The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Watch Donald Crack

    I enjoyed that Democratic Convention a lot, and mostly for the right reasons. In fact, I'm still enjoying it, because I'm currently five time zones ahead of Philly time and so watch the major speeches the next day. [SPOILER ALERT: Don't tell me who they nominate in the finale!] The Democrats presented a positive vision about candidate, cause, and country: inspiring reminders about what they are about, what we are about, and what America is about. It's great, and also I'm walking around London with Stevie's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" stuck in my head. I am one happy Democrat.

    This is a much happier feeling than watching the Republican convention was. That was a mix of fearful apprehension for my town, sickened horror at the speakers' outpouring of authoritarian hatred, and mocking schadenfreude at Trump's torpedoing his own convention. I had some fun in there, but it wasn't pleasant fun. It was more the point-and-laugh kind. It didn't make me feel especially good about myself. Thanks to Bill, Barack, and Hill for re-centering the moral compass.

    There are far more opportunities for schadenfreude ahead, unfortunately. Because Donald Trump is already starting to come unglued.

    One of the most useful psychiatric terms I've picked up in my travels is the word "decompensation." Decompensation is, just like it sounds, the opposite of "compensation." It is when a patient responds to stress or setbacks by getting sicker. The going gets tough, and the patient's symptoms get worse. That doesn't fix whatever's causing the stress; it just deepens it. An alcoholic gets fired and goes on a four-day bender.  A bipolar patient who's having trouble finding work becomes too depressed to even leave the house. Just when the patient needs to step up and cope with a challenge, they become even worse at coping. Bad, bad times.

    It's been no secret on this blog that I consider Donald Trump to have at least one fairly serious psychiatric condition. He is, to put it politely, a profoundly disordered personality. And under the stress of the campaign, he is going to decompensate badly. Running for President of the United States is incredibly challenging and stressful, even for strong, sane people who have already run many successful campaigns. Donald Trump is neither strong nor sane, and he has never been elected to any public office in his life. Not dog-catcher, not zoning board, not public water commission. He is not going to be able to take this. He is going to crack.

    In fact, he has already started.

    Over the last few days, as the general election gets underway, he has done a huge number of maladaptive things: expressed his desire to punch various speakers from the Democratic convention, decided to rant on Twitter about how Mike Bloomberg was mean to him, and mostly damningly urged the Russian government to spy on his election opponent. None of that is rationally calculated to help him. None if it is something you would do to help yourself. And I don't think he planned to plea to Putin at all; it was just another troubled impulse he could not control. Lack of impulse control is one of his symptoms.

    You can look at his behavior as demonstrating his lack of fitness for office, and you should. He is appallingly unfit for that office. But you can also understand what Trump is doing as the expression of psychiatric symptoms getting worse under pressure. Maybe that moves you to some compassion for him, and maybe it doesn't; Trump's condition prevents him from feeling compassion for anyone else, and in his current position he is extremely dangerous to our country. But we shouldn't necessarily lose our compassion because he has. We're bigger than he is.

    Those symptoms are only going to get worse, because the pressure of the campaign is only going to get worse. I mean, the general election hasn't even really gotten started yet. Donald Trump is going to crack under that pressure, and he is going to do it in front of the entire world. I am not looking forward to watching that. But anything is better than watching him crack in the Oval Office.



    Excellent points, as always.  My "empathy" for Trump begins and ends with hoping that he gets diagnosed, and put into an appropriate treatment facility for him, and that we never see him again.  I agree with you that his pathology is increasing, and that he may well decompensate before the general.  I doubt it will get that bad, because he has so many people covering for him.  I just sincerely hope that he holds it together while at the same time demonstrating enough of his many flaws to make the election truly show what the Republican Party has become.  

    If he falls apart before the general, would Ted Cruz get the nomination by default?  Horrors!  

    What are your thoughts about that?

    Doc, I tend to agree that this guy will come unglued at some point in the debates and it will be a destructive and sorry event for our country even though he deserves to crash.

    But then again, are we underestimating Trump in the way that many of us have believed that his personality disorders would already have prevented him getting this far in the election?

    The thing that convinces me he will crack is when I look at his business career. Whether he did or did not crack privately in his business failures we'll never know but in any case he was able to fall into the safety net of bankruptcy. On that stage, there is no safety net and he won't get the hall passes he got from moderators in his primary.

    And then there is Hillary's incredible endurance and patience, as demonstrated in the Benghazi hearings, and  the intelligence and experience to deliver the final blow.

    Sad that it has come to this.

    When Trump said that he wanted to hit DNC speakers I doubt that he meant punches. For all his bravado, Trump is not a physical guy; he just has a compulsive need to retaliate in kind against everyone and anyone who disses him. Here is his comment. My translation to follow:

    The things that were said about me. … You know what, I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them — no, no — I was gonna hit them. I was all set. And then I got a call from a highly respected governor. ‘How’s it going, Donald?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s going good, but they’re really saying bad things about me. I’m gonna hit them so hard.’ I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy.

    I was gonna hit this guy so hard, his head would spin. He wouldn’t know what the hell happened. And he came out of nowhere. He came out of nowhere. They made deals with me. ‘Would you help me with this? Would you make this deal and solve this problem?’ I solved the problem. I do a great job. I was going to hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin, they’d never recover. And that’s what I did with a lot of people — that’s why I still don’t have certain people endorsing me. They still haven’t recovered, okay, you know?

    Translation: I really wanted to tweet nasty insults about all those people who criticized me at the DNC, especially that two-faced Mike Bloomberg, but Chris Christie advised me to hold my tongue and focus on Hillary (which I mostly did--except for Bloomberg!) 

    Yeah Mike you have enough links.

    I have been watching or reading six sides of all this and Yes, T-Rump would like to smack Bloomberg.


    Frankly, and do not call me frankly, Maher has begun to attack T-rump personally. hahahaha

    Bill attacks Donald for his hand gestures.


    With me it deals with the Okay signs. But Maher digs into this little dance Donald does with his fingers and figure. hahahah

    I was going to do a blog on just those things or shows or whatever that I refuse to watch.

    But T-Rumps hand gestures would put him out of my selections.

    Oh here is a link I just found.


    Mitt Romney's son didn't want to 'take a swing' at Obama either, right? That's why he apologized.  

    And Donald also said he could 'shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters'.

    This is not a sane individual.

    Whatever comes out of their mouths is exactly what they mean and exactly what they would like to do.

    Fair enough, Michael. That part of the Trump crazy I retract. But there are so many other dysfunctional things.

    No need to retract. His tit-for-tat compulsion is crazy, even crazier than the desire to punch someone out. But he's been crazy a long time. I'm not sure that he's any crazier than he was before he ran for president, and I question whether we have reason to think he'll crack. If he does crack, I will joyfully credit you with the early diagnosis. 

    We should have Act Like Trump Day on Dag.

    Doc Cleveland falsely insinuates that Donald Trump wants to punch people and Wolraich says he doesn't need to retract.  Sad!

    The Russian mob could turn this blog into Cyrillic so fast it would make your head spin. Who would care? Make Dagblog great again folks!

    Didn't we just have an Act Like Trump month here at dag? Isn't Wolraich trying to tamp that down now?

    Wolraich is trying to stop all of my best ideas for restoring the greatness of this blog. Despicable!

    I don't see how you can ask us to get involved in this vicious hateful fight between those on the masthead. Until I see the emails you, Cleveland, and Wolraich have sent to each other I must remain neutral. At this point I have to ask the Russians to hack dagblog and your email accounts to get us the information we need.

    According to game theory you should be getting a tit now.

    Wussy Michael likes

    Washed up pro-wrestling losers

    Very pathetic

    You two stop this right now!  I can't leave you boys alone for one minute!  Go to your rooms and don't come out until you've written ToS Violation 100 times on a 5X7 index card.  I'm going to count them and check for misspelling, so no fooling around.  Go on, now!  Get!  (Ha!  I've still got it!)

    Ha! ???  Sorry Ramona, but that raucous cackle was offensive. Really hurt my ears. So unfeminine. Please tone it down.

    Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  Once a mom, always a mom.  So watch it!

    Well, there's moms and then there's Moms....

    Well played!

    Suckup. You're not off the hook!

    I guess Trump couldn't resist the urge to tit-for-tat the Khan family after all.

    PS Tit-for-tat works both ways. He also keeps offering goodies to Putin for praising him.

    They say he's so brilliant at media but, really, if he were, he'd have filmed himself doing this:

    No, of course he wasn't really going to hit anyone but Trump is smart:  He knows he can use language that suggests physical attacks and his audience will eat it up, but when the shit hits the fan he can come back and say, "Everybody knows I didn't mean. . .blah, blah, blah."   Why would he word it in just that way if he didn't want his audience to keep sn image in their heads of Donald hitting that guy so hard his head will spin?  He knows exactly what he's doing.  Nowhere in that rant was there the tiniest suggestion that his imagery was metaphorical; an obvious exaggeration, and he actually meant something more benign. Presidential, even.

    This is what drives his detractors crazy.  He can spout off in the ugliest ways and then turn it around to make it look like his detractors can't take a joke.  They just don't get him.  They're dumb.  They're losers.  But his audience gets it, because they're so much smarter.  So of course they're with him all the way.  It's them against us.  How can he lose?  How can we win?


    So typical of the abuser, the bully, to threaten, abase, humiliate verbally, then when called on it:  "It's just a joke!  Whassamatta, you can't take a joke?  You're such a big baby!"


    My fantasy is that Hillary pushes his buttons so hard during the debate he totally loses it, lunges at her, and gets body-slammed to the floor by her Secret Service detail, then dragged off the stage raving and flailing.


    Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

    It may be that a public Trump crack-up is just the tantrum that some elements of American society needs to see right now.  Maybe Trump's psychic break will alleviate some societal tensions.

    Off topic Mike (as if I am never off topic) but the Vietnam War was supposed to be a safety valve during the not so cold war with the USSR.

    But Trump has just told us that he would like to punch a bunch of Dems and others (including Bloomberg) in the face. hahahahahah

    Trump does nothing but break. 

    And he shall continue for the next 100 days.

    Of course, he will blow up after he loses (God help us all).

    I was thinking about Monty Python.

    Oh I had to add this.

    I am watching MSNBC and the headline for Trump is:


    Has anyone, ever, seen Trump as a nice guy? hahahahah

    Of course not.  And the thing is, the people who like Trump really think that having a "not nice" leader would be a good thing.

    It would alleviate my tension!

    Taking delight in other people's mental illness!  Pathetic!


    (Still acting like Trump...)

    Of course, if schadenfreude gets the better of me, I may sing the song "Decompensation" (to the tune of Carly Simon's "Anticipation").



    He's so full of hate!

    His voice is so gra-a-a-ting!

    he has never been elected to any public office in his life. Not dog-catcher, not zoning board, not public water commission.

    You can look at his behavior as demonstrating his lack of fitness for office, and you should. He is appallingly unfit for that office.

    [His] condition prevents him from feeling compassion for anyone else, and in his current position he is extremely dangerous to our country.

    Sounds exactly like what they were saying about Obama in his first campaign for President.

    Yes, it is EXACTLY like Senator Obama?!?!?!  Trump is so much like the man who worked as a community organizer to get out the vote etc.  except Trump didn't.    Trump is exactly like Obama except for the community service, the election to the Senate of the United States, the ability to think before spouting off idiocy. Trump is like Obama except for having a knowledge of history and of law, a comprehensive knowledge of the Constitution, an adult's ability to ignore criticism, and a college graduate's knowledge of current events.  Oh!  I left out curiosity!  That is yet one more thing that Obama has, and makes him seek information, and Donald eschews because his attention span is so pathetically short.  The man doesn't READ!

    He doesn't read books.

    You left out his time in the Illinois senate.

    I didn't say Trump was like Obama.  I said the criticisms against Trump were like those against Obama.

    Despite Obama's lack of executive experience, there are many at Dagblog who would say he made a good president.  Just ask Wattree.

    Trump has more executive experience than Obama did.  He has been in charge of large organizations, he has had to meet payrolls, convince boards of directors, take risks with his money and his shareholders' money and his name, conduct negotiations, bluff competitors.

    I'm not saying he'll be a good president, but at least he has more going into the job than his predecessor.

    It's hard to quantify experience. Obama had less management experience than Trump but more geopolitical experience. That said, Obama's lack of experience was a weak point, perhaps the weakest point, in his 2008 campaign.

    For Trump, it's far, far worse. Not only does he lack experience in national, international, and military affairs, he has repeatedly demonstrated a shameful ignorance of these issues. Even more dismaying, he does not know what he does not know, boasting that he is smarter than the people who do have experience.

    Trump declared bankruptcy 6 times

    He hen lies about his businesses  going bankrupt

    ​In addition, Trump as toyed with the idea of having the US default on loans, an economic disaster

    You are paying the price for too many hours of watching sex pervert Ailes and Murdoch's little right wing whorehouse operation called Fox News.

    Facts don't matter to Those on the other side of the aisle. They just make up crap. 

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