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Bonfire of the Insanities


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Where do you start?
With the president who undercuts, insults, lambastes his attorney general, but does not fire him?
With the White House press secretary who resigns from his job only when he faces the prospect of reporting to someone he does not like?
With the White House communications director who tells a reporter he's planning on firing a staffer, then backtracks, then has the staffer resign?
With the Senate amending a bill that does not exist, while hoping that the finished legislation proceeds to a conference committee from which it does not pass?
With the White House communications director who calls a reporter outraged that news of a dinner with the president has leaked, who threatens to fire his entire staff, who blames the White House chief of staff for leaking his financial disclosure form, who uses an obscene metaphor to describe the senior strategist and chief ideologist?
With the president who is encouraging the communications director, loves the backstabbing and conflict and chaos, who privileges personal loyalty above all else?
There are too many options, too many ways to go at the problem. That problem is a White House in turmoil, a Republican Party that does not know what it wants on health care, taxes, and foreign policy, and a nation that remains as confused, divided, and incomprehensible to itself as it was on the day Donald Trump was elected president.
Satire, commentary, analysis—throw it all out the window. What's happening in Washington is beyond parody, beyond fiction. What will happen tomorrow, what will happen in the next hour? No one knows.
For more than a century, Americans have looked to their presidents as steadying hands, calming presences. The current president has a different conception of his office. He is still a business tycoon, a television commentator, an inspirational speaker, a controversialist, a self-promoter, a can-do guy.:snip:

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Scaramucci and the need for control

The White House needs to start making sure its internal disagreements are just that, internal.

No matter who is in the Oval Office, the job of the White House communications office is to create positive press attention that promotes the president's agenda. When new communications director Anthony Scaramucci was introduced to the public on July 21, he seemed qualified, deftly answering questions and charming the press.
By Wednesday, things were going downhill.:snip:

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New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn’t been on the job a week yet and he has already brought the degradation of the Trump White House to a new low. For some reason that is not apparent to me, on Wednesday night he called on New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza to unload on his White House colleagues Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon. Lizza’s article on the call is posted online here.
Scaramucci undertook a vulgar rant of the kind that might be explained by inebriation, but it appears that Scaramucci was only angry. He is an angry guy. He is angry about leaks emanating from the White House. He doesn’t like his Priebus or Bannon. And he draws on a deep well of vulgarity to express his anger and disaffection.
I wondered why Scaramucci would call Lizza to let him work a story like this one. The New Yorker is a diehard opponent of President Trump. When it comes to politics, it is just another brick in the wall of the mainstream media. Why not reach out to us or another conservative outlet? We call them as we see them and we support the administration’s objectives most of the time.
There is a reason that Scaramucci called Lizza, but it not a good one. It supports the inebriation hypothesis. Scaramucci had recently received a leak from the Trump White House. Scaramucci called Lizza to find out who leaked the item Lizza had written about. He apparently thought Lizza would tell him.:snip:

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Peggy Noonan: Trump's a 'drama queen'


 Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan said President Trump's biggest flaw undermining his own power is that he lacks traditionally masculine characteristics.
"He's not strong and self-controlled, not cool and tough, not low-key and determined; he's whiny, weepy and self-pitying," she wrote Thursday night in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. "He throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic. He's a drama queen.":snip:

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