These excerpts from Wolff’s Fire and Fury are jaw-dropping. If this depiction is accurate, we’re serious bearing witness to the nadir of American history.

As soon as the campaign team had stepped into the White House, Walsh saw, it had gone from managing Trump to the expectation of being managed by him. Yet the president, while proposing the most radical departure from governing and policy norms in several generations, had few specific ideas about how to turn his themes and vitriol into policy. And making suggestions to him was deeply complicated. Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate. He trusted his own expertise ­— no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. He was often confident, but he was just as often paralyzed, less a savant than a figure of sputtering and dangerous insecurities, whose instinctive response was to lash out and behave as if his gut, however confused, was in fact in some clear and forceful way telling him what to do. It was, said Walsh, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

40 thoughts on “These excerpts from Wolff’s Fire and Fury are jaw-dropping. If this depiction is accurate, we’re serious bearing…

  1. Sure, and that’s fine. I’m aware of that.

    The problem is that Wolff isn’t a rigorous journalist. Even if he’s mostly accurate, the problems start with his character. Then once a single error or a pattern of bias is revealed, the denials are not only going to increase in volume but frequency.

    My big fear is that we’ve got months of distracting bullshit delaying Mueller and possibly pulling him into the tar pit.

  2. The most comforting thing I’ve read all day was a WaPo op ed describing Trump as the wysiwyg president. He has no depth, no grand strategy, no secret genius. He’s literally what he looks like.

    Then that leaves maybe a few very smart operators in his orbit. But that’s different than the man himself pulling everyone’s strings.

  3. Maybe a nadir as far as rule of law, not yet for massive harm and genocide in American history. That said, Patriot Act, end of habeas corpus and a few thousand extra-judicial murders without consequence, and, oh, yeah, the congressional deadlocking for the sake of trolling kinda showed us rule of law was on the way out….

  4. Someone said to me, during the election, and it made a lot of sense to me at the time, that there’s nothing that the Republican party wants to DO in government; it just wants to STOP the government from doing things, mainly from regulating business and finance. So, the Republicans didn’t so much want to form government as spoil it, bung it up.

    And since they have gotten in, their biggest impacts, I think, have been in what they have dismantled, disappeared, and disallowed. Governance by people who hate government.

  5. John Willson depends! My social conservative family would very much like to see direct government intervention in things like prohibiting abortion, heavily regulating non faith based social programs, special tax dispensation for home schooling, etc.

  6. Hi Paul Beakley, that’s why I was careful to say “the Republican party” instead of “Republicans.” It is my operating theory that political parties pay lip service to social issues, while their only real interest is to enrich themselves and their their financial supporters, and to secure their hold on power.

    However, Paul and Mark Delsing, I totally accept your exceptions to my statement. Also, Cannuck here, commenting outside of his own sandbox 🙂

  7. I just wrote and discarded a lengthy thing about definitions but the short version is that there are still principled small-government party folks and they might call themselves “real Republicans” but their party is moving away from them at high speed.