Friday, 3 February 2017
The Trump Implosion
Cast your mind back to last summer when for a brief period it all became too much. There was too much news. We had the Brexit vote; we had a prime ministerial resignation; we had the attempt to depose Chauncey from the Labour Party; we had Michael Gove stabbing Boris in the back and Boris standing aside from his leadership challenge; we had the Labour Party leadership election between Chauncey and someone even more incompetent than he is and remains; we had Andrea Leadsom becoming the favourite and then standing aside because she gave a bad interview to The Times which revealed her to be a grinning cretin; we had Theresa May thus becoming prime minister and creating her Cabinet including Boris as Foreign Secretary. Journalists, bloggers, columnists and cartoonists didn't know which way to turn. And this was before Donald Trump. Not for nothing did I write a record number of posts in 2016.
But now here we are only a month into 2017 and only two weeks into the Trump presidency and we are rapidly heading for meltdown once again. Trump is being every bit as much of a disaster as was foreseen. His administration is already leaking like a sieve that has had a train driven through it. This is how we know that he got into a shouting match over the phone with the Australian prime minister and actually slammed the phone down on his. Australia is one of America's most forthright and loyal allies lest we forget. Imagine how he will speak to the leader of a country he actually dislikes. Buy shares fast in nuclear fallout shelter manufacturers.
We also know that Trump is still obsessed with his inauguration crowd and is still lying to anyone who will listen about how stunningly successful he was in the election last November, the one he only just managed to win by getting a cumulative total of 100,000 votes more than Hillary spread over half a dozen swing states. He is actually boasting about this to world leaders in phone calls. Does he like being thought of as a tit?
But the best story of the lot is the one about how the White House asked the losing judge, Thomas Hardiman, in the race to be nominated to the Supreme Court to drive towards Washington so as to make the announcement more dramatic. Trump, the former reality TV judge, just cannot break the habit. He probably leaves pregnant pauses before he gives decisions in the situation room. So, Mr President, shall we fire the missile? Wait a minute general. The missile? This missile?.........the missile is......... fired.
Trump got into a spat with his successor on The Apprentice, Arnold Schrwarzenegger, just yesterday because his audience figures were apparently better. There are two points to make about this, no three: One, The Apprentice is a really old show now and so people are probably bored of it. Two, people didn't love Trump on the show, they loved to hate him in much the same way that they love to hate Simon Cowell or Piers Morgan on similar shows. If only Trump could do an English accent he would probably be even more loathed than he is now and we could start birther type rumours about his ancestry and qualification for the presidency. But the third and most important point to make is: Who gives a shit Donald? You're the president now for crying out loud.
But this is the point isn't it. The reason that the White House is leaking this way so early on is that administration staff cannot believe what they are seeing and want the world to know. These are Trump's staff, people who are close enough to the president to know some pretty intimate details about his conversations with world leaders and his childish, ignorant, yobbish, bone headed approach to his new job.
It's almost like they are hostages being held against their will in The White House. Or maybe they would like to get out but as patriots see it as their duty to hold the line and stop this man doing things that are even worse than he has done already.
And Trump will be hating this. You can be damned sure that he knows about the leaks because he is still consuming news media like an addict especially now that they are talking about his favourite subject almost constantly.
But his fury will be volcanic in its ferocity, not least because the leaks are anonymously sourced. He hates disloyalty. He likes to surround himself with ultra loyalists and to delegate to them. He hates to be ridiculed. He hates to be criticised. He hates to be denigrated.
What then will be his reaction? Will he start firing people? In the first two weeks he has got into a few self inflicted crises but nothing existentially harmful. But what when one of those inevitably happens and the leaks follow? Can he survive that? This is a job that is never ending, hugely demanding and yet he obsesses about every headline, every perceived betrayal, every fact with which he disagrees.
We had a pretty exciting summer here in the UK last year. This year is looking like more of the same right across the world. Most exciting of all we may be forced to watch a man implode in real time. At least when he does he can be assured that he will get record audience figures and there will be a lot of cheering.