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The Verdict Is In (1 of X) [ * ]

January 12, 2018

Charge: The sitting President of the United States is, for all practical purposes, a loon. Verdict: Guilty as charged.

That central fact must be kept in mind (second in importance only to the fascist cruelty of the Republican Party and his base voters).  That’s who we are dealing with every day.

It doesn’t matter, to the wellbeing of the nation or the world, whether he has been clinically certified—as Richard A. Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, explains (WaPo).

Josh Marshall (TPM) describes the symptoms that we observe in T’s actions every day (yes, that often; he insists on it):

We see it with our own eyes: in his public actions, his public statements, his tweets. All the diagnosis of a mental illness could tell us is that Trump might be prone to act in ways that we literally see him acting in every day: impulsive, erratic, driven by petty aggressions and paranoia, showing poor impulsive control, an inability to moderate self-destructive behavior. He is frequently either frighteningly out of touch with reality or sufficiently pathological in his lying that it is impossible to tell. Both are very bad.

Or as Richard Wolff put it, in an interview about his hours in the White House: Almost every new thing you heard was astounding, from his John Dean obsession to the way he screamed at people to locking himself in his bedroom. Again and again and again and again it was something you thought, “This is not how it is supposed to be.”

But the most accurate description of the Trompf mental state that I’ve seen is this one on 1/12 by Mark Sumner (Dkos). And it doesn’t even include T’s remarks, the next day, about “shithole countries,” which he was crazy enough to make, in the oval office of the White House, to US Congress persons.

What matters is whether his degree and kind of irrationality, in the context of public action, are such that just about everybody can see that he is, as Richard Painter, top ethics lawyer for W put it on Jan 6, “off his rocker.”

That is to say, he is so absent of reality that if he holds any influence over others’ lives, he is imminently dangerous.

If he were a father or an uncle in a normal, upper middle class, American family, who threatened the wellbeing of the family as much as Hair Trompf now threatens us, they would set him aside by providing appropriate accommodations. So would any upper middle class American crime family. But not our Republicans.

In an editorial on 1/11/18, the NYT tries to offer an adult analysis of the situation, for posterity. It concludes that we know all we need to know from Hair Trompf’s behavior, and there’s nothing we can do about it except vote in Nov. 2018, or 2020.

Meanwhile, surely things will get worse.  But this case is closed.

2-18  But wait (can’t resist)!  As if we needed one more piece of conclusive evidence that our Propagandist-in-chief, “Loser” Trumpf, has lost his mind, he goes into a tweet-storm (TPM).

[ * ] The narratorial point of this episode of verdicts is that, for the purposes of the novel, it is not necessary to waste additional pages on these facts of the plot, however lurid the spectacle might become. As Aristotle pointed out, the tragic nature and power of the drama, and the issuance of our lives in happiness, or not, lie in the actions that we take. Those actions reveal the significant traits of the characters. Regarding insanity, evil, and irresponsibility, from these Republican characters we’ve seen enough.

[TK: This is not to say that l’Histoire du trompf, himself, is a tragic tale. It is not. What remains to be seen is whether this turns out to be a tragic nonfiction novel, using Mandell’s “definition”: “a protagonist who would command our earnest good will is impelled in a given world by a purpose, or undertakes an action, of a certain seriousness and magnitude; and by that very purpose or action, subject to that same given world, necessarily and inevitably meets with grave spiritual or physical suffering.” Our protagonist is American Democracy. We might yet see that with the intention of strengthening itself, it took actions that led to its own destruction. Or perhaps we can yet avoid inevitability.]

[Pages (2a) and (3a) of this episode.]

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