Friday, February 10, 2017

HE ALONE CAN'T FIX IT

Politico says that Donald Trump is grumpy:
Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.

In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, [including] congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives....

The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation.
The poor dear -- he was supposed to make America great again single-handedly, and lesser mortals were just supposed to yield to him. He was supposed to face no congressional or popular resistance when he nominated the most radical cabinet in modern history; affected parties, the courts, and the public were just supposed to suck it up and give in when he issued extreme, hastily drawn-up executive orders. He's the alpha male! Why isn't everyone just acknowledging his obvious dominance?

David Brooks thinks the president just needs a buddy or two:
If you could give Donald Trump the gift of a single trait to help his presidency, what would it be?

... the gift I would give Trump would be an emotional gift, the gift of fraternity. I’d give him the gift of some crisis he absolutely could not handle on his own. The only way to survive would be to fall back entirely on others, and then to experience what it feels like to have them hold him up.

Out of that, I hope, would come an ability to depend on others, to trust other people, to receive grace, and eventually a desire for companionship....

Donald Trump didn’t have to have an administration that was at war with everyone but its base....

He doesn’t have to begin each day making enemies: Nordstrom, John McCain, judges. He could begin each day looking for friends, and he would actually get a lot more done.
But Trump was raised to believe that life is war and the way to win is to be a lone wolf and the meanest SOB on the planet -- and then, perhaps more important for the present circumstances, he was politicized by Fox News, a channel run for years by Roger Ailes, who also believes that life is war and America needs a strongman. The new Ailes in Trump's life, Steve Bannon, also believes in strongmen and perpetual war.

This is the worldview of modern conservatism: cooperation is evil, and collective action even by allies isn't as good as heroic individualism. And when heroes act, it's all supposed to work the way it does in the movies: Their bullets always hit their targets, their enemies are always permanently vanquished, and only good things result from their actions.

Trump was supposed to just roll right over the rest of us. His fan base believed that. He believed that. Strongmen always win, you see, and conservatives who talk tough are always strongmen.

It's not working out like a movie, or a Fox tribute to Ronald Reagan. No wonder Trump is confused.

12 comments:

Jeffery said...

"Ha -ha!" Nelson Muntz.

DRickard said...

finger crossed, Emperor Tangerine rage quite and Pence fires Bannon...

Never Ben Better said...

"Goddamn it! Tell those goddamned judges they're fired and get me some who'll do what I say!"

"...But, sir, you can't just fire a federal judge...."

"What? What the hell do you mean, I can't fire them? I'm the goddamned President! They work for ME!"

"...But sir, that isn't how it works...."

"WHAT?!? That's ridiculous! Go change it, then, and fire their damned asses!"

"...But sir, you can't just...."

"Don't you tell me I can't! You're fired!"

simon said...

Poor guy.

If only he could read, The Fountainhead would have warned him about the chains that oppress geniuses like him.

flipyrwhig said...

Psst, hey, David Brooks, maybe Donald Trump doesn't have any friends because he's one of the biggest assholes on the planet. And maybe he's a bad president because he's a bullying idiot who doesn't know anything, never had to learn the meaning of "no," and is opposed to the idea of learning.

duquesnepdx said...

I repeat what I said before: ""Awww, maybe he just needs a hug" is not really my take on Derp Fuhrer." Brooks imagining positive character traits in the man is the last throes of Both-Siderism, and it's really pathetic to watch. I'd like to throw the man an anvil so he'll drown faster.

Derp Fuhrer thought it was going to be like being a king, where he orders and everyone else runs to get it done. Unfortunately for him, he failed his Civics classes.

Mind you, he's been there all of three weeks, he hasn't had a single bill come across his desk, and he's still in the 'honeymoon phase' of his residency. It hasn't gotten tough, yet. I wonder if he'll be the first President to resign prior to the start of the impeachment process.

Jonny Scrum-half said...

This analysis is absolutely true. Modern conservatism has devolved into a series of slogans and talking points, with no analysis supporting them. It's fine to ridicule them, but unfortunately they're in charge now, and their shallow and immature approach to issues is a serious problem for our country and the world.

Professor Fate said...

"He doesn’t have to begin each day making enemies"
Au contraire mon Ami - it's all he knows how to do when dealing with people he has to bully them into submission. If they won't yield he either ups the attacks or just ignores them after that.

And David - if a 70 year old man doesn't have friends, there's a reason for it and it's not because he forgot to get some at the friend store. Being a friend involves give and take and 45 is all take.

Diane Rodriguez said...

Christ, a "gift." The so called president is a malignant narcissist. That means empathy isn't remotely in his wheelhouse and he would find it counterproductive anyway.Fraternity. Really? The "gift" should benefit the rest of us and your imagination can exercise free range. Brooks needs the gift of a 2x4 up the side of his head. He's nearly as deranged as the so called president. Speaking of "let's all be friends"....Cillizza is also at it in WAPO with his love poem to Marquito who went all "civil" on us on the Senate floor after Warren was slapped and pushed into her chair.

Stop trying to attribute any normal impulses to Trump or even the capacity to feel them. There's absolutely no evidence that he is benign in any measure.

mlbxxxxxx said...

David Brooks can keep his "crisis," thanks anyway. Like Trump would learn humility from a crisis he can't handle alone. He can't handle anything alone -- but it never dawns on him, he just claims the efforts of others.

When it seems like the world is upside down, I guess it's nice to know that David Brooks is still as stupid as ever. Some things never change.

Green Eagle said...

"But Trump was raised to believe that life is war and the way to win is to be a lone wolf and the meanest SOB on the planet..."

That's exactly what Adolf Hitler believed. And he thought he was the meanest SOB on the planet. Then, he ran into Joe Stalin.

I think that, right now, we are in the nonaggression pact stage with Putin. When Putin is good and ready, he will teach Trump a lesson like Russia taught Hitler and Napoleon, and before them, Charles XII of Sweden.

rclz said...

xxx