Shoot them in the Legs

The President of America can’t spell “moat”.

It’s not difficult. In Primary Two children learn the pattern:

Boat

Float

Coat

Moat

It’s a letter and sound pattern understood by seven year olds.

Trump spelled it ‘Moot’.

But the question of whether Trump is stupid, illiterate, mentally ill or just deeply unstable and unsuited for his position is becoming important. The answer will decide whether the best way to remove Trump is impeachment or the 25th Amendment [ratified in 1967, it allows the vice-president to become “acting president” when “the vice-president and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or such other body as Congress may by law provide” declare a president incapacitated].

As the question of impeachment becomes more prominent, the pressure and stress is building and rapidly taking its toll. The latest example with the Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is trending globally as #TrumpMeltdown.

So which is it?

Back in 2017 a group of psychiatrists warned at a conference at Yale University that Donald Trump was in their clinical judgement suffering from a “dangerous mental illness” and was not fit to lead the USA.

It’s difficult to keep up with the bombardment of idiocy but a quick catch-up includes: cancelling a state visit to Denmark because Denmark wouldn’t sell Greenland to the US; repeatedly telling senior officials to explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes hitting the USA and; believing video games cause mass shootings.

His moat spelling problems stemmed from allegations published in the New York Times recounting an astonishing tirade in March this year in which White House advisers listened astonished as he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico — by noon the next day:

“Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.”

The exchange was corroborated by more than a dozen White House and administration officials.

The behaviour of Trump has become a sort of global social media game, with hashtags trending furiously as each new day brings a new madness.

But it is getting worse. As Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor has written:

“I think we have to face the truth that no one seems to want to admit. This is no longer a case of excessive narcissism or grandiosity. We’re not simply dealing with an unusually large ego. The president of the United States is seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable. And he’s getting worse by the day.”

Concentrating on Trumps personal behaviour is a distraction from the political phenomenon of Trumpism and the forces that drive it. As Jamie Maxwell has noted there are fears that a concentration on impeachment from Nancy Pelosi will lose the Democrats control of Congress and feed the presidents paranoid base. The sad reality is that Trump is falling apart and may have to be removed. But the better political outcome would be to remove him from office by voting him out. Any other solution feeds directly into his paranoid (and armed) base of supporters. Instead of concentrating on his deeply strange behaviour we should be asking why is his racism so popular and what has happened to America?

Comments (10)

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  1. Herbert Eppel says:

    Interesting analysis, thanks. On the other hand, at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/27/boris-johnson-brexit-supreme-court-donald-trump-impeachment Jonathan Freedland concludes: “Fighting populists might be like wrestling with a pig – you both get dirty, but the pig likes it – and yet it has to be done”.

  2. Jo says:

    The problem is that the Democrats and much of the media have been squealing blue murder from the day and hour Trump took office to get him out again. The main gripe was that Hillary hadn’t made it to the White House!

    We’ve seen numerous claims of this, that and the other all the way through. I’ve personally lost count. Consequently, by now it just seems like The Boy Who Cried Wolf so that no one pays much attention to the latest scandal. They’ve rather brought that on themselves.

    The impeachment process itself is hardly independent anyway. If the body which ultimately decides the fate of a president consists of members of his own Party then they’ll inevitably save his butt, as with Clinton. It’s a very partisan and awful setup.

    I’d also say that, “strange behaviour” or not, many other leading figures have wielded power throughout the world before now without being toppled.

  3. john burrows says:

    It’s not all that difficult to understand Mike.

    Successive Republican administrations since the nineties have worked towards silencing alternate opinion by concentrating the radio and television spectrums in the hands of an ever shrinking minority whose sole purpose is to deliver the message that Republican = good, while Democrat = servants of Satan. The odious Dirty Digger being the prime mover of the latter message via the contemptible Fox New.

    Just as the Red Tops/BBC have poisoned the well of democracy in the UK, their counterparts in the US have been engaged on the same mission.

    Uncomplicated people are simply responding to the daily stimuli that has infected their lives for going on thirty years now. Pavlovian conditioning is a powerful tool.

    Only breaking up the monopolies offers any chance of getting off the merry go round. Elizabeth Warren’s policy of doing just that, if she wins the Presidency, holds out some hope in the US. Unfortunately for the UK, all hope is already lost for the current generation. The Red Tops/BBC will continue to spew their mendacious bile for the foreseeable future, to all our loss.

    1. Jo says:

      John

      For what it’s worth I now despise “the media” and consider journalists even worse than politicians when it comes to corrupting truth. The BBC is right down there with the worst of them. In fact, it is the worst because it uses public money to spew its propaganda.

      On what’s happening in the US, however, I don’t see much difference between the Republicans and the Democrats when it comes to major flaws.

      From the moment Trump got elected the hysteria was cringeworthy. The press went into meltdown on both sides of the Atlantic. That hasn’t abated and they’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Trump. I pay attention but, at times, it’s been hard to take a lot of it seriously. At other times it’s scary that mere journos or political commentators can say what they think is the case and yet peddle that opinion as fact.

      The longer this has gone on in the US the more Trump’s supporters see a crusade against him. This is clearly why Pelosi has been so reluctant to go the impeachment route. She is worried it will hurt her Party.

      When balance goes out of the window journalism vanishes and becomes propaganda or worse.

      Even when our friends in the media are caught out, nothing happens. The BBC’s golden girl Laura Kuennsberg was the subject of a complaint. Footage of an interview she’d done with Corbyn had been deliberately doctored to make it appear he’d said something he simply hadn’t said. The interview went out. Corbyn was hammered in the press the next day. The complaint was upheld. Incredibly, in upholding the complaint, the BBC Trust declared that its decision didn’t mean Ms Kuennsberg didn’t remain “an excellent journalist”! I ask you! How can someone who has doctored an interview in order to damage a prominent politician be called an excellent journalist? She should have been sacked. But that’s what passes for “standards” at the BBC.

      It is difficult to trust the media at all and that’s the truth. There’s always an agenda. That probably makes the media the biggest danger at times.

      1. Ian S says:

        So glad I’m not the only one to feel this way about the media (far from it). The frightening reality as I see it is that ‘democracy’ is gamed, from the top down, it has been for a very long time and a big problem is that those in control have become so good at the manipulation, and the powerless seemingly so vulnerable to it, that it is genuinely hard to see at times how things can ever get better.

    2. john burrows says:

      The status of BBC though, still remains a profound mystery to me.

      It is just bizarre, that in a parliamentary democracy, every other political party is okay with every major BBC news program being fronted by either a card carrying, or associate member, or just good old pal of the Tory Party. Marr, Kuenssberg, Robinson, the lot of them. The BBC and the Tory Party are practically joined at the hip. From directors to grips. Dutifully turning up the heat when required, and toning it down to calm the savage breasts. Look, a squirrel!!!

      A publicly financed national broadcasting monopoly, handed over to a political party, is a pretty odd way to run a democracy though, don’t you think?

      Why and when did everyone actually agree it was a good idea to turn the BBC over to the Conservative and Unionist Party anyway? When is someone going to ask the Supreme Court for their opinion on these questions?

      The cynic in me has watched with interest as the British Frog has boiled slowly in a sauce pan for almost fifty years now, as their civil service, organs of state communications, parliament, corporate, industrial and service sectors have increasingly floundered in a sea of tiresomely inept, bafflingly obtuse, public school failures, overcompensating for being unable to tie their own shoe laces.

      Once upon a time, the ruling classes normally directed their chaff into the army and the clergy, to weed them out. A self checking mechanism. They lost this check when they decided to cut and run from their Empire. Having lost this healthy limit on their numbers, their idiots are now everywhere. Westminster is awash with them. In fact, they have been washing up throughout the apparatus of the UK in growing numbers. A literal red tide of idiocy injected into the body politic, at regular intervals. All of them with their dodgy passes from Eton, Oxbridge, Cambridge, etc. Monty Python was not mockery – it was prophecy.

      The overwhelming evidence of Tory reach into the apparatus of the BBC is now simply staggering. It is positively crawling with Johnson clones, and his mates from the Bullingdon Club, et.al.

      You would think it would at least be fair that people get a membership in the Tory Party after paying their license fee. 150 quid a year should at least get you a membership number, if they’re too cheap to give you a card.

      The Brits are a baffling enigma to me. Their eccentricity has seemingly metastasized into a fatal condition. Given the Tory popularity right now, it’s clear the British Frog still hasn’t noticed it is boiling to death. You’d think it would at least notice it was surrounded by vegetables. The surest sign yet we are all turning into soup.

    3. Derek Henry says:

      Ha Brilliant!

      From the man who claims he is left leaning but everything he does is liberal.

      You are a Blairite John aren’t you ? A neoliberal globalist. Go on admit it.

      Scratching your head wondering why everywhere you look the battle rages between nation state and globalisation. My guess is you even see the yellow vests in France as your natural enemy. You think CNN is telling you truth as your go to US news channel. As they beat their liberal drums for endless wars.

      Those damn populists.

      Join and vote for the Lib Dems John you do anyways. Thinking that you are voting for something else entirely.

      1. john burrows says:

        You are as abysmal at judging character as you are at analysis of reality.

        Liberals are Tories who simply despise their fellow Tories. The Tories have no morals, while Liberals have forgotten where they put theirs. It is a toss up which of them is worst.

        As for “New Labor,” they shed any claims they had to morality when they hitched their wagon to Dubya. Truly, they are Thatcher’s children.

        At least Corbyn has a passing regard for the post war consensus. The rest of his party is just as contaminated with public school failures as the tories and liberals.

        They really should disbar anyone from the laughable anachronisms that are “public” schools from ever being near sharp objects, much less the levers of the state. The British should do themselves a favor and shutter the lot of them.

        If you really care to know were I stand, I am a Keir Hardie Independent Scottish Socialist, and an ardent admirer of both Michael Foot and Tony Benn. In the latter’s case, I just happened to think he was dead wrong about Europe, and still do.

        The larger a collective is, the more resistant it is to the infection that is modern absolutism. Especially when there is a large and continually renewed genetic pool to draw from.

        Unfortunately for the Scots, this does not apply in the UK anymore. The classes in Britain do not even live on the same planet.

        Why do you think Putin, Trump and Johnson want to see the EU broken up? All three of them are advocates of absolutism. Your support for them is spectacularly misguided. They are not your friends.

        I believe I have already implied my sincere belief in Scotland’s independence. My first opportunity to exercise my franchise was the vote to establish a Scottish assembly in 1979. The despicable duplicity of the Brits surrounding that vote, is something I will never forgive, or forget. Thus is how we are all made, by the events of our lives.

        You, on the other hand, appear to be nothing more than a modern version of a Luddite. You parrot tropes on demand. I am beginning to suspect you may be a malfuntioning algorithm, or a particularly obtuse psyops operative.

        Either way, I’ve wasted enough of my time beating my head against a wall.

        I sincerely hope you recover your sanity soon.

        All the best.

  4. Derek Henry says:

    It is all geopolitical pure and simple.

    Neoliberal globalisation v’s nation state.

    Trump and Bernie Sanders and Corbyn in one corner with the Neoliberals Clinton, Pelosi, Schumer, Obama, Blair, in the other.

    The Neoliberal globalists can’t handle it and anybody who stands up to them are given a label they are called a populist.

    Bernie would give Trump a run for his money both believe in the nation state and despise the neoliberal globalists. Trump will beat Pelosi and Schumer by a land slide because middle America are sick to the back teeth of globalisation and endless wars.

    The same thing is playing out right across Europe and what Brexit is all about. I don’t know why this is a surprise to anyone it has been coming down the track for years as explained brilliantly below.

    https://thomasfazi.net/2017/05/11/what-is-needed-is-a-progressive-vision-of-national-sovereignty/

  5. Daniel Raphael says:

    Yet again, thank you–tweeted and tagged to as many people as I had room for. Keep writing, please.

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