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Pierce writes: "Brian Kilmeade is one of the co-hosts of the Fox News Channel's morning show, Three Dolts on a Divan. The president* watches this show every day because what else does he have to do, right?"

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)

The President Is a Few Bulbs Short of a Chandelier

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

27 April 18

“Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!”

—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, 1818.

his is the most remarkable thing ever said to a President of the United States:

“We could talk all day but looks like you have a million things to do.”

Brian Kilmeade is one of the co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s morning show, Three Dolts on a Divan. The president* watches this show every day because what else does he have to do, right? It was one of the Fox shows that created him as a viable national political figure, and one of the few shows anywhere completely committed to sustaining him as such. On Thursday morning, he called in, and, over the next several minutes, had what can be gently called an “episode.”

In no particular order, he threatened to bring the Justice Department under his personal control; praised his magnificent performance in office; defended his nominee to run the VA even though said nominee already had pulled his name from consideration; threw Michael Cohen overboard; admitted he had spent that fateful night in Moscow at the Miss Universe pageant; ranted about the crimes of James Comey, the perfidy of Jon Tester, and the rank dishonesty of the media; and explained to the nation that Abraham Lincoln had been a Republican, which, “people don’t realize.”

And then Kilmeade cut him off.

Has a president ever been cut off of an interview before? The president is not the author of a cookbook or a movie star pitching a movie. Interviews with the president end when the president wants them to. And what self-respecting newsman would bail out a president who so clearly was headed full speed off to the far suburbs of Crazytown?

Apparently, Brian Kilmeade.

(By the way, one of the charges leveled against Dr. Ronny Jackson was that he dispensed various prescription meds as though they were M&M’s. One of these was modafinil, which Jackson allegedly doled out as a quick pick-me-up to various White House officials during long and exhausting overseas trips. Considering that the president* went about five minutes with the Fox morning crew before he came to a comma, I’m wondering if Jackson left the key to the medicine cabinet behind. I’m not saying, but I’m just saying…)

On Wednesday, when Senator Rand Paul took a dive on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, some folks around the Capitol were wondering why Paul would stand up to Mitch McConnell, who could do his career as a senator some serious damage, but always fold like the cheap suit he is any time the eye of Sauron from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue turns in his direction. I don’t think Paul is atypical in this regard. It is true that the fact that the Republicans have gone AWOL on standing up to the president* has a lot to do with the fact that they’re getting an awful lot of the policies for which they’ve been slavering for 40 years, to say nothing of planting larval wingnuts all over the federal judicial system. (McConnell at this point looks like Lucy at the chocolate plant, trying to get as many of these critters confirmed as he can before Beggar’s Day arrives in November.) But I think there’s more to it than that.

All of these guys can deal with the possibility of political defeat, even with the possibility of political destruction. It’s something they live with every day of their lives—Hell, they have to start raising money for the reelect about 11 minutes after the polls close. This is a familiar peril to them. But, as was demonstrated in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, what this particular president* can hold over their heads is an existential personal threat.

Beating them for the nomination was a byproduct. He destroyed them as public people and, possibly, as private people as well. Don’t you think Chris Christie, or Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz are aware of how easily he turned them as people into objects of public ridicule? Don’t you think other Republicans took note of this? Do you think he knows any other way? Answer the last question first.

On the electric Twitter machine Thursday morning, historian Heather Cox Richardson hipped us to an inexact, but interesting, historical parallel to our current moment. In 1866, President Andrew Johnson was running out of friends. Lincoln Republicans distrusted him because he was a Democrat from the South, and because he was coddling the formerly treasonous, and also because he was sockless drunk about half the time. Frustrated with his rejection by what we would today call “the establishment,” Johnson decided to hit the road prior to the that year’s midterm elections and take his case to The People. This did not go well.

Johnson barnstormed the country, deep in his cups much of time. On what he called his “swing around the circle," Johnson blindly lashed out at his many enemies, real and imagined, in a fashion that one historian has called “ill-tempered, semi-insane, and thoroughly undignified.” One of his main campaign planks was to suggest that the states refuse to ratify the 14th Amendment. He accused the Lincoln Republicans of fomenting violence among the newly enfranchised African-American citizens. He even blamed Republicans—and black people—for the white supremacist rebellion in New Orleans. There was a catastrophic appearance in Cleveland when Johnson was heckled and began raving back in response.

Of the “swing around the circle,” The New York Herald concluded:

It is mortifying to see a man occupying the lofty position of President of the United States descend from that position and join issue with those who are dragging their garments in the muddy gutters of political vituperation.

They hadn’t seen anything yet. your social media marketing partner


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+53 # boredlion 2018-04-27 18:23
A very apt and witty assessment - a rather classic piece of east coast
Irony and punditry. I particularly appreciate the most a propos epigraph from Mary Shelley. There is something of the poor Frankenstein monster about our leader Trumpot. (Just don't let it shade into the pathos of the creature ! Please ! There's nothing pathetic about the rich and powerful a--holes!)
+57 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-04-27 18:25
This means nothing. His base will always love him. His enemies never have. What about the laws the Republicans got passed while the media stayed focused on celebrity gossip?
+83 # 2018-04-27 18:58
andrew johnson turned up at lincoln's second inaugural drunk. this is when abe delivered one of humankind's greatest speeches.

the parallels to trump are strong, as with andrew jackson, the awful racist who used the presidency to profit personally, including using the army to take lands from the indigenous which jackson then distributed to himself and his cronies.

take a similar look what trump is doing to our national parklands.
+48 # tedrey 2018-04-27 19:14
Someone tell Trump to call:

+14 # vicnada 2018-04-27 22:27
...while the rest of us click over to
+9 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-04-28 18:12
I've given up on prayer; I'm trying vodka and it seems to work fairly well. ;-)
+31 # Barbell 2018-04-27 20:03
Trump is obviously developing his defense for when he is charged and prosecuted: Insanity. Who could argue that the man is not completely insane. I don't care if he is removed in handcuffs or a straight jacket; just get him out of there.
-1 # ThorunnPS 2018-04-30 08:51
Strait jacket. It's not straight. Straiten means confined or restricted. Spelling matters - you end up saying things you don't mean.
+18 # DongiC 2018-04-28 00:00
Trumpot is in trouble for sure. He is losing his hold on consensual reality seeing enemies all around him. Will he in a fit of paranoia lead us over the brink of nuclear destruction? I guess, all of us, are in deep do-do.
+16 # ericlipps 2018-04-28 09:48
The thing about people who see enemies all around them is that after a while they create enemies all around them.
+15 # MikeAF48 2018-04-28 08:03
Or as we say in the construction business, 3 bricks short of a full load.
+14 # dascher 2018-04-28 08:59
People continue to underestimate Mr Trump. He is so perceptive that he could spot a piece of "lint" on Macron's jacket that Macron's own wife apparently overlooked. Of course, that "lint" could have been only in Mr. Trump's vivid imagination.

It is far past time that people started treating Trump as the unhinged, bullying, ignorant, stupid, egomaniac that he has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be for the past 40 years or more rather than as a clever, devious, genius of manipulation.

The emperor has no clothes. Say it out loud. Repeat it. Tell your friends. Tell those who think they are his friends. He will most likely disappear into a fog of silly lawsuits (if he can find any more lawyers willing to do his dirty work) and never bother us again.
+10 # tomtom 2018-04-28 18:24
Trumpty Dumpty, unfortunately, is and continues to do the nation and the world much harm. I oppose the death penalty, but, damn, we need to do one hell of a lot more to keep unqualified people out of office, and do more to dethrone them, when they weasel their way into power. I'm still not over "our" US ambassador to the UN, quoting David Duke, Ted Nugent and the NRA, "Cocked and Loaded". Brothers and Sisters, "Organize, Educate, Emancipate"!
+6 # hkatzman 2018-04-28 20:11
What if ...?

I keep wondering ...
Maybe he is an absolute genius.
I mean, he is getting everything the Republicans have "been slavering for 40 years." He is getting innumerable judgeships through. He is dismantling government programs wholeheartedly. And he is making a personal profit at the same time.

And the press is distracted by his tweets..

Maybe, I, and everyone else, have deluded ourselves into writing him off as loony.
Maybe he is a genius at playing us all off.

I certainly hope not.
+2 # librarian1984 2018-04-29 12:04
Some of us have been saying this for more than a year.

He may not be a strategic genius but he has a showman/con artist's instinct for manipulating the story, and the Democrats are taking advantage of the Trump Show to avoid being held accountable for their ineptitude and corruption.
+1 # Robbee 2018-04-29 14:41
Quoting hkatzman 2018-04-28 20:11:
Maybe, I, and everyone else, have deluded ourselves.

- when some of us, in 2016, bought dickhead, we got even more than we bargained for, didn't we? - any buyer's remorse yet?

we're still early in his presidency, you know? - it's improbable we hit anywhere near rock bottom, as yet? - is katzman a jewish name? don't get too comfortable in america just now? not everyone is as welcome as they were in 2016; first they came for the illegal immigrants; then they came for the muslims; then they came for me; know what i mean?

oh, and, by the way, we didn't ALL delude ourselves, white man! - or don't you count me? - frankly, to me it seems that anyone who didn't see dickhead coming, didn't want to?

ask around! most on rsn are still just relieved we don't have our bedtime monster, hated hillary?

when bombs start flying, it's time to kiss our ass good-bye? not until? - think about it this way? every day is a blessing! - every day dickhead doesn't drop a bomb and start a war! we live to see another day! - we had our last clear shot at escaping dickhead in nov. 2016 - AND WHIFFED! - get your mind right? or get out?

"Next time, we must resolve to MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT!" - (caps in original) - bernie

meanwhile for americans? us 99%? dickhead is enough? plenty? just right! - Maybe, you, "and everyone else", said so?
0 # Depressionborn 2018-04-30 09:07
maybe Charles Pierce, Esquir will ask the Koreans, but i doubt it.

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