The Question of Presidential Inability

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Addie
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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#176

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:54 am

The Atlantic
The President Who Doesn't Understand His Own Positions

Donald Trump came out strongly against reauthorizing an intelligence bill his White House backs—the third time in a week he has been at odds with his staff and even his own stated views.

Singed by aides’ and former aides’ portrait of a president not equal to his job, Donald Trump has spent the last few days trying to demonstrate that he’s on top of things.

The results have been mixed. The president was able to garner some positive reviews for his session with congressional leaders on Tuesday—though as one of those reviewers, Peter Baker of The New York Times, acknowledged, “The bar, of course, was historically low given that Democrats and even some Republicans have been describing him as so unstable that he should be removed from office.” ...

This creates extensive challenges. Foreign leaders have long since realized Trump is a pushover who can easily be rolled in face-to-face meetings, eroding U.S. authority on the world stage. Republican leaders in Congress have desperately sought guidance from Trump on major initiatives, both to make sure he will not attack them and in the hopes that his leadership will help patch over divides within the party. The meager legislative accomplishments of this Congress speak to Trump’s inability to offer that guidance. Democrats seem fitfully interested in trying to make deals with Trump, but that’s impossible too, as Jonathan Chait wrote Wednesday: “It’s hard to make a deal with a president if the president doesn’t understand anything about the deal beyond his belief that deals are good.”

What, then, is the administration’s policy on any given question? Is it the stance that that White House lays out in background briefings, fact-sheets, and official statements? Or is it the stance that the president offers? In any ordinary administration, the answer would clearly be the president, since he’s the top official—though in any ordinary administration, such cleavages would never become public. But since nearly no one, and certainly not his own aides, takes Trump seriously on policy, his statements no longer get the presumption of authority, especially when he is liable to reverse himself two hours later. And if foreign leaders, members of Congress in both parties, and voters cannot tell what the U.S. government’s policy is, the government effectively has no policy at all.


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neeneko
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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#177

Post by neeneko » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:07 pm

pipistrelle wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:09 am
Since the so-called pee tape has been discussed for eons, would it be that shocking anymore? This is the guy who could shoot someone, and the supporters would still be supporters. I still don't know why, as he has the charisma of a cheese grater.
I think at this point the actual content would not be very notable, but the tapes are held up as such a high profile symbol for the dossier that if they did surface and were not one of the fake ones floating around it would be a major rebuke of the 'fake' narrative.



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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#178

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:12 pm

neeneko wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:07 pm
pipistrelle wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:09 am
Since the so-called pee tape has been discussed for eons, would it be that shocking anymore? This is the guy who could shoot someone, and the supporters would still be supporters. I still don't know why, as he has the charisma of a cheese grater.

I think at this point the actual content would not be very notable,
but the tapes are held up as such a high profile symbol for the dossier that if they did surface and were not one of the fake ones floating around it would be a major rebuke of the 'fake' narrative.
...unless the prostitutes were noticeably underage.


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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#179

Post by Foggy » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:49 pm

Q. What's the difference between a garbanzo bean and a chickpea?
Sekrit Stuffs!
A. Trump never paid to watch a garbanzo bean.
Yeah, old joke. I still like it. :daydream:



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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#180

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Foggy wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:49 pm
Q. What's the difference between a garbanzo bean and a chickpea?
Sekrit Stuffs!
A. Trump never paid to watch a garbanzo bean.
Yeah, old joke. I still like it. :daydream:
The Fogmeister just might have an obsession, whether with chicks, chicks peeing, or just peeing, it is difficult to discern. :confused:


“I’ve been hooked since my first smell of C-4.” Linda Cox, first female Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, first to lead her own unit, go to war, be awarded a Bronze Star, and hold the highest enlisted rank of chief master sergeant.

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Addie
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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#181

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:53 am

Newsweek
Trump Meets Every Criteria For An Authoritarian Leader, Harvard Political Scientists Warn

Two political scientists from Harvard University have identified four warning signs that indicate if someone poses a dangerous authoritarian risk to a nation. No U.S. politician, at least dating back to the Civil War, has come close to ticking off all four boxes, one of the authors told Newsweek—until Donald Trump came along.

Professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have authored the new book How Democracies Die, which details the warning signs Trump showed as a candidate. In a healthy democracy, they argue, those traits should have derailed his bid for the presidency. ...

"Trump was easily identifiable as someone who is not committed to the democratic rules of the game," Levitsky told Newsweek on Thursday. “There is real cause for concern for the health of our democratic institutions.”

The four markers are:
Rejecting or showing weak commitment to democratic rules.
Denying the legitimacy of political opponents.
Encouraging or tolerating violence.
A readiness to stifle or limit civil liberties of opponents, including media.


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Larky K' Chamcha
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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#182

Post by Larky K' Chamcha » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:39 am

Addie wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:53 am
Newsweek
Trump Meets Every Criteria For An Authoritarian Leader, Harvard Political Scientists Warn
:snippity:
Oh Newsweek! Or Newweek. Or Newweeks. Singulars and plurals aren't difficult. Even with irregular nouns.
/grammarnazi



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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#183

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:29 pm

WaPo - Eugene Robinson
The man-child in the White House reels wildly out of control ...

But the larger impact is something we all must worry about: One year into the Trump presidency, we effectively do not have a presidency at all.

As McConnell noted in frustration Wednesday, he can’t orchestrate passage of an immigration bill unless he knows what Trump is willing to sign. Likewise, Ryan can’t pass spending legislation unless he knows what Trump will and will not accept. But the president has no fixed positions. His word is completely unreliable. How are congressional leaders supposed to do their jobs?

Regarding foreign policy, how can other nations take seriously anything Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says when he is subject to being countermanded on Twitter at any moment? What is the point of Jared Kushner’s diplomacy, if you can call it that, in the Middle East? Does “America first” really mean anything, or is it just Trumpian hot air?

And why, at this point, do reporters even bother to attend Sanders’s briefings, unless perhaps for the entertainment value? Past press secretaries all delivered pronouncements that were loaded with spin, but Sanders concocts laughable fantasies out of thin air — usually to “justify” crazy things Trump has said or tweeted.

The nation has never faced a situation like this: It is unwise to take literally or seriously anything the president and his official spokesmen say. An administration with no credibility cannot possibly lead.

Trump is incapable of growing into the job; if anything, he is becoming more erratic. I fear the day when a crisis arises and we must face it with a bratty preteen at the helm.


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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#184

Post by Azastan » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:48 pm

Yeah, well, Ronny Johnson, M.D., says that there's nothing wrong with Trump's cognitive ability, even if congressional leaders did have a psychiatrist talk to them about the crazy president.

That is what the Trumpists heard, and that is what the Trumpists care about. No Republican in either house will dare to speak of presidential inability now.



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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#185

Post by Sam the Centipede » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:22 am

Addie wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:29 pm
WaPo
The man-child in the White House reels wildly out of control ...
:snippity:
Regarding foreign policy, how can other nations take seriously anything Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says when he is subject to being countermanded on Twitter at any moment? What is the point of Jared Kushner’s diplomacy, if you can call it that, in the Middle East? Does “America first” really mean anything, or is it just Trumpian hot air?
:snippity:
I think that's not too bad an issue. Trump's behavior and the incompetence and inconsistency of his administration are so obvious that other countries' diplomats simply discount this administration and are now waiting until normal service is resumed.

Had Trump been as obnoxious as he is but rational and consistent with it, they might attempt interpret and second guess what the US's thinking and policy is on various issues, and possibly getting it very wrong. Instead, the rest of the world simply shrugs their shoulders and carries on.

I thought the photo of Nordic/Scandinavian heads of governments on a beach with a football mocking the glowing globe stunt with Trump and Middle Eastern leaders was a clear illustration of what the grown-ups abroad think. Those north Europeans are generally polite and well-mannered; they would not have pulled a stunt like that with any previous President.



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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#186

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:05 pm

https://amp.theguardian.com/global/comm ... ssion=true
I wrote The Art of the Deal with Trump. He's still a scared child

There are two Trumps. The one he presents to the world is all bluster, bullying and certainty. The other, which I have long felt haunts his inner world, is the frightened child of a relentlessly critical and bullying father and a distant and disengaged mother who couldn’t or wouldn’t protect him.

“That’s why I’m so screwed up, because I had a father who pushed me so hard,” Trump acknowledged in 2007, in a brief and rare moment of self-awareness.

Trump’s temperament and his habits have hardened with age. He was always cartoonish, but compared with the man for whom I wrote The Art of the Deal 30 years ago, he is significantly angrier today: more reactive, deceitful, distracted, vindictive, impulsive and, above all, self-absorbed – assuming the last is possible.

We fear Trump because he is impulsive, irrational and self-serving, but above all because he seems unconstrained by even the faintest hint of conscience. Trump feels no more shame over his most destructive behaviours than a male lion does killing the cubs of his predecessor when he takes over a pride.


“I’ve been hooked since my first smell of C-4.” Linda Cox, first female Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, first to lead her own unit, go to war, be awarded a Bronze Star, and hold the highest enlisted rank of chief master sergeant.

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Re: The Question of Presidential Inability

#187

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:46 pm

https://www.alternet.org/election-2016/ ... ssion=true
Trump Isn't Crazy, He's Just a Terrible Person: Leading Psychiatrist

... [H]is most recent book is Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump, about the problem that is Trump and how to end the distractions that keep us from solving it.

Allen Frances: Yes. First of all, Trump is, without a doubt, a world-class narcissist. Not just among the great narcissists of our day, but among the great narcissists of all time. You have to go back to Nero in Rome maybe to find someone as self-involved and destructive as he is.

:snippity:


Secondly, some of our best and worst presidents have been narcissistic. It's never been seen as a sign by itself of incompetence for the office. It's the behaviors that may be associated with it that need to be addressed, not the diagnosis. The diagnosis doesn't really add much to the discussion. In fact, instead of clarifying it muddies the waters.

Thirdly, the criteria of a narcissistic personality disorder require a whole series of narcissistic behaviors and attitudes. All of which Trump displays with magnificent extravagance, but it also requires that there be, as a result, clinically significant distress or impairment. Trump is a great causer of distress in others. He's creating horrible impairment in our democracy, but there's no evidence to indicate that he would meet the grounds of clinically significant distress or impairment to himself.

We desperately have to contain this dangerous, impulsive, irritable, ignorant, despicable president. But we're not going to contain him by idle, sideline, armchair, impotent psychiatric diagnosis. The only way to contain him is through political action. The ruminations about his psychology, his mental status, his psychiatric diagnosis are a terrible distraction from the political steps that need to be taken by Congress immediately and by the voters in the midterm election.


“I’ve been hooked since my first smell of C-4.” Linda Cox, first female Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician, first to lead her own unit, go to war, be awarded a Bronze Star, and hold the highest enlisted rank of chief master sergeant.

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