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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 06, 2020, 05:49:21 pm

Title: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 06, 2020, 05:49:21 pm

from The Washington Post…

The worst president. Ever.

Move over, James Buchanan.

By MAX BOOT | 9:00AM EDT — Sunday, April 05, 2020

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/HKZTETTWBQI6VLM3EVHMTGMTXQ.jpg&w=725) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/HKZTETTWBQI6VLM3EVHMTGMTXQ.jpg&w=1440)
President Donald J. Trump in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 3.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

UNTIL NOW, I have generally been reluctant to label Donald Trump the worst president in U.S. history. As a historian, I know how important it is to allow the passage of time to gain a sense of perspective. Some presidents who seemed awful to contemporaries (Harry S. Truman) or simply lackluster (Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush) look much better in retrospect. Others, such as Thomas Jefferson and Woodrow Wilson, don't look as good as they once did.

So I have written, as I did on March 12 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/12/who-could-have-predicted-trump-would-be-such-bad-crisis-manager-everyone-actually), that Trump is the worst president in modern times — not of all time. That left open the possibility that James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding or some other nonentity would be judged more harshly. But in the past month, we have seen enough to take away the qualifier “in modern times.” With his catastrophic mishandling of the coronavirus (https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/28/what-you-need-know-about-coronavirus), Trump has established himself as the worst president in U.S. history.

His one major competitor for that dubious distinction remains Buchanan, whose dithering (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-worst-president-james-buchanan-214252) helped lead us into the Civil War — the deadliest conflict (https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/civil-war-casualties) in U.S. history. Buchanan may still be the biggest loser. But there is good reason to think that the Civil War would have broken out no matter what. By contrast, there is nothing inevitable about the scale of the disaster we now confront.

The situation is so dire, it is hard to wrap your mind around it. The Atlantic notes (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/economy-ruined-it-didnt-have-be-way/609334/): “During the Great Recession of 2007–2009, the economy suffered a net loss of approximately 9 million jobs. The pandemic recession has seen nearly 10 million unemployment claims in just two weeks.” The New York Times estimates that the unemployment rate is now about 13 percent (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/upshot/coronavirus-jobless-rate-great-depression.html), the highest since the Great Depression ended 80 years ago.

Far worse is the human carnage. We already have more confirmed coronavirus cases (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries) than any other country. Trump claimed on February 26 that the outbreak would soon be “down to close to zero” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/12/trump-coronavirus-timeline/). Now he argues that if the death toll is 100,000 to 200,000 — higher than the U.S. fatalities in all of our wars combined since 1945 (https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/fauci-coronavirus-could-kill-100-000-to-200-000-americans.html) — it will be proof that he's done “a very good job” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/30/trump-moves-coronavirus-goal-posts-pre-spinning-100000-deaths-very-good-job).

No, it will be a sign that he's a miserable failure, because the coronavirus is the most foreseeable catastrophe in U.S. history. The warnings about the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks were obvious only in retrospect. This time, it didn't require any top-secret intelligence to see what was coming. The alarm was sounded in January by experts in the media (https://www.wsj.com/articles/act-now-to-prevent-an-american-epidemic-11580255335) and by leading Democrats (https://twitter.com/politicalmiller/status/1245551828672135169) including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Government officials were delivering similar warnings directly to Trump. A team of Washington Post reporters wrote on Saturday (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/04/04/coronavirus-government-dysfunction): “The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on January 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/us-intelligence-reports-from-january-and-february-warned-about-a-likely-pandemic/2020/03/20/299d8cda-6ad5-11ea-b5f1-a5a804158597_story.html) to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus — the first of many — in the President's Daily Brief.” But Trump wasn't listening.

The Washington Post article is the most thorough dissection of Trump's failure to prepare for the gathering storm. Trump was first briefed on the coronavirus by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on January 18. But, The Washington Post writes, “Azar told several associates that the president believed he was ‘alarmist’ and Azar struggled to get Trump's attention to focus on the issue.” When Trump was first asked publicly about the virus, on January 22, he said, “We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China.”

In the days and weeks after Azar alerted him about the virus, Trump spoke at eight rallies and golfed six times as if he didn't have a care in the world.

Trump's failure to focus, The Washington Post notes, “sowed significant public confusion and contradicted the urgent messages of public health experts.” It also allowed bureaucratic snafus to go unaddressed — including critical failures to roll out enough tests or to stockpile enough protective equipment and ventilators.

Countries as diverse as Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, South Korea, Georgia and Germany (https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/02/countries-succeeding-flattening-curve-coronavirus-testing-quarantine/) have done far better — and will suffer far less. South Korea and the United States discovered their first cases on the same day. South Korea now has 183 dead (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries) — or 4 deaths per 1 million people. The U.S. death ratio (25 per 1 million) is six times worse — and rising quickly.

This fiasco is so monumental that it makes our recent failed presidents — George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — Mount Rushmore material by comparison. Trump's Friday night announcement that he's firing the intelligence community inspector general (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-says-he-will-fire-intelligence-watchdog-at-center-of-ukraine-allegations-that-led-to-impeachment/2020/04/03/d0b873d4-761c-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html) who exposed his attempted extortion of Ukraine shows that he combines the ineptitude of a George W. Bush or a Carter with the corruption of Richard Nixon.

Trump is characteristically working hardest at blaming others — China, the media, governors, President Barack Obama, the Democratic impeachment managers, everyone but his golf caddie — for his blunders. His mantra is (https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/13/trump-coronavirus-testing-128971): “I don't take responsibility at all.” It remains to be seen whether voters will buy his excuses. But whatever happens in November, Trump cannot escape the pitiless judgment of history.

Somewhere, a relieved James Buchanan must be smiling.


Max Boot (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/max-boot) is a historian, best-selling author and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world's leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for The Washington Post and a global affairs analyst for CNN. Boot's latest book — The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1631495674) — was released in October 2018 by Norton/Liveright. His previous book, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0871409410), came out in January 2018 and became a New York Times bestseller. It was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month and praised as an “epic and elegant biography” by The Wall Street Journal, “judicious and absorbing” by The New York Times and “a superb scholarly achievement” by Foreign Policy. Boot is also the author of three previous books that were all widely acclaimed: The New York Times bestseller Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0871404249) (W.W. Norton & Co./Liveright, 2013), which The Wall Street Journal said “is destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest as well as the hardest form of war”; War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1592402224) (Gotham Books, 2006), which was hailed as a “magisterial survey of technology and war” by The New York Times; and The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F9FQVGC) (Basic Books, 2002), which won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation as the best non-fiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history and has been placed on Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy professional reading lists. Boot has served as an adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2007-08, Mitt Romney's campaign in 2011-12 and Senator Marco Rubio's campaign in 2015-16. Boot is a frequent public speaker and guest on radio and television news programs. He has lectured on behalf of the State Department and at many military institutions, including the Army, Navy and Air War Colleges, the Australian Defense College, the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School, West Point and the Naval Academy. In 2004, Boot was named by the World Affairs Councils of America as one of “the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy.” In 2007, he won the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism, given annually to a writer who exhibits “love of country and its democratic institutions” and “bears witness to the evils of totalitarianism.” In 2018, he was named one of America's “Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Corporation. Before joining the Council in 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the last five as op-ed editor. From 1992 to 1994 he was an editor and writer at the Christian Science Monitor. In more recent years, Boot has been a columnist for Foreign Policy, a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times, a member of the USA Today board of contributors, and a regular contributor to many other publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He serves on the boards of Intelligence Squared U.S. and the Renew Democracy Initiative. Max Boot holds a BA in history from University of California at Berkeley; and a MA in history from Yale University.


Related to this topic:

 • Daniel W. Drener: Trump has handled the coronavirus the way he handles everything: Like a toddler. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/trump-toddler-coronavirus-pandemic/2020/04/02/163f5c04-7435-11ea-85cb-8670579b863d_story.html)

 • Max Boot: Who could have predicted Trump would be such a bad crisis manager? Everyone, actually. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/12/who-could-have-predicted-trump-would-be-such-bad-crisis-manager-everyone-actually)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/05/worst-president-ever (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/05/worst-president-ever)

Title: Re: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 06, 2020, 11:29:50 pm

from The New York Times…

This Is What Happens When a Narcissist Runs a Crisis

Trump's catastrophic performance has as much to do with psychology as ideology.

By JENNIFER SENIOR | Sunday, April 05, 2020

(https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/04/05/opinion/05seniorWeb/merlin_166167384_5cdc6f36-7fba-4a60-9203-4c841364eff4-jumbo.jpg) (https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/04/05/opinion/05seniorWeb/merlin_166167384_5cdc6f36-7fba-4a60-9203-4c841364eff4-superJumbo.jpg)
President Donald Trump last year at the White House. His mental health has been questioned since the early days of his administration.
 — Photograph: Damon Winter/The New York Timesith the basic.

SINCE the early days of the Trump administration, an impassioned group (https://www.adutytowarn.org/) of mental health professionals have warned the public about the president's cramped and disordered mind, a darkened attic of fluttering bats. Their assessments have been controversial. The American Psychiatric Association's code of ethics expressly forbids its members (https://www.lawfareblog.com/psychiatrists-goldwater-rule-trump-era) from diagnosing a public figure from afar.

Enough is enough. As I've argued before (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/opinion/trump-narcissism.html), an in-person analysis of Donald J. Trump would not reveal any hidden depths — his internal sonar could barely fathom the bottom of a sink — and these are exceptional, urgent times. Back in October, George T. Conway III, the conservative lawyer and husband of Kellyanne, wrote a long, devastating essay for The Atlantic (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/george-conway-trump-unfit-office/599128/), noting that Trump has all the hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder. That disorder was dangerous enough during times of prosperity, jeopardizing the moral and institutional foundations of our country.

But now we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. The president's pathology is endangering not just institutions, but lives.

Let's start with the basics. First: Narcissistic personalities like Trump harbor skyscraping delusions about their own capabilities. They exaggerate their accomplishments, focus obsessively on projecting power, and wish desperately to win.

What that means, during this pandemic: Trump says we've got plenty of tests available, when we don't (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/us/politics/trump-governors-coronavirus-testing.html). He declares that Google is building a comprehensive drive-thru testing website, when it isn't (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/us/politics/trump-google-coronavirus.html). He sends a Navy hospital ship to New York and it proves little more than an excuse for a campaign commercial, arriving and sitting almost empty in the Hudson. A New York hospital executive calls it a joke (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html).

Second: The grandiosity of narcissist personalities belies an extreme fragility, their egos as delicate as foam. They live in terror of being upstaged. They're too thin skinned to be told they're wrong.

What that means, during this pandemic: Narcissistic leaders never have, as Trump likes to say, the best people. They have galleries of sycophants. With the exceptions of Doctorrs Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, Trump has surrounded himself with a Z-team of dangerously inexperienced toadies and flunkies — the bargain-bin rejects from Filene's Basement — at a time when we require the brightest and most imaginative minds in the country.

Faced with a historic public health crisis, Trump could have assembled a first-rate company of disaster preparedness experts. Instead he gave the job to his son-in-law, a man-child of breathtaking vapidity. Faced with a historic economic crisis, Trump could have assembled a team of Nobel-prize winning economists or previous treasury secretaries. Instead he talks to Larry Kudlow, a former CNBC host.

Meanwhile, Fauci and Birx measure every word they say like old-time apothecaries, hoping not to humiliate the narcissist — never humiliate a narcissist — while discreetly correcting his false hopes and falsehoods. They are desperately attempting to create a safe space for our president, when the president should be creating a safer nation for all of us.

Third: Narcissistic personalities love nothing more than engineering conflict and sowing division. It destabilizes everyone, keeps them in control.

What that means, during this pandemic: Trump is pitting state against state for precious resources, rather than coordinating a national response. (“It's like being on eBay,” complained Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York last week.) His White House is a petty palace of competing power centers. He picks fights with Democratic officials and members of the press, when all the public craves is comfort.

Narcissistic personalities don't do comfort. They cannot fathom the needs of other hearts.

Fourth: Narcissistic personalities are vindictive. On a clear day, you can see their grudges forever.

What that means, during this pandemic: Trump is playing favorites with governors who praise him and punishing those who fail to give him the respect he believes he deserves. “If they don't treat you right, don't call,” he told Vice President Mike Pence.

His grudge match with New York is now especially lethal. When asked on Friday whether New York will have enough ventilators, Trump bluntly answered “No” (https://www.vox.com/2020/4/3/21207650/trump-coronavirus-press-conference-new-york-ventilators-cuomo), and then blamed the state.

And most relevant, as far as history is concerned: Narcissistic personalities are weak.

What that means, during this pandemic: Trump is genuinely afraid to lead. He can't bring himself to make robust use of the Defense Production Act, because the buck would stop with him. (To this day, he insists states should be acquiring their own ventilators.) When asked about delays in testing, he said, “I don't take responsibility at all.” During Friday's news conference, he added the tests “we inherited were broken, were obsolete,” when this form of coronavirus didn't even exist under his predecessor.

This sounds an awful lot like one of the three sentences that Homer Simpson swears will get you through life: “It was like that when I got here” (https://tinyurl.com/sv9ntv7).

Most people, even the most hot-headed and difficult ones, have enough space in their souls to set aside their anger in times of crisis. Think of Rudolph Giuliani during September 11 (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/03/opinion/coronavirus-giuliani-trump.html). Think of Andrew Cuomo now.

But every aspect of Trump's crisis management has been annexed by his psychopathology. As Americans die, he boasts about his television ratings (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/29/trump-tweets-touting-tv-ratings-coronavirus-briefings/2936761001/). As Americans die, he crows that he's No.1 on Facebook, which isn't close to true (https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/04/04/us/politics/ap-us-fact-check-week.html).

But it is true that all eyes are on him. He's got a captive audience, an attention-addict's dream come to life. It's just that he, like all narcissistic personalities, has no clue how disgracefully — how shamefully, how deplorably — he'll be enshrined in memory.


Jennifer Senior (https://www.nytimes.com/by/jennifer-senior) has been an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since September 2018. She had previously been a daily book critic for The N.Y. Times; before that, she spent many years as a staff writer for New York magazine, doing profiles and cover stories about politics, social science and mental health. Her best-selling book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TKHHKE8)" has been translated into 12 languages, and her work has been anthologized in many essay collections, including four volumes of The Best American Political Writing (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1586486438). She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Monday, April 6, 2020, on page A23 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Trump's Narcissism Could Cost Us Our Lives”.


Related to this topic:

 • Trump to New York: Drop Dead (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/opinion/trump-nyc-coronavirus.html) (March 24, 2020).

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/05/opinion/trump-coronavirus.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/05/opinion/trump-coronavirus.html)

Title: Re: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Im2Sexy4MyPants on April 08, 2020, 10:00:27 am


Title: Re: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 08, 2020, 11:13:15 am

I see you are engaging in diversionary tactics yet again in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the fact your “fake president” hero is a stupid moron who doesn't even have the intellectual capacity to run a flea farm, let along a country. Every time you post diversionary shit like that, you simply demonstrate that you are as stupid, moronic and intellectually-retarded as your hero.

Title: Re: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 15, 2020, 09:52:09 am

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVgk7s3XYAEPJ0w.jpg) (https://twitter.com/stevebrodner/status/1249789513280491522)

Title: Re: When the stupid “fake president” has an attention span of about 49 seconds…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 17, 2020, 03:39:57 pm

“Fake President” Donald J. Trump holding a daily press conference while seething with rage over being blamed for his own stupidity & ineptitude…

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVv4A-5UYAA2AtN.jpg) (https://twitter.com/domesticanimal/status/1250866023839883266)