Sopan Deb said of Trump’s crazy press conference yesterday, “Thoughts and prayers to anyone who has to pick a headline from this presser,” and when was the last time the press has had to say something like this about a presidential press conference?
It was inevitable, perhaps, when it is Donald Trump itching to prove his White House is not in chaos by using a completely chaotic press conference to prove it. A calm, orderly display would have been much more surprising, if far less embarrassing.
Our own Jason Easley offered a succinct description of what we all saw: “Trump Has A Mental Collapse At Press Conference As He Blames The Media For His Failures.” And Trump fact-checker Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star gave his paper a thumb’s up for their effort:
A+ Toronto Star front-page headline pic.twitter.com/X3EL5halr8
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 17, 2017
Katy Tur: "Well that was a doozy of a press conference."
— Jason Linkins (@dceiver) February 16, 2017
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 16, 2017
There are only so many words in the English language to describe what happened yesterday. It is not surprising there would be some overlap.
Joy Reid’s response was especially apropos:
One more note on the mad, mad #TrumpPressConference today: Trump has constructed a reality in which he walked into a world in utter chaos…
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) February 17, 2017
It’s remarkable: Trump says he’s not ranting as he rants. Hey says his White House is “running like a fine-tuned machine.” But all this is theater. It’s all a generated by Trump himself. As he has control, presumably, of what he says, why would he create a reality so not beneficial to himself?
One Republican senator – we don’t know who – texted CNN’s John King to say, “He should do this with a therapist, not on live television.”
Trump said, “The tone is such hatred,” but in truth, there is so much madness. Psychiatrist Allen Frances says Trump is bad, not mad, but if he is not clinically crazy, he’s putting on a good show. Hitler did too, come to think of it.
But Hitler was smart enough to rant in front of a mirror first. It was for effect. It is far less certain Trump has this level of self-discipline.
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin took the opportunity to ask:
What about those colluding with foreign adversaries? Will they be caught, Mr. President? https://t.co/DCexUOJM2c
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) February 16, 2017
Of course, author John Scalzi has a solution to this conundrum: “Trump isn’t mentally ill. He’s a schmuck.”
In fact, Trump’s rant yesterday put the exclamation to a point the same author made a point back in January:
Reminder: the same jerks who call liberals "snowflakes" elected the whiniest petulant motherfucker in the entire history of the presidency.
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) January 13, 2017
Nothing like this has ever been seen before on these shores. It can be hoped nothing like this will ever be seen again. We are so ill-prepared to deal with it. We are not used to seeing it from grown men, let alone presidents.
It may be left to future historians to at last make sense of the Trump presidency. Right now, the ranting and raving is flowing so fast and furious it is difficult to keep up.
And maybe that’s the idea, to throw us off kilter and then keep us off-balance with his ranting. We can’t know because even if we asked, he would lie, and then lie about lying.
Ultimately, Trump again left a lasting impression of himself as a big baby, whining about his ill-treatment. Yes, a man with a golden toilet playing the victim.
It’s sad. And it’s embarrassing. The truly lamentable fact is not that this won’t be the last time see Donald Trump do this but that awful as his display was, it can only be scratching at the surface of the reality of the Trump White House.