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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Weak, Weak, Weak

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's personal qualities.

He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.” Peggy Noonan, to whom we owe that observation, has his number: He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact. For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.” How many times do you imagine he has stood in front of a mirror trying to project like Alec Baldwin? Unfortunately for the president, it’s Baldwin who does the good imitation of Trump, not the other way around.

Hence the cartoon tough-guy act. Scaramucci’s star didn’t fade when he gave that batty and profane interview in which he reimagined Steve Bannon as a kind of autoerotic yogi. That’s Scaramucci’s best impersonation of the sort of man the president of these United States, God help us, aspires to be. But he isn’t that guy.
Maureen Dowd:
But after all his bragging about being a great negotiator and closer, it is President Trump who can’t get it done. He couldn’t even close the deal on a pathetic, bare-bones health care bill, ineffectually bullying Lisa Murkowski, a Republican senator from Alaska, and failing to win over John McCain, who gleefully had his revenge for Trump’s mockery of him as being a loser because he was captured in war.
Trump can’t get it done for his pal, Putin, either. In fact, the biggest legislative accomplishment before Congress leaves for August will have been passing new sanctions on Russia because lawmakers don’t trust their own president. Talk about weak.
Congressional Republicans are losing their fear of Trump, making ever more snarky comments about him. North Korea is shooting off missiles and the White House is flustered. The generals are resisting Trump’s tweet edicts. The mortified leader of the Boy Scouts had to apologize for the president’s suggestive and partisan speech.
And what could be weaker than that?
 As mentioned earlier this week, Trump has other weaknesses, too.

He is physically weak.  He needs a golf cart to carry him distances that a fit person could easily walk. He does not exercise. He gorges on junk food.  And he is fat.

These things matter because the presidency requires physical stamina.  Someday, Trump will have to deal with a crisis that will require intense work and round-the-clock attention.  It is reasonable to ask whether an out-of-shape 71-year-old is up to the job.

He is intellectually weakHe does not read books.  His ignorance of history is comical.  His ignorance of policy is appalling.

True, presidents have staffs to sweat the details, but a chief executive still needs a certain level of knowledge to do his job. Trump does not have it, not even close. And as for staff?  One word: Scaramucci.