Le Contexte est Important, la Deuxième Partie

More context from Josh Barro:

It’s a 1968 song by African-American soul singer Al Wilson, about a woman who rescues a frozen snake from the street. She takes the snake home, warms it up, gives it honey — and in return for her trouble, the snake bites and kills her.

Trump, as is his style, has turned the song into a racist parable that warns against trusting entire ethnicities of people — in his telling, Syrian refugees are the snake. This is not what the song is supposed to mean.

But “The Snake” does contain quite good advice if you apply it to individual persons with well-earned reputations for deceit and backstabbing: Do not invite them into your home.

This brings me to Omarosa.

He knew damn well she was a snake before he took her in …

Trump likes bad people

The other thing to keep in mind about Trump and Omarosa is that the president’s complete lack of moral fiber causes him to admire personality traits that a normal person would view negatively. …

Trump can look at a conniving, untrustworthy backstabber and see what he likes about himself in that person, and smile — so long as that person is his untrustworthy backstabber.

But the problem with untrustworthy backstabbers is you can’t trust them and they will stab you in the back.

The hilarious thing about Omarosa calling Trump a racist and Trump calling Omarosa a lowlife is they are both correct. No two people have ever deserved each other so thoroughly.

Not a Black Swan Event

black swan

Jonathan Chait’s post of this afternoon, titled Trump Hires the Worst People, According to Trump, usefully reminds us that Trump’s awful decision to hire Omarosa—unfit on multiple levels to serve as a presidential adviser—was not, shall we say, a black swan event:

It is not the first time Trump has accused himself of hiring terrible people. He accused his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, of having lost a crucial Senate seat for his party, “leaking false information to the media,” and having “lost his mind.” All in all, a reprehensible person to pick as your chief political strategist.

After former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told the New York Times that Trump mistreated Michael Cohen, Trump attacked Nunberg as a “drunk/drugged up loser.” Trump also insisted at the same time that Michael Cohen is “a fine person.”

Trump has since changed his mind on Cohen, too. He recently accused his former attorney of fabricating stories and having been involved in criminal activity in New York …

Trump’s current attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has called Cohen a “pathological liar.” Sounds like Trump picked a bad person to be his fixer, then.

Trump has likewise called his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, “very weak,” “disgraceful” and, most uncontroversially, “beleaguered.” (Which he is surely is, by Trump.) So Trump failed at his job of appointing a non-weak, non-disgraceful person for one of the most important jobs in government.

On top of this, Trump has repeatedly slammed his own appointments in private, according to numerous reports. He has dismissed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as “past his prime,” called Education Secretary Betsy DeVos “ditsy,” subjected Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson to a lengthy tirade in which he called her a total failure at his highest domestic priority, and so on.

Thank you, Jonathan, because it’ important to remember that …

context matters




Public Service


“Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time,” he wrote on Twitter. “She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work.”

“When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems,” he continued. “I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me — until she got fired!”

Trump’s argument is that Manigault Newman:

  • Was only hired because she begged for a job and he acquiesced.
  • Was not smart.
  • Was broadly disliked and mean to people.
  • Constantly missed meetings and skipped work.
  • Struck Kelly so negatively that he suggested she be fired, and, perhaps most damningly.
  • Was of such questionable quality as an employee that she failed to win his reality show three times.

But she kept her job, even after Kelly complained — Kelly, whose job was to guide Trump’s White House staff. Why? What’s the one quality Manigault Newman possessed that was sufficient for Trump to argue that she keep her job?

She praised Trump.

Philip Bump, Trump’s remarkable admission on the central qualification for White House staffers