Friday, November 03, 2017


It's frightening that we have a president who'd like to turn the Justice Department into his own vindictive legal goon squad -- but it's reassuring that he's accepting the impossibility of this with a pout.

This morning President Trump tweeted the following out of frustration:

Yesterday, in a radio interview, he whimpered about this:
Trump opened up to talk-radio host and Mediaite contributor Larry O’Connor on Thursday, in an interview broadcast on Washington radio station WBAL. “The saddest thing,” Trump told O’Connor, “is because I’m the president of the United States, I’m not supposed to be involved in the Justice Department.”

You can interpret this as the first step toward a crackdown on Justice Department independence, but I see it as a sign that -- as I've been saying -- he doesn't have the brazenness to upend the system. He's not firing the attorney general or the new FBI director or the special counsel. He seems to have accepted the notion that, after dismissing James Comey, he can't fire any of these people. You can say that the seizure of power by dictators is often gradual, but I don't think very many dictators, even in the early days of their rule, say anything as whiny as "I'm not supposed to be doing the kinds of things I would love to be doing and I'm very frustrated by it."

Also see Trump's reaction to the temporary deletion of his Twitter account last night by a customer support contractor:

I think this is one of Trump's saddest tweets ever. He tweets incessantly and finally, as he sees it, he's challenged by a (presumably liberal) Twitter employee, which means people are finally paying attention to him. It's the reaction you might have if you're commenter #974 in an online thread and you get a rise out of someone. But Trump isn't commenter #974 -- he's the freaking president of the United States. Of course what he's saying is "getting out"!

Deep down, Trump still feels like an angry guy watching the news and thinking he could do a much better job than all those clowns, if only he could have the chance -- except that he has the chance now. But in his gut he's still just grumbling in his easy chair with his remote in his hand (which, of course, is also literally what he's doing much of the time). And not being able to personally order a Hillary Clinton witch hunt just reinforces his sense that he's essentially powerless.

This is how all his fans feel about themselves, of course. They're also frustrated grievance-nursers. So no wonder they love him.

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