by Shelton Bumgarner
I had a minor tempest-in-a-teapot run-in on Twitter with The New York Time’s Trump Whisperer Maggie Haberman. She sniffed – in so many words — that I was a hayseed rube in a flyover state who did not know how REAL journalism was practiced. It says a lot about my personal relationship to power I have a lingering resentment over this little minor event. It’s not like I have any recourse. She’s got fame, ACCESS, power and the respect of her peers.
All I got is a novel I’m trying to write.
Anyway, the whole point of that was to bring up something I feel Haberman gets so very, very, very wrong about Trump. Trump is a doofus. He’s a moron. Something is mentally wrong with him and he lacks any sense of empathy. As Benjamin Wittes of the Lawfare blog quipped once, Trump’s “ambivalence is only mitigated by his incompetence.” Trump won the political lottery of a lifetime. Someone like him was probably going to pop up between 2016 and 2024 do to macro socio-economic trends in the United States. Trump just happened to the would-be president of Sharknato who happened to jump in at just the moment.
You could, of course, make the case that Trump got a little help from his Russian friends along the way. But in real terms, just won because of dumb fucking luck.
Haberman and her fellow access journalists simply can not process that Trump is simply a doofus — nothing more than a deranged version of Being There’s Chauncey Gardner. They probably feel that if they accept that Trump is just a very lucky Right Wing celebrity Twitter troll then their own investment in their person ascent to power is somehow invalidated. They have a vested interest in making me believe that Trump’s latest clusterfuck is really him subtly messing white women ages 24-35 in the exurbs of Phillie.
There’s no there there when it comes to Trump’s acumen. Yeah, he’s an adept marking and branding guy. And he has a celebrity’s knack for knowing an intended audience. But to suggest he has some sort of native political acumen is an insult to my intelligence.
One need go no further than what’s going on at this very moment. Trump is such a fucking moron that he not only waited 24 hours to do the exact same thing that Mueller’s poor “optics” in front of Congress pardoned him for, he bragged about it on the very phone call! Then was so clueless that instead of slow walking the release of the damaging information until sometime early next year, he releases it so House Democrats had time to find their backbones and start the impeachment process with time to spare before the ever-critical 2020 primaries.
Trump is so stupid on a political level that instead of taking the L with impeachment and laughing all the way to acquittal in the Senate, he is actively doing everything in his power to produce the conditions for his fate being decided by extra-political means. By this I mean anti-impeachment violence. Of course, that problem goes hand in hand with the real likelihood he’s going to snap on a mental level at some point during the impeachment process.
So, Maggie Haberman, spare me the ever-so-serious tweets about Trump’s fucking political genius. He’s a doofus and your willingness to trade access for any semblance of journalistic independence is enough to make me smirk whenever I hear one of your peers tout your journalistic abilities.