The Arrogance of Donald Trump

15237I’ll leave it to the elephants to trample the grass around the firing of FBI Director James Comey – except to agree with the obvious point that this clearly wasn’t about the Director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail issue – but I do want to call out one telling detail of yesterday’s drama: Mr. Trump sent his longtime bodyguard – Keith Schiller – to hand carry the letter of dismissal to Director Comey’s office. That wasn’t an accident and reveals the petty cruelty and arrogance of Mr. Trump.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Schiller, he has been part of the Trump Organization since 1999 when he signed on as a part-time bodyguard. In 2005, he became Trump’s head of security. If you’ve ever watched a Trump rally, you’ve probably seen Mr. Schiller as he’s rarely far from his boss.

Schiller served in the New York Police Department and in the Navy so he has law enforcement experience, but his primary qualification for his job is his unwavering loyalty to Trump. Sending him to “fire” James Comey – someone who has worked for decades in the highest levels of our nation’s law enforcement – is a calculated insult akin to sending a first-year medical student to pull a neurosurgeon out of an operating room.

In plain language, it’s a dick move by a low-class bully who probably fouled the Oval Office by giggling about how clever he was.

This detail changes nothing about how I feel about Mr. Trump and I suspect that it won’t change anyone’s opinion of the man. If, however, someone tells you about the “warm and gracious” Trump that no one sees on camera, remember this counterpoint. This is the real Donald Trump and these are the people he wants around him.

  • Austin

12 thoughts on “The Arrogance of Donald Trump

  1. Dennis McGrath says:

    Where did they find that little sweetheart who pinch hit for Spice at today’s WH press conference? Maybe they’re clones who came here on a space ship coincident with Trump’s election. Meanness and disdain for the press and for democrats seem to be a common ingredient.

    mcgrath

    The Same Rowdy Crowd [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:53 PM
    To: Dennis McGrath
    Subject: [New post] The Arrogance of Donald Trump

    Jon Austin posted: “I’ll leave it to the elephants to trample the grass around the firing of FBI Director James Comey – except to agree with the obvious point that this clearly wasn’t about the Director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail issue – but I do want to call o”

  2. Mike Kennedy says:

    The country elected a man who publicly fired people on national TV. I scarcely think the manner in which he fired Comey is going to matter much in what people think of DJT.

  3. I agree…in the Jackson Pollack painting that is Donald Trump, this is one tiny spatter in a corner of the canvas. But, like a Pollack, the spatters are meaningful. File this one away in the same pigeonhole with the old saying, “You can tell how your spouse is going to treat you in 20 years by how they treat your waiter today.”

    I think he’s a dick and this is one more bit of evidence that my impression is correct. People who like him will likely see something else. The fact that so many people see something else so often about Donald Trump worries me as much – or more – as the man himself.

  4. Mike Kennedy says:

    I think he probably is a dick. However, I don’t think many people see something else. I think after eight years of detached, passive and often condescending lecturing by Mr. Obama, a good part of the country was ready for brass knuckles and baseball bats (and not to hit a Rawlings). A significant part of the population is boisterous, brash and blustering. I don’t think those qualities offend them. In fact, I think many rather admire them. We didn’t conduct a revolution in this country armed with Emily Post volumes.

  5. If we ever need to lead another revolution, Mr. Trump would not be my choice as his ability to “lead” anything are in deep doubt.

    Similarly, were we to step back into the 18th century, I suspect Mr. Trump would be one of the New Yorkers who supported the King until it became clear who was winning and then rushed to hang a revolutionary flag out of his window.

    In the world we live in today, however, Mr. Trump is ill-suited to the position he holds: he is impulsive, unthinking and ignorant of history. He fires 59 Tomahawk missiles into another country because he saw sad pictures on television. He fires the director of the FBI because he concludes he’s not sufficiently loyal. He has “discovered” that healthcare, Korea and other topics are complicated. He is surprised that the presidency is more difficult than his previous position.

    These flaws be tolerable in a revolutionary leader hiding in the bushes of a pre-industrial colony armed with muzzle-loading muskets, but they are potentially fatal flaws (for all of us) in a man who controls a nuclear arsenal and whose every utterance is examined for meaning by both allies and enemies.

    I get that many people were ready for a change and wanted a more muscular advocacy both at home and abroad (I have great admiration for Obama but I understand – I think – why others don’t). I’m puzzled, though, that so many people saw Mr. Trump as an authentic fulfillment of those desires. No one who has studied Mr. Trump’s history should be surprised that he’s treating the presidency in the same slipshod, unthinking manner he exhibited as a (modestly successful) real estate developer, as a (failed) casino operator, as a reality television actor and as a (indifferent) brand marketer. In each incarnation (including his current role), he’s applied the same principles: say anything that works, get the check, do the least amount of work possible, cheat your partners, employees and vendors, declare victory and move on to the next mark.

    It troubles me that so many of my fellow citizens – including those who are boisterous, brash and blustering – have been taken in by something that seems so transparently fraudulent to me.

  6. Mike Kennedy says:

    Well, what choices did we have? In a race between two liars and cheaters, I don’t think there was any good outcome. I, for one, wish there would have been more to pick from than a lying, dishonest, intellectually lazy, thin skinned braggart and a lying, dishonest, bland, vindictive woman with a thin list of accomplishments.

    I’m no fan of either and preferred that neither would have taken his and her respective seats at the head of the table. However, that wasn’t the way it went down. I’m not a Trump fan, but I know I support a change in the tax system (more likely under him than her), another crack at health care (again, more likely with him than her), a more muscular defense (I’ll give the nod to him on this judging by his appointees), and less onerous and voluminous regulations (clear nod to him over her). I don’t like his nothing or her all on immigration, so I would call that a tie.

    Personally, of the successful clients I have, both professional and working class, I can tell you that my second paragraph rang pretty true for them, as well. Look, very few people I know LIKE either of the choices nor see many virtues in either.

    1. Mike – Thanks for keeping the conversation going; it’s illuminating to me and I appreciate that.

      If I’m reading your comments right – correct me if I’m not – you saw the election as a “more of this than that” sort of choice between two mainstream candidates who were more or less qualified at a fundamental level and your decision turned on which candidate was more likely to advance your policy preferences. In my head, your decisionmaking looks like a dial from 0-100 and you set the knob to 60-40 (80-20? 100-0?) to Trump.

      In previous elections, my decisionmaking resembled yours – I preferred Obama to Mitt Romney 80-20 and over McCain 70-30, Kerry over Bush, Gore over Bush, etc. because I preferred them over the other qualified candidate. In 1988, I was probably 55-45 for Dukakis; I was not terribly unhappy when GHW Bush beat him (nor was I devastated in 2000 when GW beat Gore).

      My decisionmaking in 2016, on the other hand, was binary in the sense that either “1” – Clinton – or “0” (Trump). From my perspective, the choice was between a flawed candidate (Clinton) who lies at about the same rate as most people in her profession and who was highly qualified for the position by both temperament and experience and a person who lies at a staggering, unprecedented rate, who had no relevant experience for the position and who is temperamentally unsuited for its demands (see above). There is no thought experiment I can come up with that would have resulted in me voting for Mr. Trump.

      From my perspective, Mr. Trump’s willingness to sign anything put in front of him as long as it can be spun as a “win” (for him) is not an asset but a further disqualification. It makes him easy to manipulate, inconsistent in how he’ll apply the power of his office and a danger to himself and others.

    2. Ellen Mrja says:

      Hi, Mike. If you think you can draw an intellectual equivalency between Trump and Clinton..well, I just don’t get it. He’s a liar, a con man, a hustler and a businessman who is flat broke, according to some sources. She was Secretary of State (whom many people said did an honorable job (and please don’t whip that dead old horse of “Bengzahi”), a successful United States Senator who was able to work with both sides of the aisle, a First Lady of the United States and the state of Arkansas, and her work going back to college days with non-profits on behalf of children and women. Oh, and let’s be honest. When she’s asleep she could still score a higher I.Q. score than the Donald.

        1. Mike Kennedy says:

          accomplishment outside of being elected to the senate by one of the two most liberal states in the country and was appointed S of S as a prize for getting beat by Obama and waiting her turn. The rest of what she accomplished had more to do with her being married to a certain southern politician. As far as IQ, I really wouldn’t presume to know whose IQ is higher nor do I care, as if that has a bearing on character, honesty or competence. She is a bad candidate all the way around….the same as he was. The fact he beat her is not only stunning and shocking, it goes directly to the issue of how bad of a candidate she was and how much she is disliked.

  7. Mike Kennedy says:

    Jon, you hit the nail on the head. I would say 80/20. I would have voted for practically anyone over HRC. I sincerely believe that she is a pathological liar. I don’t trust a thing she says. So, in my mind, it does come down to a choice of dishonest liars. That said, I think the above policies I referenced benefit the country. Without growth of the economy, we have zero. I don’t want tax cuts but rather I believe we need tax reform. Taxing work and productivity is flat out stupid. My bet is it will get done under Trump more than it would under her.

    All in all, I am not a fan of either of these two. I do have to make a comment on the whole firing. If Comey would have seen the investigation through and exonerated Trump, no true progressive would have accepted the results. Comey had to be fired. I would favor a bi-partisan commission to investigate the Russian connection, though I sincerely think any damning evidence against Trump would have leaked out by now.

    If Mike Flynn, doofus Carter Page and money hungry Paul Manafort is all the evidence there is, this is going to be a lot of huffing and puffing and no house blown down. I also think that commission should investigate any and all spying on Americans connected to the Trump campaign by the past administration. And as Judicial Watch people (who just assume everyone in Washington is lying) pointed out tonight, a new FBI director may want to take a second look at the HRC server issue.

    This whole hyperventilating by the press over the firing is rather amusing. The Trump Derangement Syndrome is in full stage 4. I’m not a big supporter of Trump, but he’s the president and the hysterics look as if they could last a long three plus years….minimum.

    You guys all love baseball. Again, I’m an outlier here….I’m a hockey guy. I find the playoffs a welcome diversion, as well as two excellent FX shows, The Americans and Fargo, the latter in which ex con and foxy schemer Nikki Swango uses the description “unfathomable pinheadery,” which I could apply to many situations in our politics today.

    1. Common ground! We are all over-torqued these days and it makes it hard for even the best intentioned participants to reach across the aisle so I’ll endorse Mike’s recommendations – except for the baseball thing as it (like all professional sports) leaves me sort of meh – and add a couple of my own: The Travelers (Netflix) and Black Mirror.

      Onward!

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