Death of a F***ing Salesman

Dog Bites Man: Trump is Crazy

We are reaching that point in the emperor’s story where even the adults are coming around, reluctantly and grudgingly, to the view that, yeah, he’s bare ass naked all right, and his little weenie is out there dangling in the wind. There are many examples, but thanks go to Vasari for this one from the Guardian:

Like some kind of Shakespearean villain-clown, Trump plays not to the gallery but to the pit. He is a Falstaff without the humour or the self-awareness, a cowardly, bullying Richard III without a clue. Late-night US satirists find in this an unending source of high comedy. If they did not laugh, they would cry. The world is witnessing the dramatic unfolding of a tragedy whose main victims are a seemingly helpless American audience, America’s system of balanced governance and its global reputation as a leading democratic light.

I don’t know, but I’d guess that most of you don’t read the National Review with any regularity. I know I don’t. But you probably need to make an exception today, to check out Devin Williamson’s Death of a F***ing Salesman. He writes,

Trump is the political version of a pickup artist, and Republicans — and America — went to bed with him convinced that he was something other than what he is. Trump inherited his fortune but describes himself as though he were a self-made man.

He has had a middling career in real estate and a poor one as a hotelier and casino operator but convinced people he is a titan of industry. He has never managed a large, complex corporate enterprise, but he did play an executive on a reality show. He presents himself as a confident ladies’ man but is so insecure that he invented an imaginary friend to lie to the New York press about his love life and is now married to a woman who is open and blasé about the fact that she married him for his money. He fixates on certain words (“negotiator”) and certain classes of words (mainly adjectives and adverbs, “bigly,” “major,” “world-class,” “top,” and superlatives), but he isn’t much of a negotiator, manager, or leader. He cannot negotiate a health-care deal among members of a party desperate for one, can’t manage his own factionalized and leak-ridden White House, and cannot lead a political movement that aspires to anything greater than the service of his own pathetic vanity.

He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.” Peggy Noonan, to whom we owe that observation, has his number: He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact. For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.” How many times do you imagine he has stood in front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin? Unfortunately for the president, it’s Baldwin who does the good imitation of Trump, not the other way around.

Hence the cartoon tough-guy act. Scaramucci’s star didn’t fade when he gave that batty and profane interview in which he reimagined Steve Bannon as a kind of autoerotic yogi. That’s Scaramucci’s best impersonation of the sort of man the president of these United States, God help us, aspires to be.

Man Bites Dog: We’re Crazy to Have Elected Trump

It’s great fun to talk about what kind of crazy Trump is. But there are plenty of crazy people in the world. We don’t usually pick one to be President.

And it isn’t as if Trump’s peculiarities were hidden until his election. Nothing whatsoever that has happened in the last six month’s is a surprise. It isn’t as if a reasonably normal person some kind of unexpected psychotic episode. The facts were there. Yet we elected him anyway.

The thing to be investigated is not Trump’s craziness, it is our craziness.

To that end, Aardvark has pre-ordered Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump.

When the book comes, I hope it will improve my own sanity.