Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, January 7th, 2018.


Twilight of the Trump?

Trump Maladministration

In the department of There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See, some hack at the Washington Examiner actually asked, “Why hasn’t Michael Wolff’s dementia-Trump ever been seen in public?” Like there hasn’t been discussion about Trump’s mental health going back long before Wolff’s book came out. See, for example, “I’m a brain specialist. I think Trump should be tested for a degenerative brain disease,” published December 7.

The more pertinent question is, does it really matter what the diagnosis is? Josh Marshal writes,

We are now back on to the feverish debate about whether or not Donald Trump is mentally ill or suffering from the onset of dementia. The most important thing to know about this debate is that it simply doesn’t matter. Diagnoses are something for trained professionals and even they are challenged to make them without a proper in-person examination. But again, it doesn’t matter.

For public purposes, clinical diagnoses are only relevant as predictors of behavior. If the President has a cognitive deficiency or mental illness that might cause him to act in unpredictable or dangerous ways or simply be unable to do the job, we need to know. But My God, we do know! We see him acting in these ways every day – and not just in multiple news reports from an abundance of different news organizations. We see it with our own eyes: in his public actions, his public statements, his tweets. All the diagnosis of a mental illness could tell us is that Trump might be prone to act in ways that we literally see him acting in every day: impulsive, erratic, driven by petty aggressions and paranoia, showing poor impulsive control, an inability to moderate self-destructive behavior. He is frequently either frighteningly out of touch with reality or sufficiently pathological in his lying that it is impossible to tell. Both are very bad.

In other words, Washington Examiner hack, if you want to see what dementia looks like, just watch Trump for a while. If he’s not suffering some sort of brain impairment, he’s putting on a hell of an act. Or, if that’s his “normal,” then he’s always been dumb as a box of rocks. Either way, he shouldn’t be president.

And people are getting tired of the excuses. (Watch Jake Tapper cut short an interview with Stephen “I Even Look Like Fredo” Miller. Fun little clip.)

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