The Bob Woodword book, Fear: Trump in the White House was probably the body blow. Certainly, it sparked the events of today.
The most lenient things in the book we already knew; that Trump was erratic, prone to rash and ill-considered moves, amoral, and the world’s nightmare boss. The worst were things we suspected, such as the military effectively removing him from chain of command (in normal times, mutiny punishable by death), aides scrambling to hide proclamations written by his vilest advisors (Stephen Miller and the absent-only-in-person Steve Bannon) that would be likely to spark a civil war or revolution.
Recent books, most notably Everything Trump Touches Dies by GOP operative Rick Wilson have broadly hinted at this.
But this is Bob Woodward, chronicler of Administrations going back to Nixon (who he helped pull down). When it comes to credibility, he is at the top. And the wild, galvanic reaction of Trump to the pre-release reviews of the book only add to the sense that horrific as it is, Woodward has nailed this administration. The book doesn’t even go on sale for a week, and I find myself wondering if Trump will even still be President at that point.
His bizarre recorded conversation with Woodward from last week, after the galley copy had gone to the publishers and it was far too late to influence the contents of the book in any way, showed that Trump, emotionally and intellectually, was at the end of his tether.
Affirming the point the book was making: Trump, bellicose, ignorant, vicious and thin-skinned, is utterly unfit to be President, his is a White House in paralysis, the government is in chaos, and America is facing political collapse.
The existence of the Woodward book led to today’s even more extraordinary events. Trump came out and screamed about the media being the enemy of the people and he was the best president America ever had. Senate Republicans all ducked and went silent, intent on getting their amoral and possibly criminal stooge onto the Supreme Court in a last-gasp effort to maintain perpetual power. All they ever wanted was power, so fuck Trump, fuck Woodward, and fuck the country.
They are broken and twisted creatures of a broken and twisted philosophy, and Trump is their hireling. You just can’t get good help when your cause is morally bankrupt.
But one of them, intent on saving his (or her) ass and perhaps being able to pretend he was thinking of America all along, wrote an anonymous editorial to the New York Times. Make no mistake: the author of this piece is self-serving scum, gleeful at the damage the GOP has done to the country. This is clear early on: “We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.”
OK, the writer is happy to shaft Trump, but is going to promote Trump’s more egregious lies about the efficacy of GOP policies that have been inflicted on us.
The author continues, “The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.” Translated: Trump’s greedy nihilism is more visible and exceeds what we think we can cover up.
The author is delighted that the administration has enabled stealing another trillion from the public treasury for the ultra-rich, destroyed efforts to combat the threat of climate change, stripped millions of health care access, and is working hard to destroy Medicare and Social Security.
“But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.” What fascists need as they rape the country is a leader who can good dignified and resolute as he destroys us. At at time when the GOP when needs a Calvin Coolidge to look dignified and resolute as they steal the country blind, they have Rufus T. Firefly. Only without Firefly’s ability to think quickly.
So the author is no hero: the author is just a rat deserting a sinking ship and probably hoping for a book deal out of the wreckage.
Trump of course, had a public meltdown over this, epic even by his standards. He had some ceremony honoring cops, and was backed by a rather clownish-looking choir of sherrifs as he howled about the “failing New York Times” for their “gutless editorial.” He vowed that the media “the media will be out of business” by the time he leaves office (that departure might be next week at this rate).
The cops dutifully applauded. Authority uber alles.
This is an Alex Butterfield (“Oh, didn’t you know? President Nixon taped everything in the Oval Office!”) and John Dean moment. It is truly the beginning of the end for Trump.
Now all we have to do is survive the Fall of Trump, and then drive the fascists who made him possible out of office.