Enough Already With the Trump-As-Victim Stuff
Patterico at RedState has recently become one of my favorite analysts of the nuts-and-bolts nuttiness of the Trump era, and the doltishness of the man himself. He doesn’t rely on hyperbole to make his points, but neither does he pull punches in assessing the “mind” and behavior of the Dufus-in-Chief and his rotating bootlickers (almost said “rotisserie of bootlickers”).
His latest is a very strong rebuttal to the desperate attempts of Trump’s alternative-media sycophants to portray the administration’s self-inflicted wounds as the product of an establishment and/or media witch hunt or “coup.” He frames his analysis in the context of the concept of the political “strongman,” who must never be permitted to appear mistaken about anything, and whose fate and reputation are deliberately conflated with those of his nation, such that any criticism of the strongman himself may be assailed as unpatriotic, even treasonous.
Here’s a sample of the kind of clear-eyed description the piece offers:
When things go well for The Strongman, all credit goes to The Strongman. When things go poorly, it is not because he is ineffective and feckless. No, that cannot ever be true of The Strongman. If The Strongman fails, it is because Large Shadowy Forces are arrayed against him.
So when a leader portrays himself as a Strongman, there is one sure-fire way to know that he is failing: you start reading pieces arguing that he is being Undermined by Large Shadowy Forces.
And one more example, again thoroughly ungainsayable to anyone being honest with himself:
Contemptuous of the notion of familiarizing himself with even a superficial level of policy detail, he can’t make the case for ObamaCare repeal the way Obama made the case for the law in the first place. Having created an absurdly chaotic White House by dint of his own lack of discipline and his obsession with television, praise, and his image, Trump is unable to fashion a legislative agenda that garners the votes he needs in Congress. The release of transcripts of his conversations with world leaders make him sound like an uninformed idiot . . . because he is an uninformed idiot.
I note that Patterico is careful to imply that Trump’s “strongman” status is not the real thing — as in the case of the men he admires, such as Vladimir Putin — but rather only a TV-show mimicry of the kind of manly populist demagogue he wishes he could be.
This, for me, is an important point. Far from the “Alpha male” his cult has been duped into worshipping, Trump is, and always has been, a classic weak man, scared of everything, and therefore prone to sissified outbursts of “Kill him! Kill him!” whenever something or someone he fears seems to loom on the horizon — and we all know that ignorance, Trump’s specialty, is a primary source of fear.
Patterico’s article also includes a substantial chunk of Garry Kasparov’s excellent 2016 assessment of Trump, zeroing in on Trump’s rhetorical style, his “authoritarian instinct,” and his utter lack of principle, such as in praising the Chinese communist government’s massacre of students at Tiananmen Square.
Follow the link at the top of this post to read it for yourself.