Opinion: Our president is not well

(AP)

I know this isn’t news to a lot of people, but as a nation we need to talk about it: My fellow Americans, we have a crackpot as our president and commander in chief.

By that, I mean that Donald Trump’s grip on reality is tenuous. His mental state appears to be a hall of funhouse mirrors, each reflecting a highly distorted image, and he repeatedly demonstrates the emotional sophistication and neediness of a six-year-old. And maybe it’s just me, but I think it ought to worry us that we have made that person the single most powerful human being on the planet.

One of the more compelling glimpses into Trump’s addled mind came just this week, in the wake of the Republican failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. The situation was pretty straightforward: The GOP has 52 Republicans in the Senate; they needed 50 to pass the bill.  But when three of those 52 senators came out strongly against the bill, well, I know you can do the math, but let’s write it down anyway:

52-3 = 49

and …. 49 < 50.

Understanding that basic arithmetic, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceled the scheduled vote. He did so because the cause was hopeless, and because he knew that in a rollcall vote, a few additional GOP senators might have joined in voting against the highly unpopular bill. Fifty votes just were not attainable.

That’s reality. Now let’s explore how that reality looks in the funhouse hall of mirrors.

According to a story told six different times by President Trump on Wednesday, including once in a nationally televised speech in Indiana, both McConnell and your second-grade math teacher got it wrong. The Republicans did have enough votes to repeal Obamacare, but they were foiled because a GOP senator had been put in the hospital and wouldn’t have been able to cast his vote in favor. Only that cruel twist of fate, not Trump’s incompetence, had prevented Obamacare’s repeal.

That would be a great story, except for the fact that there is no GOP senator in a hospital. Yes, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi recently had a minor surgical procedure, but as he later made clear, it wasn’t nearly serious enough to put him in a hospital or force him miss the vote.

More importantly, if Cochran had been absent, Republicans would have had 48 votes instead of 49. And again, 49 < 50. The story simply didn’t add up.

So with that in mind, ask yourself two questions:

  • If your neighbor or employee or child told you such a patently absurd lie, a story so unmoored to reality, what would you think? Could you continue to trust that person with anything important?
  • Who exactly do you think Trump was trying to fool with such nonsense? Who was his target audience?

I would argue that his primary target, the audience that Trump desperately needs to deceive, is himself.  His psyche is so fragile that he can’t handle the internal doubts caused by failure, so he instinctively invents a version of reality in which that failure either never occurred or can be blamed on outside forces. In that sense it’s not really a cover story, because once Trump says it, he comes to believe it and even to base subsequent decisions on that belief.

And in that fragile vessel, in that cracked pot, we have placed our nation’s future.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

3670 comments
Jackie Grissom
Jackie Grissom

His eye itched. I bet you have done the same thing idiot!

Sharon Long
Sharon Long

Mrtru.Pym president and most American president, he doing a dam good job, so you Heller need get off cause your welfare train going to stop a,d your food stamp to stop so hey. Get a job, and leArn the word work,

Joe Lundell
Joe Lundell

That is the typical crap from the AJC! Does anyone really read it anymore??

Joseph Taddonio
Joseph Taddonio

Newt Gingrich is right to call u people : IYI. Intellectual yet Idiots!

Anne White
Anne White

I have never had a positive response to Jay Bookman' s "journalism" because it generally is opinion- his.

Anna Dwyer
Anna Dwyer

THEY ARE SO JEALOUS OF TRUMP HE IS MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN &OBAMA DID NOTHING BUT TRY TO DESTROY. THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY&DIDNT SUCCED,HE SUCCED IN NOTHING HE WAS USUAGE!

Deborah Jolley Mann
Deborah Jolley Mann

We also have way to SAPS who believe they've been blessed with itntellegence!

Cynthia Victoria Robinson
Cynthia Victoria Robinson

Yes,something is most definitely wrong wth him!! He thinks it's all about him...do u think he was dropped on his head as a baby????

Ralph Olinger
Ralph Olinger

Can the Dems. Party do anything constructive?

GatorGuru
GatorGuru

Great article, Jay. The fact that this 6-year-old Liar-in-Chief has the nuclear codes has caused more sleepless nights than I can remember.

Lindon Hooper
Lindon Hooper

And just think he is doing such a great job, but then the bar was not set that high to begin with. The black guy failed America and his people the African American people. He left them with nothing and gave it all to the whites.

Nancy Pinion Harry
Nancy Pinion Harry

Time for all the hateful talk to stop. What's wrong with people? They hate cops, hate the national anthem, hate the President, hate God and obviously hate each other. God help us all.

Pat Riley
Pat Riley

He's well. He is just tired, and sad over the Las Vegas shootings. Get a life Mr. Jaybookman.blog.myajc.com

Lorraine Feijoo
Lorraine Feijoo

He's just very stressed and tired. Nobody is making it easy for him. He's stressed and tired . He's trying.

Tara Taite Ingram
Tara Taite Ingram

At least he knows that Puerto Rico is an island surrounded by BIG water... \U0001f60f

Steve Gee
Steve Gee

Crackpot lefty loon. We're sick and tired of you're played out tantrums.

Sally Ronny Lummus
Sally Ronny Lummus

When is AJC going to go out of business ? Bad reporting non American, time to get them off my feed

Wanda Rider
Wanda Rider

And how would you look if you have gone thru what he has in the past nine months? Can you imagine the pressure this man has on his shoulders?Could you handle it? But this man loves his country that much that he has fought to lead it. Fought against people like you. Do you really think anyone else could do a better job? Honestly?

Rick Thomas
Rick Thomas

Opinion of who? Obviously some far left globalist nazi

Mike Carter
Mike Carter

And we would have had a double crackpot with Hillary!

Sandy Fleming
Sandy Fleming

You are not speaking for myself and millions of other Trump Supporters! When you honestly acknowledge his successes, thus far, in light of minimal support from his own party, let alone the msm, dems, libs and haters - it's pretty impressive!

Pat Marvin
Pat Marvin

He's the best one and has the biggest heart then any president we've had in a Vet long time. And when 2020 comes I'm voting for him again. It's time you liberals give him a chance.

Judy D. Meyer-Bauer
Judy D. Meyer-Bauer

PRESIDENT TRUMP IS DOING A GREAT JOB, THE CRACKPOTS ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO PREFER TO HAVE THE TRAITOR OBAMA WHO TRIED HIS BEST TO RUIN AMERICA OR CROOKED HILLARY AND MOST OF THE CROOKED DEMOCRATS FILLING THEIR POCKETS WITH OUR MONEY, USING OUR TAXES TO SUPPORT ILLEGAL ALIENS WHILE OUR VETERANS AND SENIORS DO WITH OUT, TRUMP IS DOING HIS BEST TO FIX ALL THE DAMAGE THAT WAS DONE BY THESE CROOKS.

Samuel Cambell
Samuel Cambell

Again AJC and the leftists Bookman making their personal opinion.

Richard Carlson
Richard Carlson

No biased fake news from the urinal constipation,the same rag that glorified the halfwit from the last 8 yrs

Norma Dismang Wood
Norma Dismang Wood

President Trump is doing a great job. If you watch CNN, you would believe anything and you are obviously clueless or want a one world country and are clueless again and don't realize what that means.

Tony Darmanin
Tony Darmanin

And the snowflakes are causing a blizzard at least he is not married to a man like Obama

Donna Schultz
Donna Schultz

Whoever posted this is a nutcase. He is awesome

Janet Poor
Janet Poor

Who the hell is the Ajc to say something like that. I never read their paper and we never now

Dianna Walker Crow
Dianna Walker Crow

Can everyone please stop! He’s a person, good or bad, he needs our prayers and support. You may not like him but he is in a leadership position and I was taught to pray for our leaders. What kind of difference can we make if we can’t even support the one who can?

Brent Kindle
Brent Kindle

We used to but since January 20th 2017 we've had AN EFFING AWESOME PRESIDENT