The Country Turned Upside Down

Ken AshfordTrump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The dysfunction of the White House — both internally and externally — cannot be understated. Some days it is just better to step back and take a photo of it from afar.  Historians, this is a day with virtually NO breaking news….


Trump feels betrayed by all those Republicans who failed to win and made him look like a loser. He’s been stabbed in the back by Emmanuel Macron, his little buddy, who hasn’t found that flattering Trump got him anywhere and has stopped trying. Kim Jong-un, the man who sends him “beautiful letters” after the two of them “fell in in love,” is making a fool of him by continuing to build missile sites after Trump announced to the world that North Korea’s nuclear threat was over. Then there’s the latest in a long line of former intimates who’ve turned state’s evidence, possibly including his old pal Roger Stone, who appears to be on the verge of indictment. Firing Sessions, the man who committed the original sin of following the rules instead of being his “Roy Cohn,” hasn’t made him feel any better.

I suspect the biggest reason for all this is the ultimate betrayal: His followers failed him by not voting in great enough numbers to defy all the predictions and prove that he is the biggest winner in American political history. He may not be stable and he may not be a genius, but right now he knows that he looks like a loser. Perhaps he also instinctively realizes that may just break the spell some of his voters have been under since he was unexpectedly elected two years ago — the belief that even though he is personally a mess and his administration is nonstop chaos, he’s an unbeatable giant-slayer, an omnipotent superhero who transcends the normal definition of leadership. He lost, and his followers will never see him the same way again.

Once a con man is exposed, he blows town and moves on to the next mark. But Donald Trump is the president of the United States. He’s trapped and he has nowhere else to go.