Saturday, January 20, 2024


This isn't the typical "Trump's losing it" clip. This is much worse:

There's more to it than just this:
Former President Donald Trump appeared to mistakenly refer to GOP rival Nikki Haley instead of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., when discussing the Jan. 6 riot at a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Friday night.

The mixup came during Trump's remarks to a crowd of supporters in Concord, N.H. ...

“Nikki Haley, you know they, do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it because of lots of things like Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that. These are very dishonest people,” Trump said....

Trump has previously accused Pelosi of turning down 10,000 soldiers on Jan. 6, a claim that has been debunked.
Trump likes his women pink-skinned and northern or eastern European, and he seems to regard people descended from those regions as genetically superior, so maybe it makes some kind of sense that he'd confuse an olive-skinned, dark-haired, Italian-American woman he regularly attacks and a brown-skinned, dark-haired, Indian-American woman he's been attacking recently.

But it's worse than that:

From yesterday's trial coverage:
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team requested a mistrial in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him because she “actively deleted evidence”—despite the judge denying Trump’s mistrial request for the same reason earlier this week....

On Wednesday when Carroll was cross-examined, she admitted to deleting emails containing death threats, saying she believed it “was the smartest, best, quickest way to get it out of my life,” Reuters reported.
If Trump is mixing up Pelosi, Haley, and the fair-haired, fair-skinned Carroll, he's losing it.

Many people have believed for years that Trump is showing signs of significant dementia, but I've been a skeptic for a long time. I've written posts expressing my skepticism since 2017. I stand by those earlier posts -- to hear a lot of people talk back then, it was a matter of weeks or months before Trump would have to be shuffled off to a locked memory-care ward. During his presidential term, I felt -- and still feel -- that many observers were blaming dementia for utterances that were clearly the result of ignorance, or a penchant for provocation. (For instance, saying that Jews who vote Democratic are disloyal to Israel isn't a sign of cognitive impairment, as one pundit argued in 2019 -- it's a sign that you're willing to say as president what Fox News commentators say routinely.) As recently as last October, I argued that Trump's brain is still functioning about as well as usual. On the campaign trail, Trump had recently confused Sioux City, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota -- but Barack Obama also confused the two cities during his 2008 campaign. No one thinks Obama has dementia.

But this is different. In my family, I've seen both full-blown dementia and mild cognitive impairment. I've thought for years that Trump has the latter. It doesn't always progress to full dementia. (My mother was diagnosed with it and died without further mental deterioration.)

Now I think dementia is creeping up on Trump. When I watch this clip, I'm reminded of the way my grandmother called me by my uncle's name in her last years, or the way an octogenarian boss struggled to remember my name when I had meetings with her shortly before her retirement, even though she'd worked with me for years. ("And you are ..." "Steve.")

Trump might be able to conceal this for quite a while. Ronald Reagan's mental decline was visible in his first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984, but he managed to complete his second term and didn't publicly ackowledge his dementia until nearly six years after he left office. He delivered quite a few speeches in the interim.

We'll see how Trump does. But I'm no longer a dementia skeptic.

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