Working for Donald Trump has got to be just about the worst job in the Western world. The D-word comes to mind as a reason: deranged. How do you defend a deranged boss from criticism?
Remember the lengths to which Katrina Pierson was reduced when it was her turn to explain the inexplicable:
“He hasn’t changed his position on immigration. He’s changed the words that he is saying.”
And when it was Kellyanne Conway’s turn she did no better, responding to Chuck Todd’s point that Sean Spicer had “utter[ed] a provable falsehood” that Spicer was just giving “alternative facts.”
We can see the effects of this, as can Trump, notes The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman:
Trump was frustrated by the Sunday shows today/felt people didn't defend him strongly enough on his Obama claim, per ppl close to him.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 5, 2017
If Trump was frustrated by his would-be defenders, that feeling probably only scratches the surface of those trying to defend him when they wake up each morning to discover new crazy allegations they’re going to be expected to defend. Trump expects to be defended on Sunday shows no matter how crazy he sounds.
And he sounds pretty crazy: as WaPo’s Karen Tumulty explains,
Donald Trump’s presidency has veered onto a road with no centerlines or guardrails. https://t.co/WHeGibkeU1
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) March 5, 2017
How do you defend a president whom one former Bush White House aide characterizes as an “erratic, vindictive, volatile, obsessive, a chronic liar”?
Where do you go once you’ve employed the “alternative facts” and “changed the words that he is saying” defenses? And this is a president who is regularly Trumping his own deranged pronouncements. It’s one thing to lie about inauguration attendance; it is quite another to claim President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.
David Farenthold points to a Washington Post story, “Inside Trump’s Fury,” about which he says, “Incredible how much time the @realDonaldTrump admin spends trying to shape media coverage of itself.” If this is the Trump administration trying to shape media coverage of itself, it is no wonder Trump has declared bankruptcy so often.
An observer begins to detect a trend. In the corporate world, Trump was able to hide his incompetence; it is much more difficult to do when you’re president of the United States. The result is, as the WaPo story tells us, a Trump at Mar-a-Lago, who “was mad — steaming, raging mad” because “Trump’s young presidency has existed in a perpetual state of chaos.”
It goes without saying that this state of chaos has been brought on by Trump himself. As Jake Tapper made clear yesterday,
“WH officials with whom I spoke said POTUS got the info about wiretap from media – Breitbart, Levin – not from govt sources.”
With sources like this, it is not easy to understand how Trump thinks this is somehow going to end well for him, when those are his sources. Outside of the Fox News bubble, they sound as insane as they are.
It is on this basis that Trump demands investigations of President Obama. It is no wonder that FBI Director James Comey refuses to let Trump throw the FBI under the bus and spoke out yesterday.
While not everything the editors of the conservative Weekly Standard wanted to see produced, “the relevant FISA warrants and requests, if there were any,” Comey made clear that in this, at least, the FBI’s hands were clean. They had not broken the law.
He called Trump a liar. Trump forced Comey to say this. And this isn’t disloyalty by Comey, though certainly, that is how Trump probably describes it. It is Comey backed into a corner by a deranged president whose every pronouncement has less basis in fact.
And that is what is going to increasingly happen as Trump digs himself deeper. Far from a weak defense on Sunday shows being a major problem, outright allegations of lying.
The world has largely refused to conform itself to Trump’s alternate reality, which is why the president needs to travel with a cheering section. His rallies are the only solace he can find, and those are to diminishing numbers of supporters.
Trump’s ranting and raving and blaming everything he does on others are not likely to produce him any new supporters, and he is rapidly running out those he already has.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.