The Fake President

Occasional observations and selections about our 45th President. 

In his environment of alternative facts and fake news, "Fake President" is well justified as his real title. And here's a new one that I  made up, the tweeter-in-chief as Tweetle-dumb. 

Monday, July 16, 2018.  Trump meets with Putin - the reaction:
John O. Brennan, CIA Director under Obama
"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

Cartoonist comments:

The Guardian, July 14, 2018:  Who said this?
“I mean they have a lot of great product. They make phenomenal things, you know, and you have different names – you can say ‘England’, you can say ‘UK’, you can say ‘United Kingdom’ … the fact is you make great product, you make great things. Even your farm product is so fantastic.”

Sounds a lot like a student that forgot to do his homework for a class on England and its products, and when called on, says some filler words without saying anything. But you would be wrong, because that was our very own President in an interview on his trip to the UK.

Hillary Clinton, the gift that keeps on giving (July 10, 2018):
Now we're looking at Trump's second conservative Supreme Court nomination, and we're depending on two Republican senators and holding on to three Democrats to defeat this choice - good luck with that. The Democrats have been thoroughly outplayed, from not paying attention to the local elections that allowed gerrymandering, and candidates not speaking to Main Street, while the establishment and identity politics continues under the likes of Nancy Pelosi.

The New York Times, in a July 29 editorial, captured the essence of the Trump presidency in almost poetic terms:
"Over and over again, Mr. Trump has shown himself to be a small man, and he is engaged in shrinking the presidency to fit himself."

CBS News, Dec. 21, 2017: 
The United Nations General Assembly voted Thursday on a resolution condemning President Trump's new policy recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, to declare Mr. Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital "null and void." 

Those 9 that have Trump's back include our old pals from the Coalition of the Willing (Palau, Marshall Islands and Micronesia), along with Nauru and Togo, as well as heavyweights Guatemala and Honduras. For the scorecard, click on the image at the right:

Washington Post article, Dec. 20, 2017: 
In Cabinet meeting, Pence praises Trump once every 12 seconds for three minutes straight 
The perfect sycophant meets the perfect needy boss. To read the article, click here; if you have a strong enough stomach, here's the video (3:11)

New York Times, Dec. 12, 2017, covering a press conference by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

MS. SANDERS:  You cannot say that it's an honest mistake when you're purposefully putting out information that you know to be false, or when you're taking information that hasn't been validated, that hasn't been offered any credibility, and that has been continually denied by a number of people, including people with direct knowledge of an instance.  

This is something that --

Q.:   Are you speaking about the President?

Oct. 8, 2017: 
The New York Times editorial titled The Republican’s Guide to Presidential Etiquette gives us a compilation of actions over the last five months that show us why this man has been a dreadful president.

After Donald Trump issued a fierce Twitter rebuke of Bob Corker, the retiring Republican senator tweeted back: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

Boor-in-Chief: The oft-used "tweeter-in-chief" label is much too innocent for describing this ignorant narcissist. It was the May 26th issue of the German business paper Handelsblatt that called him Rüpel-in-Chief when he shoved Montenegro prime minister Dusko Markovic aside during a NATO summit. The word translates to boor, lout, bully, ruffian – well, one gets the idea (I had originally confused it with Lümmel, a kid that's ill-mannered and acts up, and that wouldn't be so wrong either). For a 14-second YouTube video of the shove, click here. After pushing his way to the front, the Boor-in-Chief juts out his jaw, gives his jacket a tug and stands there as if to say "look at how important I am". 

The LA Times had a nice article about the Goldwater rule, whereby psychiatrists were to not critique a public figure like the President, i.e., not offer what looks like a professional opinion. The writer, a psychiatrist, suggested using the Army field manual, which "articulates the core faculties that officers, including commanders, need in order to fulfill their jobs". From it, she "distilled five crucial qualities": 
  • Trust
  • Discipline and self-control
  • Judgment and critical thinking
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
In sports terms, it looks like we have an oh-for-five president. 

The Boor-in-Chief defines a new NSDAP, the Narcissist Self-serving Delusional Arrogance Party. After Charlottesville, it looks like he's moved closer to the original. 

For a lighter moment, click here to view a YouTube video titled "Real Fake News – Opera vs. Trump (Rossini Edition)",
and for another, click here for a video titled "Real Fake News – Operetta vs. Trump (Gilbert and Sullivan Edition)". 

Dunning-Kruger effect: Far too much has been written about this man, both before and after he became president, trying to understand what his random utterings could possibly mean. The best analysis is by David Brooks in a New York Times Op-Ed column on May 15 titled "When the World is Led by a Child". To read it, click here. In it, he references "the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence". The Dunning-Kruger paper, a serious study, is attached below, or click here to view it. 

Other than that, he's a thoroughly nasty man, one whose only pleasure seems to be to in being a bullying those over whom he has power, and tearing things down rather building anything. And although he's known for the "You're fired" tagline, he also doesn't have the guts to tell people when they're fired, but leaves that to others. Rather than seeking win-win situations, he makes everything "I win, you lose"; if there's a win-win, it means that he hasn't won enough to make the other guy lose.

He's messed up every chance that he's given to behave like a human being with even just a touch of empathy or caring.

There's a Pew Research Center study titled "U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership", released on June 26; it's attached below, or click here to view it. Trump achieves high scores in most countries worldwide for being viewed as "arrogant", "intolerant", and "dangerous". 

In a 1920 article, H. L. Mencken wrote about the Presidency:
"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

It took almost a hundred years to get close to his prophecy but, on second thought, it's somewhat too harsh. One risks appearing to label all Trump supporters as "deplorables", that egregious error by Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Yes, it applies to the alt-right and their compatriots, but not to the Main Street men and women who felt that they were being ignored by establishment politics. As a candidate you can denigrate and insult your opponent all you want, but it's gross stupidity to ever insult voters.

Facing probably the worst candidate in presidential history, Hillary ran a campaign that she lost, not one that Trump won. Ever the establishment candidate, she had no clear understanding of the appeal of Bernie Sanders and Trump to the disaffected. Those $225k Wall Street speeches must have gone over really well to Main Street folks who would consider themselves lucky if they had a job that could earn as much over five years of hard work. Both Sanders ("A Future You Can Believe In") and Trump ("Make America Great Again") had messages that inspired their followers; hers might as well have been "It's My Turn". She couldn't draw in the young energized Bernie followers, and couldn't relate to the Main Street folks in flyover country, but instead depended on targeted identity politics.

I'll never forget election evening as the votes came in and the NYTimes meter slowly swung from Hillary to the Donald. I went to bed trying to sleep, but restlessly got up at 3 a.m. only to see that the unthinkable had happened. 

So her apologists may wish to point to winning the popular vote, and blame DNC hacking, Comey's final-week email investigation or misogyny, but the contest should never have been that close. What's worse is that she lost it not just for herself and that glass ceiling of hers – she lost it for all of us. Thanks to Hillary we already have at least one more conservative Supreme Court judge, the change of the EPA into the Environmental Pollution Agency, loss of American world leadership, and the list goes on. The one and only thing that Hillary still needs to do is to apologize deeply and sincerely to the American people for dropping the banner that she was supposed to be carrying, not just for herself but for us all, and so giving us the fool to whom she lost. She's written a book – it doesn't appear the she was up to it? After what she's done to us all by losing to Trump, I just want her to go away; there's nothing she can do to make up for her colossal error.

The book Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes is a well-informed and well-written "post mortem" of the Hillary campaign – an apt description because something died in that election cycle. 

And the Democrats seriously need to understand why she lost and learn from the defeat and her mistakes. 

Selected pictures - click on the image to see a larger version

Angela Merkel and Trump: who's the adult here? The handshake that wasn't (above)

What's this fascinating thing on his left which he seems to always be staring at?

The Trumps with the Pope: why is this man smiling 
(no one else is)?

My favorite inauguration picture: who's enjoying the moment?  Maybe the Obamas are saying:
"Well, it's his problem now." 


One of my favorite protest pictures

 ... and for something really scary, here's his official portrait (hanging in courthouses): "Welcome to America"


A backwoods checkers player meets a chess grandmaster.
Who's going to win that one?

Trump’s commemorative “Challenge Coin”, a monument to insatiable ego:

"Typically, these coins are simple copper-and-silver designs with the presidential seal and signature. But Trump’s is thicker, bright gold and with a built-in stand. Beyond the garish presentation, it defaces the presidential seal: The eagle looks right instead of left, it no longer holds the 13 arrows representing the original states, and the national motto — “E pluribus unum,” which translates to “ Out of many, one” — is gone. Instead, both sides of the coin display Trump’s campaign motto, “Make America Great Again,” and his name appears four times." 

    From the Dec. 26, 2017 Washington Post

Updated July 17, 2018

Peter E. Schmidt,
Jul 5, 2017, 4:11 AM
Peter E. Schmidt,
Jul 5, 2017, 4:22 AM
Peter E. Schmidt,
Oct 10, 2017, 1:31 AM