MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021
Chait's report disappears: In her column in this morning's New York Times, Jennifer Senior gets it right—again. Here's an early chunk of her column:
SENIOR (1/11/20): Our president has always been out there. But on Jan. 6, 2021, he clearly reached escape velocity and hurtled into space.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The president’s flight into the ozone of crazy was as inevitable as the country’s descent into anarchy—and almost certainly intertwined. Trump, as I and many others have noted, impeccably meets the criteria of a malignant narcissist, and he has a defect in moral conscience that is emblematic of psychopaths. People like this do not react well to being fired, divorced or kicked out of any club. They’re ego hemophiliacs. Their self-esteem cannot self-repair. And so the president is now doing exactly what all pathological narcissists of the malignant, conscience-free variety do when they’ve been given the boot. They behave dangerously.
We'll go ahead and dispute one point, while being grateful that we have, on the rare occasion, an upper-end columnist as good as Senior.
Here's the point we'll semi-dispute:
In the highlighted passage, Senior says that she "and many others" have taken note of Trump's apparent psychiatric state.
That's certainly true of Senior herself. To her vast credit, she broke through the press corps' embargo on such discussions with this column, published on April 5.
Amazing! Semior wrote a column about the president's dangerous psychiatric state, even after the Times had instructed the upper-end guild that they mustn't go there!
(Giving credit where it's due, the Times published both of Senior's columns.)
Once again, Senior's new column includes a very sensible discussion of Trump's apparent psychiatric disabilities / disorders. That said, we'll quibble with the statement that, along with Senior herself, "many others" have taken note of this dangerous state of affairs.
Senior offers two links in support of her statement. She links to this essay by George Conway, one of the crackpot conservative world's original anti-Clinton elves. Conway's essay appeared online, on October 3, at the web site of The Atlantic.
In his essay, Conway discussed Trump's (apparent) "personality disorders" at substantial length. Yes, it was rather late in the game. But few other journalists did this.
Senior's other link goes to this book review in the Washington Post—a review of three books about Trump and/or the American people.
This review appeared in September 2017. One of three books was The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee's collection of essays about Trump's allegedly dangerous clinical state.
A few months after that review in the Post, the New York Times published an editorial saying that journalists shouldn't conduct discussion of Trump's psychiatric state.
As usual, journalists fell into line. Aside from the (very) occasional person like Senior herself, there has been almost no discussion of the dangerous state of affairs described by Lee's contributors.
To an almost total extent, the upper-end press corps has agreed—the state of Donald Trump's mental health mustn't be discussed. You've almost never seen such discussions on cable, a point we may discuss in a bit more detail tomorrow.
We'll quibble, therefore, with that one statement by Senior. In fact, the press corps' refusal to discuss Trump's apparently dangerous psychiatric disorders is one of the several ways we managed to reach this (dangerous) point.
That said, Senior's new column is superb. It follows her original column, in which she broke the rules of the game by discussing Trump's apparent disorders.
Again and again and again and again, the others have agreed not to go there. Also, please don't eat the daisies—and please discuss the nukes!
Today, we'll cite one other recent essay—this essay by Jonathan Chait for New York magazine. He discusses ongoing research about the accomplishments of charter schools, especially when it comes to the education (and well-being) of lower-income black kids.
Is it true, as Chait claims, that this research is beginning to look very good? We have no idea, and this topic will never be discussed in the wider press.
Our press corps doesn't care about that topic, and it never will. More enjoyably, we're now immersed, all over again, in impeaching Donald J. Trump.
Endless posturing to the side, our Hamptons-based, upper-end press corps doesn't care about black kids. Quite plainly, they don't care about kids like that, and they never will.
Chait's essay appears beneath this heading: THE NATIONAL INTEREST.
In one way, that's very true. In another way, what a laugh!