In an interview with Margaret Brennan on ‘Face the Nation’ Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that Trump’s mental faculties may be diminished.
“I think the president gets this confused,” Graham said. “If you suggest that Russians meddled in 2016, he goes to the idea that, well, I didn’t collude with them.”
Graham was good enough to keep the language gentle — “gets this confused” as opposed to “is confused” — but it’s not a word that you want used in any context with a President. And it leaves in place the fact that Trump is taking no action to stop the Russians interfering in our elections.
Which begs the question: Which is worse, that Trump is deliberately aiding the Russians or that he is so demented he is aiding them without knowing it?
And let’s not stop there. You could ask the same question about everything Trump does. When he celebrates his ‘successful’ negotiations with Kim Jong-un does he actually believe they were, despite the evidence? Or is he plugging the lie knowing his zealots will believe anything he says — and even if they don’t, they won’t care?
Trump’s lunatic tweet storms don’t provide an answer. They could point to some ADHD/dyslexia cocktail or they could be evidence of a mental breakdown. And talking of cocktails, we cannot discount possible severe drug interactions. I’ll leave the diagnosis to trained psychologists/psychiatrists.
Regardless, Graham pointing out Trump’s confusion must surely open the door to discussions about the applicability of the 25th amendment.
His latest tweetstorm is just more proof of the proposition. It started last night with this:
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
Is Trump really threatening Iran and thinks this sort of nonsense is an effective tactic? Or is he just playing to the base?
He lobbed the same brickbats at Kim Jong-un. They proved to be just so much hot air. As they will here. At worst Trump and Rouhani will have a nice summit with lots of promises and no action. And Trump will again declare a ‘win’
Allow me two observations. One: Teddy Roosevelt said, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” But Trump doesn’t have a ‘big stick’ so he has to yell. Two, if you want to terrify someone, leave a dead fish on their doorstep or a horse head in their bed. Braggadocio from 6,300 miles distance will be swatted away. Which the Iranians did.
And if it is red meat for the base, Foaz Izadi, an Irani commentator, summed it up well:
“This is designed to address his base in the US. You need to remember that he is facing elections in November and if Democrats gain power in the US congress, they will impeach him.”
This morning, in a nine tweet rant, he took on the usual suspects — WaPo, Amazon, the FISA warrant, DOJ, FBI and the ‘Obama Gang’, the ‘Fake Dirty Dossier’, ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton’, the DNC, and the ‘discredited Mueller Witch Hunt’! Is he a raving lunatic — or a scared, desperate man holding on to his base?
Presidents have always had their fitness for office questioned by opponents. Sometimes absurdly — e.g. birtherism and the claim that Obama was a post-colonial, Kenyan socialist. Other times perhaps accurately, but irrelevantly. Say the charge that Bush Jr. wasn’t intelligent. There is no IQ standard for the job. Or that Clinton was distracted by the Lewinsky affair — how do you measure distraction?
The closest we have come in recent times is Reagan with his Alzheimer’s.
But Trump shows every day with his vacillation, pathological lying, inability to process information, grandiosity, erratic behavior, his obsession with enemies and the election, his denial of reality, and his constant claims of wins where none exist, that he may well be non compos mentis.
When you add that even members of the President’s own party are worried he may not be all there, then the time has come for the cabinet to think about doing their constitutional duty, and start consulting mental health professionals.
Americans deserve to know their President has the mental capacity to do the job.