it for him. There's the current count, 53,934 Americans confirmed to have died from the coronavirus according to Johns Hopkins University. The true death toll, of course, even higher and very, very hard to know.

So I think the news coverage needs to center not on Trump, not on Hannity, but on those citizens, those who have passed, and also these citizens, the more than 26 million people who are unemployed right now. Again, the true number even greater, but that's the official toll—number as of earlier this week.
Within that short passage, Stelter traces a remarkable logic. He flatly says that the man who holds the nuclear codes "is not well." After that, he flatly says that we shouldn't "center on" that man, or on that fact!

Is it possible that President Trump is mentally ill in some serious way? If so, we'd say this makes him one of William Stryon's "beaten children of the Earth," someone deserving of pity, even as he rages on the moors.

Under present circumstances, it also makes him an extremely dangerous person. With that in mind, consider one more recent event.

In early March, ABC's Jonathan Karl released the latest easy-reader book about Trump. In a somewhat belated review in Sunday's Washington Post, Linda Killian mentioned something Karl reported:
KILLIAN (4/26/20): Karl also recounts that after Mick Mulvaney was named acting chief of staff, he asked the White House staff to read the book “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness” by Nassir Ghaemi, the director of the mood disorders program at Tufts Medical Center. Karl talked with Ghaemi, who told him that Trump “clearly has mild manic symptoms all the time, as part of his personality,” which can manifest as someone who is unrealistic and unempathic.

But though Karl briefly touches on these issues, he does not raise the question of why so few former staff members have spoken publicly to tell the American people what they know about Trump and what is really going on in the administration.
Killian moved on from there. Consider what she said:

According to Karl, one of Trump's many chiefs-of-staff seemed to think that Trump is mentally ill. He asked the White House staff to read a book on the subject.

The relevant excerpt from Karl's book became public in early March. Within the upper-end press, it wasn't reported or investigated as possible news.

As best we can tell, no one other than Maureen Dowd discussed or reported this excerpt in the New York Times. In her March 8 column, Dowd reported what Karl said, but also slipslid away:
DOWD (3/8/20): Democrats can resort to this sort of sniping, too. Many Trump critics in 2016, and in the year after his election, pushed the idea that his father had suffered from Alzheimer’s and now Trump was losing it and that his vocabulary was eroding.

And it has become common among his attackers to say the president is deranged, suffering from malignant narcissism.

In his new book, “Front Row at the Trump Show,” Jonathan Karl
, the chief White House correspondent for ABC News, reports the surprising fact that one of those calls on Trump derangement came from inside the White House.

Karl recounts that when Mick Mulvaney became acting chief of staff, he took senior White House staffers to Camp David for a weekend retreat. He recommended they read a 2011 book, “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness,” by Nassir Ghaemi, director of the mood disorders program at Tufts Medical Center.

“This book argues that in at least one vitally important circumstance insanity produces good results and sanity is a problem,” Ghaemi writes in his introduction. “In times of crisis, we are better off being led by mentally ill leaders than by mentally normal ones.”

[...]

As Karl writes: “The new acting chief of staff seemed to be saying President Trump was mentally ill—and that this was a good thing. The corollary to that theory: Don’t try to control the man in the Oval Office. What you think is madness is actually genius.”

[...]

When Karl reached out to Ghaemi to ask how Trump would fit into his thesis, Ghaemi replied “perfectly,”
noting that the president has “mild manic symptoms all the time.” Ghaemi also concedes in his book that extreme forms of mania can be highly disabling and dangerous.
In her treatment of this report, Dowd has it both major ways. As she starts, she directly says that Trump's critics are "sniping" when they suggest that he may be cognitively impaired or even mentally ill.

The use of the term "Trump derangement" extends this dismissive tone. Over the past decade, "derangement syndrome" has become a term which is used to suggest that a politician's critics are nuts, not that the pol himself is.

At any rate, Dowd recounted Karl's allegation in full. Even Trump's chief of staff seemed to think he was mentally ill!

But even as she told the tale, Dowd largely played it for fun. Today, the column appears beneath these Dowdian headlines:
Trump’s Crazy Fantasy World
In what The Spectator calls “the Year of the Drunken Uncle,” three old guys vie for the presidency amid coronavirus fears and a careering stock market.
Donald J. Trump isn't mentally ill. He's just your drunken uncle!

Did Mulvaney really issue that reading assignment? Did, or does, he really think that Trump is mentally ill?

We don't know what Mulvaney thinks, but many high-end journalists think such things and discuss such possibilities in private. They just won't say such things out loud, except in highly couched language.

Our TV stars think something is wrong, but they aren't willing to say so. Doing that simply isn't allowed. Homey don't play that game!

Tomorrow: Not ready for prime time? Senior v. Gartner

81 comments:

  1. The president's statements matter because they show his wellness, his competence or lack there thereof

    In other words,
    The President's speech patterns are different from mine, so he must be crazy.

    This is bigotry. It's like,
    That person's dialect is different from mine, so he must be stupid.

    Trump's actions are smart and sane and very effective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, they are not.

      Delete
    2. Comparing Trump's current speech patterns to his speech of 10 years ago raises concerns about his present mental condition. Alzheimer's does produce language impairment, so it is a valid concern to wonder why Trump's speech has deteriorated, especially since there is a genetic basis to Alzheimer's.

      This is a fair question given that Trump avoids transparency about his medical condition.

      Delete
    3. If he's running on fewer cylinders, of which there is no evidence, he's still sharper than the youngest Democrat.

      His energy and command of all relevant subjects remain impressive. He is the most successful president we've had in decades.

      Delete
    4. 11:55,
      What is his plan for tracing and isolating the virus?

      Delete
    5. There is a great deal of evidence. Just look at any interview with Trump from 10 years ago. Look at his talks with Howard Stern. He isn't the same guy cognitively.

      A knee-jerk hatred for all Democrats because they are Democrats, is called a heuristic. It enables you to make decisions about whether you like or hate someone without having to think about them. This is a good example of how people who have diminished capacity tend to think.

      If you weren't a troll, I would worry about you.

      Delete
    6. David,
      I'll cop to my bigotry against those who think they can beat a virus through dick-measuring contest, while you just hate black people.
      IOW, Both sides are the same.

      Delete
    7. AnonymousApril 28, 2020 at 11:48 AM - I agree that a deterioration in Trump speech pattern would be of concern.

      Delete
    8. Trump was whipsmart in his earlier years but still is.

      He speaks slower. So does my dad at 71 compared to 40. But if you watched the press meeting with the Florida governor, every answer was taut, quick and informed.

      Delete
    9. Trump's actions are smart and sane and very effective.
      Which actions are you referring to?

      Delete
    10. He doesn't just speak slower. He uses vague terms instead of specific ones. His vocabulary is like a four year old's. He has word-finding difficulties. He gets lost in his own sentences. He uses the wrong words for things a lot. He makes up things to cover his memory gaps (called confabulation).

      Delete
    11. You're living in a fantasy world if you think Trump isn't on top of every policy he's got his hands in and isn't perfectly conversant in all of it. On the economic side his command of every moving part and the status of every relevant measure 5 minutes before he comes out to speak is impressive.

      Delete


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  2. Dear Bob,
    we've seen all kinds of ways you soros-dembots frame the only message you're paid to deliver: Orange Man Bad.

    Personally, we much prefer your zombie cult's early attempt, where Our Beloved Commander is a Secret Russkie Agent.

    But if you prefer to peddle 'insanity', that's fine too, dear Bob: whatever turns you on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Orange man has no plans to trace or isolate the virus.
      Orange man not good at thinking things through.
      Orange man is kind of a moron.

      Delete
    2. If Trump is insane, then the entire Republican party is insane too.

      Orange man has no plans to trace or isolate the virus and neither do the Republicans.

      Orange man not good at thinking things through, and neither are the Republicans.

      Orange man is kind of a moron, and so are the Republicans.

      FTFY

      Delete
    3. Lol. I just imagined this child-dembot "tracing" and "isolating" "the virus".

      Thanks for the laughs, my dear.

      Delete
    4. "Lol"

      Nice gaslighting, Mao.

      Delete
    5. Orange man is bad
      His confusion is abound
      words drip aimlessly

      Delete

  3. “Stelter strikes us as an unusually decent person.”

    Bob Somerby is such a comedic talent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Is it possible that Donald J. Trump is mentally ill?"

    As Somerby likes to say, anything is possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "John Gartner thinks he is. Gartner taught for 28 years at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. In his private practice, he specializes in the treatment of borderline personality disorder."

    Being an adjunct faculty member while having a private practice is not the same as being a tenured faculty member in the medical school. This is a part-time teaching position that is easy to get, not a measure of distinction. It involves no research and no service to the university.

    Further, Trump doesn't have borderline personality disorder. So, his specialty is not even in the area of clinical psychology that is most relevant to Trump.

    Funny to see how impressed Somerby is with academic credentials (and how little equipped he is to evaluate them), how eager he is to present them, when he is promoting a point of view he agrees with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The obsession with the "mentally ill" question in itself raises concerns. I don't read these posts and wish the same effort were dedicated to something worthwhile.

      Delete
  6. We do know for sure that Mao is mentally ill.
    What kind of sane person stays on his computer all day just so he can be one of the first to post an uninformed comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know the answer to this: a Russian troll who is working on a troll farm.

      Delete
  7. "Rather plainly, Robinson thinks something's wrong with Trump. He just doesn't want to say so:

    ROBINSON (4/28/20): It is time to ask once again, in all seriousness, whether the president of the United States is of sound mind."

    Seems to me Robinson is saying so.

    Somerby seems to be ambivalent about how strongly someone should say so. First he says Gartner is too strong, then he says Robinson is too weak.

    This problem isn't that no one is getting this just right. It is that these people are stating opinions. When a physician diagnoses an illness, even mental illness, it is because symptoms meet diagnostic criteria. It may be a judgment call, but it isn't an opinion.

    Somerby is way off base. He should be calling for a medical evaluation of Trump, not for someone to dare to call him mentally ill in the right language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He already had a dementia screening with his routine exam and passed with flying colors. There's nothing wrong with Trump. He doesn't give a shit what his critics think and operates without a shred of defensiveness. Unheard of in politics but it's the reason he's the most powerful man in the country.

      Delete
    2. without a shred of shame or conscience

      FIFY

      Delete
    3. That mental status exam which you are calling dementia screening consists of questions such as "what day is it?" and "who is the president of the United States?"

      It doesn't ensure that Trump is sufficiently fit to function as president. Few mentally healthy individuals would have the capacity to serve in that job. Trump never had it, and he is worse now than in 2017.

      Delete
    4. "He doesn't give a shit what his critics think..."

      This. People can judge him for wanting to fuck his own daughter all they want, but that's not going to stop Trump from thinking that way.

      Delete
  8. By tradition, by ability and by basic instinct, our journalists simply don't play the game that way, as we'll show you below.

    I think it's worse than that. Tradition can't explain the press behavior because there has never been a fucking ginormous lunatic holding the highest office in the land before.

    Eric Boehlert has talked about this on occasion. He understands that if the political press ever actually crosses that line and tells America how fucking crazy the president really is, it would have to change forever all future reporting for them about him, and they simply won't do that. It would by necessity have to color all future work they do. They've been trying to normalize this foul repugnant soulless pathological lying freak stump of a man since day 1 and they're not going to stop now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 62,984,828 people voted for him.

      What do these Others think?

      Delete
    2. What do these Others think?

      They don't like his tweeting so much?

      Delete
    3. They think Trump is going to solve all their financial problems. Too bad about that.

      Delete
  9. Joe Biden committed sexual assault against an employee.

    The issue is not going away and is compounded by the glaring hypocrisy of the Me Too movement, which turns out was phony and useless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were any number of women who were recruited to make false statements about Bill Clinton too. They would have recruited some against Gore, but who would believe them?

      #MeToo is about investigating claims, not about accepting them as true without investigation. It is why Weinstein was convicted in court, not just accused. Note that Weinstein is a Democrat, yet he was ostracized and convicted, despite it being politically inconvenient for Democrats.

      Notice also that Trump, who has been accused as frequently as Epstein or Weinstein, has dodged all of the accusations against him. These have not been investigated and Trump has not gone to court. It is part of why he has so little support from women voters. We are all hoping he will be tried when he leaves office.

      But conservatives think they will get some leverage with this Reade accusation. Women know how to evaluate such things. I trust them to know what is a politically motivated smear and what is a true accusation against someone who is vile in his behavior toward women.

      Delete
    2. Everyone knows how to evaluate such things and everyone with any ability to process known information knows Joe Biden did what he stands accused of doing.

      Everyone knew about Weinstein but kept silent for decades and washed his balls because he could offer them roles and boost their careers.

      Me Too is a joke. Some of us always knew it was but it's good to have evidence now.

      Delete
    3. "Me Too is a joke. Some of us always knew it was but it's good to have evidence now."

      Similarly, the story of 2020 is not COVID-19.
      It's that the whole free-market, small government, pull yourself up by your bootstraps ideology plugged by the GOP since Reagan has no been shown to be 100% bullshit, that NO ONE really believed.

      Most people already knew it, but watching the cries from corporate America for Daddy government to save them, has left no doubt.

      Delete
    4. "The issue is not going away"

      Meh. They'll dump Rapist Joe before the election.

      They probably think they found a brilliant way to defeat Our Beloved Commander - by replacing Rapist Joe with some other rapist, at the moment when there isn't enough time left to expose and attack the replacement. This is why they're so scared that the election might be postponed.

      We'll see.

      Delete
    5. You can keep repeating Rapist Joe but it isn't going to stick because too many people are familiar with Biden and his work as VP. He is the safe choice. Anyone who thinks he was a rapist back in the early 1990s (before affirmative consent laws) is going to set aside that concern in favor of voting Trump out of office and into a jail cell.

      Delete
    6. Trump is going to be re-elected.

      Basement dwelling Biden is the best Biden that will ever be evaluated. It's all downhill from here.

      Delete
    7. That's why Trump is treading gently. He doesn't want Biden replaced. Pretty good chance Democrats try to do it but it's going to be a disaster either way because Bernie Bros are going to expect it to be the 2nd place finisher.

      Delete
  10. There is a good reason for having the Goldwater Rule, which, by the way, was reaffirmed in 2017 by the American Psychiatric Association.

    Without it, there is the danger that psychiatry becomes another political football. Surely there are some conservative psychiatrists who would be willing to make the case that Hillary has a personality disorder and is dangerous. This kind of thing could become the norm in every future presidential election.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, faulty psychiatric work, publicly done, tends to reduce the trust patients in general have in their psychiatrists. Trust is very important.

      Delete
  11. Bandy Lee claims in her book that she and her fellow contributors are not trying to diagnose Trump, but rather to assess his “dangerousness.” There is even an essay in the book entitled “The Issue Is Dangerousness, Not Mental Illness.”

    But how then to assess “dangerousness?”

    Lee mentions the Comey firing in her introduction.

    The Comey firing, among several other things, was listed in the Mueller Report as a possible obstruction of justice by Trump. In fact, hundreds of former federal prosecutors, from both parties, issued a statement finding clear evidence that the Mueller Report did indeed show that Trump obstructed justice, which many would argue is dangerous.

    Somerby dismissed those experts, finding the evidence unconvincing.

    This example of dangerousness, the subordination of the justice department to presidential whim, is either scoffed at or ignored by Somerby.

    The psychiatrists in Lee’s book also point to Trump’s lies, over and over again, as evidence of Trump’s dangerousness/disorder. Somerby has attacked the media again and again for using the word “lie” in connection with Trump.

    And yet, these psychiatric experts must be taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Comey firing, among several other things, was listed in the Mueller Report as a possible obstruction of justice by Trump."

      But it's already been established a million times that the FBI was engaged in a treasonous project to overthrow the duly elected president.

      Banana-republic-style, a-la (in essence) the Psycho-Witch vis-a-vis Honduras. In fact, Comey&Co should be happy they weren't put against the wall.

      And incidentally, there's still a chance that justice will catch up with them, albeit in a softer, more civilized way...

      Delete
    2. Benghazi overthrew the election, of the duly elected President 9/11, who was married to Dijon Mustard on a hamburger, all just to install waterboarding as the next deep state to Trump's six bankruptcies.

      How many times are you going to make me prove this?

      Delete
    3. 4:42,
      dembot zombies aren't going to believe those facts.

      Delete
    4. I agree that firing Comey did not constitute "obstruction of justice" though obviously all don't agree. The dem pols and pundits certainly went off the rails on the whole Russia tack.Interestingly, the official reason for firing Comey was his ludicrous unfiarness and violation of accepted, and valid protocols, in his public statements on the Clinton's email account. Just because that is the case doesn't mean that Mao isn't an insane zealot who tries so hard to channel Goebbels in his approach to those who don't like Trump.

      Delete
  12. Lance Dodes’ TV appearances have been deeply unimpressive. They consist of “Trump lies, he showed no empathy...he’s a sociopath!”

    Frankly, I found Bandy Lee’s book underwhelming as well.

    There was an impressive list of credentials, however.

    Well, except for Tony Schwartz, ghost writer of Trump’s book.

    ReplyDelete
  13. DC wrote about this subject last week. https://www.dcreport.org/2020/04/24/trumps-derangement-threatens-the-entire-world/

    ReplyDelete
  14. The coverage of the pandemic at MSNBC has been unrelentingly harsh towards Trump. Are they getting it right?

    And we all know Somerby doesn’t do Fox criticism, but there’s a lot of material there too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. From David Frum:

    “Sorry to be a TV bore, alway repeating the same thing. My only defense: it's true. The Trump plan today remains what it was last week: take the punch, ride it out, count on most of the casualties being non-Trump voters.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1254914106219470850

    This seems at least plausible. It would mean that the Trump Administration developed this plan early on.

    Mental illness, or calculated strategy, with Donald Trump press briefings as sideshows?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ilya, first I acknowledge that some things Trump did were ineffective or turned out badly. This comment includes some of the sane, effective actions, per your request.
    1. Using Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx as his medical advisors, and actually following their advice.
    2. Choosing VP Pence to head the task force. Pence surprised me by how well he has done. I don’t think former VPs Quayle or Biden could have done as well.
    3. Establishing a “public-private partnership.” He brought numerous corporations and universities fully into the fight against corona virus. As a result, stup0endous amounts of ventilators, tests, PPE, etc. were invented, produced, distributed and utilized.
    4. Motivating all these public and private groups to work their heads off. E.g., Trump has been criticized for wild optimism, but optimism is a key motivator. A football coach doesn’t tell the team that they’re overmatched and don’t have a chance. Bringing CEOs to speak at his press briefings motivates those companies, their employees. It also encourages other companies to contribute.
    5. Choosing and implementing an economic policy that led to the longest economic expansion in history and the greatest prosperity in history.
    6. Discrediting the biased media. For decades the media were biased against Republicans and in favor of Democrats. Their bias got a lot more severe in favor of Barack Obama and much more severe against Donald Trump. Trump cleverly used the media’s bias to get lots of free publicity, which helped him win the Presidential nomination. As President, he exposed and illuminated the media’s bias. He drove home their bias by properly using the epithet “Fake News!” As a result, the media’s bias and opposition have less impact. Their bad reputation might even convince them to reform, at least I hope so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      Why would the NY Times spend 2016 pretending to care that Republicans were pretending to care about Clinton's email protocols?
      Probably Trump tricked them, using their own bias for wanting a HUGE tax break from him. In the end, Trump tricked them back, by giving them that HUGE tax break in exchange for them showing their bias and spending 2016 to front page a Hillary non-scandal.
      Say what you will, but Trump is definitely stupid peoples idea of a smart person

      Delete
    2. You're shitting me, David, right? Your post reads as a PR bullshit 101 class; or some corporate ladder climber resume. There's not a single -- not fucking one -- policy accomplishment there. Fauci has been around since before dirt. Appointed Pence to lead the task force? How's that working out? States are forming their own confederations -- that's how useless the federal government is. Discredited liberal media...I'll leave that one without comment.

      But at least you're opening my eyes into how people can vote for this conman, grifter, and a serial rapists. They have a major cognitive dissonance, where they are they are reading fucking tea leaves; or looking at the clouds and saying, "methinks it's a weasel".

      Name a single goddamn accomplishment. What was his "economic policy that he chose"? Could it be that the recovery continued apace since Obama? Oh, wait, we have 28 million unemployed now. Whose accomplishment is that?
      It's fucking surreal, David!

      Delete
    3. Could it be that the recovery continued apace since Obama?

      Well, no. Because that never happened in our entire history. Every other economic expansion in our entire history ended more quickly. Only Trump's policies kept the economy continuing to expand beyond any historic end point.

      Trump did a lot things to produce this uniquely excellent economic growth: pro-business policies, massive regulatory reform, cut in corporate income tax rates, supporting the Keystone pipeline, rather than opposing it, not appointing judges who would twist the law to rule against businesses, negotiating an improved version of NAFTA, negotiating a better trade agreement with China, etc. His fight against illegal immigration was one reason why real median income went up.

      Delete
    4. *** Public Service Announcement ***

      DAinCA is an idiot, morally and intellectually. He is, in fact, this commentariat’s Village Idiot. He is incapable of independent thought, swallowing whole right-wing talking points and regurgitating them here. You may rely on his every statement to be wrong. Please do not abuse him in comments. Reasonable people do not ascribe agency to idiots.

      Let me pick the following three claims from his list of policy “accomplishments”:

      1. “an improved version of NAFTA” This new version is called USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada-Agreement). I’m no expert on trade agreements, but from what I’ve read this one seems to have some improvements over its predecessor. Regardless of whether that’s true, USMCA could have played no part in the US economy prior to the wreckage of same due to the Trumpandemic. That’s because the new treaty isn’t scheduled to take effect until July 1 of this year.

      2. “supporting the Keystone pipeline” This is a reference to the fourth phase of an oil pipeline project called Keystone XL. (The other three phases were completed before Trump took office.) The project, which Charles Pierce calls “a continent-spanning death funnel and perpetual conservative fetish object” also could have had no effect on the economy. That’s because it hasn’t been completed, and in fact, a federal judge has stopped construction on Keystone XL, and his ruling has been upheld on appeal.

      3. “negotiating a better trade agreement with China” The new trade deal does commit China to buying more agricultural goods from us (but only for two years), and it does attempt to stop China’s egregious theft of intellectual property. It’s hard to say whether the new agreement will make up for the losses American farmers sustained in the ongoing trade war that Trump started. But even if the new deal is a total boon, the agreement could not have had any benefits to the economy. That’s because it was only signed on January 15 of this year, before it could have any effect and just before Trump’s incompetence destroyed the economy.

      Delete
    5. "But at least you're opening my eyes into how people can vote for this conman, grifter, and a serial rapist."

      Don't overthink it. David loves Trump's bigotry. That's all there is to it.

      Delete
  17. Notice that none of your accomplishments is about anything that affects middle and working class people, much less poor people. It is all about business. Is this really all that Republicans carry around in their heads?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @5:58 PM - Huh? Fighting corona virus helps people of any class. The economic boom helped poor, middle and working class people, because millions of unemployed people found jobs. Also, for the first time in over a decade, workers got raises in excess of inflation. Trump is now trying to reduce wage taxes for SS and Medicare. That would help lower-paid workers, for whom these assessments are larger than their income tax.

      Delete
    2. David, the boom is over. It sounds like you are saying that poor people should be happy just to be alive.

      Delete
    3. Yes, @7:17, the boom sure is over, becuase of the shutdowns required by the corona virus. I think Trump has a better chance to get the economy back on its feet than Biden does. YMMV.

      Delete
    4. becuase of the shutdowns required by the laziness, incompetence, ineptness, and monumental hubris of the gambler in chief, Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, ignoring the predictable impact of the Covid-19 spreading across our nation.

      The battle to prevent Americans from understanding what happened January to April will be one of the biggest propaganda and freedom of information fights in modern US history.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mixed-messages-and-martial-metaphors-trump-sows-confusion-about-how-to-reopen-the-country/2020/04/23/f8beb03e-8579-11ea-ae26-989cfce1c7c7_story.html … So much is public that everything will ride on his manufacture of confusion.

      Delete
    5. "I think Trump has a better chance to get the economy back on its feet than Biden does."

      Is that based on Trump's uncanny ability to run businesses into the ground?
      BTW, which of Trump's 6 bankruptcies is your favorite?

      Delete
    6. There's not a single goddamn accomplishment there. It's an assortment of buzz words...you forgot to throw in synergy there some place.

      Delete
    7. Ilya, not quite. DAinCA's list contains some policies that Trump espoused and implemented. I've mentioned three above. The problem is that none of the three has been in operation so far during Trump's term, and so none of them could have had any influence on the economy.

      Delete
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