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Is Trump a 'Very Stable Genius' or a Dangerous Lunatic?

Those are not the only choices.

campaign videocampaign videoBy calling himself "a very stable genius" on Saturday, Donald Trump invited his psychiatrically inclined opponents to reiterate their claim that he is mentally unfit for office. "The level of concern by the public is now enormous," Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee told The New York Times. "They're telling us to speak more loudly and clearly and not to stop until something is done, because they are terrified."

Lee, who edited The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, thinks the public is clamoring to hear the opinions of brave experts like her. Trump thinks the public is sick of bogus issues like "Russian collusion" and "mental stability" propagated by "the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media." I think Lee and Trump both are drawing hasty conclusions based on biased samples, and Lee's belief that she has any special authority to judge the president's competence is at least as delusional as Trump's belief that his success as a developer, a reality TV star, and a politician puts his I.Q. score above 140.

Lee is rebelling against the American Psychiatric Association's rule barring members from diagnosing at a distance public figures whom they have not personally examined. The injunction, which can be found in Section 7 of the APA's Principles of Medical Ethics, is known as the Goldwater rule because it was largely a response to psychiatric critiques of the 1964 Republican presidential nominee—in particular, an article in Fact magazine that quoted APA members who described Goldwater as, among other things, "a dangerous lunatic," a repressed homosexual, a self-hating half-Jew, a paranoid schizophrenic, and "a mass-murderer at heart," just like "Hitler, Castro, Stalin and other known schizophrenic leaders."

The APA rejected such wild speculation as unprofessional and unethical, a pseudoscientific cover for political disagreements. Yet psychiatry itself is based on equating things people say and do with diseases, providing a medical veneer to value judgments. The profession's diagnoses are inherently subjective, say nothing about etiology, and cannot be verified by biological tests. If one of the psychiatrists quoted by Fact had talked to Goldwater before declaring him a paranoid schizophrenic, would that have made the label any more valid or informative?

Lee and her allies argue that the Goldwater rule, as applied to Donald Trump, conflicts with their "duty to warn" the public about the grave danger posed by a flagrantly unstable president. Allen Frances, who edited the fourth edition of the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), agrees that Trump is temperamentally unsuited for his job but questions attempts to cast that assessment as a psychiatric diagnosis. "He is definitely unstable," Frances told the Times. "He is definitely impulsive. He is world-class narcissistic not just for our day but for the ages. You can't say enough about how incompetent and unqualified he is to be leader of the free world. But that does not make him mentally ill."

The distinction drawn by Frances is rather mystifying in light of the DSM, including the version that Frances edited. DSM-IV, which was published in 1994 and revised in 2000, defines "narcissistic personality disorder," for instance, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." The diagnosis requires at least five of these symptoms:

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
  4. Requires excessive admiration.
  5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

As more than a few "mental health experts" (including contributors to Lee's book) have noted, the fit between these criteria and Trump's personality traits is striking, and the same is true of the somewhat modified criteria in DSM-5, which was published in 2013. According to the psychiatric bible that Frances edited, the pattern of behavior exhibited by the president is consistent with a "mental disorder," and I suspect that impression would hold up even after a proper, professional psychiatric examination. Why, then, is Frances so dismissive of the idea that Trump is "mentally ill"?

In recent years, Frances has expressed qualms about the APA's quest to classify every unlovely feature of human nature as a mental illness. "Psychiatric diagnosis still relies exclusively on fallible subjective judgments rather than objective biological tests," he noted in a 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine article. "Psychiatric diagnosis is facing a renewed crisis of confidence caused by diagnostic inflation. The boundaries of psychiatry are easily expanded because no bright line separates patients who are simply worried from those with mild mental disorders." Or as Frances put it more pithily in a 2011 interview with Gary Greenberg, "There is no definition of a mental disorder. It's bullshit. I mean, you just can't define it." In a 2012 Cato Unbound debate (in which I also participated), Frances declared that "mental disorders most certainly are not diseases."

If so, you may wonder, why are they treated by medical doctors? And is Frances now saying that Trump does not qualify for a DSM label or that, even if he did, it would not mean anything, because it's all "bullshit" anyway? I suspect, based on what Frances said in the Cato Unbound debate, that he is drawing a distinction between a diagnosis like "narcissistic personality disorder," which is little more than a list of unappealing characteristics that often go together, and a "serious mental illness" like schizophrenia, which may actually be several different things and may or may not involve an identifiable neurological defect but, in Frances's view, entails a lack of self-control that can justify coercive intervention.

Trump may be crazy, in other words, but he's not that kind of crazy. The upshot is that, even if you think some parts of the DSM have scientific validity, the argument about Trump has nothing to do with mental illness and everything to do with his abilities and temperament (as well as his policies, an unspoken motivation for many, if not most, of the critics who worry about his mental health). Voters knew what they were getting with Trump, and almost half of them decided to give him a shot anyway. Trump provides daily ammunition to anyone who wants to argue that was a mistake. My own view is that his antics are more hilarious than terrifying and have the salutary effect of undermining respect for the presidency, which may lead to long-overdue limits on its powers. I am open to being persuaded otherwise by anyone whose arguments do not depend on psychiatric pseudoscience.

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  • Libertarian||

    Is he ready for Oprah in 2020? Obama got himself elected with one speech to the DNC. I guess devolution means that Oprah can do it with a speech at the Golden Globes:

    "Oprah reduces Golden Globes guests to tears with 'presidential' speech praising the women AND men leading Tinseltown's fightback from sex abuse scandals"

    "Winfrey's speech was widely praised with some calling 'it one of the greatest American speeches' as others urged her to make a run for President in 2020."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....otest.html

  • Bill||

    Oprah would be GREAT president. We would all get new cars!

  • lap83||

    On the down side it would take her forever to announce the positions in her administration.
    "We've got John Travoooltaaa" *cue half an hour of clapping then commercial break*

  • Mickey Rat||

    So it would be like a State of the Union Address all the time.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    lol!

  • damikesc||

    I love that story. People call Trump economically illiterate, but Oprah was baffled that gifts can be taxed?

  • Leader Desslok||

    At the very least Oprah would be a heck of a lot easier on the eyes than Trump.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Barf X 2

  • Liberty Lover||

    Dude get your eyes checked. You need glasses.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Except Oprah fell for the Millions Little Fibers guy's story.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Downgrade that, we all would get new shoes>

  • damikesc||

    "Oprah reduces Golden Globes guests to tears with 'presidential' speech praising the women AND men leading Tinseltown's fightback from sex abuse scandals"

    "To those of you still not naming whom you had to fuck to get your job, GOOD JOB. And for those of you who still think Polanski was punished unfairly, WE FEEL YOU!!!"

  • epsilon given||

    I may be biased, but making $1000/month doesn't sound like a great deal to me...

  • Jujucat||

    Well, if it's supplemental maybe... Depends on how time consuming I think. Also, have they gotten TO check something?

  • sudon't||

    Here's what I've learned about jobs in my life: Good employers don't need to advertise for employees. And the more desperate a place is for employees, the worse place it is to work. Spamming comments sections might be about as desperate as it gets.

  • Libertarian||

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
    Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
    Requires excessive admiration.
    Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
    Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
    Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
    Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

    " . . .the fit between these criteria and Trump's personality traits is striking . . ."

    You misspelled "Obama."

  • Bill||

    Don't know if Obama was mentally ill or not. He was definitely a narcissist. But even sicker was the sycophantic way that his supporters in the media and showbiz treated him. They actually thought he was nearly perfect. In fact, that was the Saturday Night Live skit for several years. Instead of making fun of the president as has been done for decades, they had a recurring skit about how perfect he was. What a bunch of crap. That's when I stopped watching the show for quite awhile.

  • Libertarian||

    But at least you resumed watching SNL in time to see this, right?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k19MB8_ioV8

  • lap83||

    good lord

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I first I thought maybe it was a joke, then not. They were fucking serious as all get out in their worship and adoration. Sort of like getting a Nobel Peace Prize just because.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It reminds of the videos of North Koreans worshiping Fat Boy-Un and his father before him.

    Lefties just won't admit they are religious- They worship idols.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    OMG ... no, I've never seen that.

  • Rebel Scum||

    they had a recurring skit about how perfect he was

    This really grinded my gears. They couldn't even actually make fun of him after that debate where Romney cleaned his clock.

  • sudon't||

    Tell you what, I was pretty disappointed with Obama, but what we have now makes him look like a saint in retrospect. In many ways, I'm less worried about Trump than I am about the Americans who seem to be blind to this guy's very obvious character flaws. If you can't spot a con-man, even after everyone's told you he was a con-man, what kind of decisions can you be trusted with?

  • Flyby||

    How is he a con-man, he was more straight up about what he would do if elected than anyone I can remember. And based on his first year he's doing pretty much exactly what he said he'd do. Where's the con? I get it if you strongly disagree with what he wants to do, but you can't say anyone was conned. In that respect he has showed more character than just about any politician I can think of.

    As for his very real character flaws, there's a difference between being 'blind to them', and accepting them as part of a trade-off with a whole host of other aspects. And while there were several in the Republican primaries that I would have chosen before Trump, his opponent in the national election had even more serious character flaws.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And you are truly an idiot partisan.

    The Dotard retaliates against every perceived slight, is impetuous, full of shit, and childish.

    Did Obama retaliate against any of the millions of rednecks who insisted he was born outside the USA?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    IRS*

    I Reckon So

  • Tom Bombadil||

    It's also worth noting, Trump's idea of 'retaliating' is to cry and shit his pants. Obama's was much more nefarious.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Oh, the IRS conspiracy theory again.

    It is amazing that only ONE IRS employee wanted to slow walk applications from Tea Bagger rednecks.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The fact that you are not bothered that the IRS was used for corrupt political purposes is consistent with your pure libertarian cred.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Lois Lerner was rightly fired.

    You are trying to tie the White House to a single mid level agent in Ohio. No one but partisan hacks buy into that CT.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Lerner wasn't fired. She retired, and now collects her generous federal pension.

    None of her staff were fired despite near-miraculous simultaneous hard drive failures that destroyed all evidence against her.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Don't forget the "investigation" (i.e. threatening to charge with espionage) of journalists that reported uncomfortable info abt the Obama admin., closing down open air national parks/monuments spending more money during a "gov't shutdown", etc.

  • damikesc||

    It is amazing that only ONE IRS employee wanted to slow walk applications from Tea Bagger rednecks.

    Or that so many in the IRS had hard drive failures at the same time.
    Or how the IRS never actually tried to retrieve the data.
    Or how, coincidentally, ALL of that data was under subpoena at the time.

    Remember, 18 minutes gaps in a tape are a smoking gun. About a dozen failed hard drives at the same time are just an odd coincidence.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The Tea-Bagger rednecks were so stupid they actually revolted against Obama when the first thing he did as POTUS was CUT taxes.

    Taxed Enough Already = stupid redneck racists.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Barry never cut taxes. And I challenge you to find an instance of actual racism at a Tea Party event.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    TRUMP'S TAX CUT WOULD BE SMALLER THAN OBAMA'S, ANALYSIS SAYS
    BY NICOLE GOODKIND ON 11/1/17 AT 6:57 PM

    You are truly ignorant.

    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-.....yan-699181

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And Obama cut the payroll tax in 2009 by 33% (employee side)

  • Rebel Scum||

    PB lives in a fantasy world where the PPACA doesn't exist.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    It's far worse than that: PB lives in a fantasy world where PPACA allows Americans to keep their doctors if they like their doctors and keep their plan if they like their plan, has bent the cost curve to reduce insurance premiums for all Americans, assures all Americans of quality health care, costs taxpayers nearly nothing, etc.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Obama's great talent was that none of the bullshit done by his administration stuck on him. He only learned of the scandals when he saw them reported on the news. Obviously, he was greatly assisted by an adoring News Media. He is/was a Grade A pussy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama's great talent was that none of the bullshit done by his administration stuck on him.

    It was all made up by wingnuts. Benghazi was nothing compared to St Reagan's 241 killed at the US embassy in Lebanon. And he tucked his tail and ran.

    It took Obama to make conservatives anti-gun trade (Fast and Furious) - which was a holdover program policy from Dubya.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Ah. All of Obama blunders were BOoooshes fault.

    Hey Butt, scientists have proven a 4th Dimension exists. That must be where lefty reality is kept.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Only a true libertarian could suck Obama cock like that. You win.

  • Lucius Fergeson||

    >Everything is Bushes fault
    >Obama is a good boy. He dindu nuffin. He was just going to church.
    Typical partisan cock-sucking on full display.

  • Widhalm19||

    You're boyfriend is calling you back to bed cupcake.

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    @Palin's Buttplug Spreading more of your leftard, shit sucking lies. Fuck off, dirt bag. The economy is growing at a bigger pace than your butt buddy Obama ever grew the economy. Look it up you fucking liar, but I bet you won't because if something contradicts your fantasy world view its not true. Yeah go fuck yourself.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Did Obama retaliate against any of the millions of rednecks who insisted he was born outside the USA?

    I seem to recall him talking with disdain and contempt to and about anyone who disagreed with him. I also recall him lambasting scotus in one of his sotu addresses. Is that presidential?

    Barry is every bit the a-hole that Trump is, he just masks it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    He merely said the SCOTUS got 'Citizens United' wrong. Conservatives moan and bitch about Roe and Griswold every fucking day.

    Obama is dead wrong about CU, by the way. SCOTUS got it right.

  • Rat on a train||

    He also made false claims about the results of the ruling:
    "Last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, and worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that's why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong."

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    No. Anyone can contribute to a PAC now. Even foreign corporations.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ROOOOOOSSSSIANS!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama was dead wrong about ObamaCare too. SCOTUS got that wrong too.

    There is no authority in the Constitution to force Americans to buy anything.

  • epsilon given||

    Hey, isn't "Citizens United" the case where the Supreme Court said it's ok for groups of people to gather together and accept donations for the sole purpose of creating and distributing a movie that criticized a person running for office?

    But then, *of course* Barry would say the Supreme Court got that wrong: the candidate under attack was Hillary Clinton. Barry wasn't happy with Dinesh D'sousa being critical of him, so he made sure that Dinesh spent several months in jail for a crime that everyone else just gets slapped on the wrist for.

    In other words: Neither Barry nor Hillary are friends of the 1st Amendment. But then, I suspect that you aren't, either.

  • damikesc||

    Did Obama retaliate against any of the millions of rednecks who insisted he was born outside the USA?

    IRS used to attack conservative groups opposed to him.
    Spied on reporters not sufficiently supportive.
    Funneled guns to Mexico without informing Mexico to attack the 2nd Amendment.

    Yeah, he did. Dramatically more harshly, to boot.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're full of shit.

    LOIS LERNER slow-walked some Tea-Party tax exempt applications - Obama had nothing to do with it.

    This is the kind of CT that lives on Bratfart - it is not real.

  • Libertarian||

    Apparently, the buck stops over there, somewhere.

  • damikesc||

    You're full of shit.

    Every word I typed was accurate.

    LOIS LERNER slow-walked some Tea-Party tax exempt applications - Obama had nothing to do with it.

    I know, very effective groups OFTEN have underlings doing things against the boss's wishes with zero punishment for doing so whatsoever. Happens all of the time.

    If by "slow walk", you mean "took YEARS to process while doing Progressive ones in a fraction of the time", sure. That sounds plausible.

    No concerns about the IRS utterly ignoring subpoenas for information that their people erased after the subpoenas? You'd think the President would want to get to the bottom of it, but darnit, Obama just didn't know enough to do anything. Tragic.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Coincidentally she did it in an electoral swing state.

  • Libertarian||

    "And you are truly an idiot partisan."

    In the years I have been posting comments here, I have used one and only one adjective to describe Trump. That adjective is "buffoon." I await your apology.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I have used one and only one adjective to describe Trump. That adjective is "buffoon."

    OK, you gain back some respect.

    But the LIST you reference is Trump all the way - not Obama. Your attempt to tie Obama to it is absurd. Obama is humble and exhibited real empathy many times (Sandy Hook, Charleston).

    I know, I know. Real partisan idiots say he was just faking it to ban their guns.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And the Dotard actually said Neo-NAZI white supremacists were "fine people".

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Obama is humble. Damn that's funny!

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Obama is humble"

    Suck that socialist cock like only a true libertarian can.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I know it. Anyone who is not a redneck Bible Beating conservative is a "socialist cock sucker". I hear it from dumbasses all the time.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama must really fill your mouth up if all you can say is what you said.

    Don't worry Butt, Obama will give you your socialist reward after some more sucking.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Anyone who is not a redneck Bible Beating conservative is a "socialist cock sucker"."

    I know a lot of atheist libertarians who I would not describe as "socialist cock suckers". FAIL.

  • MOAB Maxine||

    Do not question Trump over at Breitbart. I should have known better. Reported and slandered within record time of posting "maybe Trump isn't the genius he proclaims to be."

  • Zeb||

    They fit Trump pretty damn well. They probably fit most high profile politicians. But Trump makes it really obvious.

  • Ron||

    You misspelled "Obama."

    and every other president before him

  • Episteme||

    ...except possibly Coolidge. I'm cool with Coolidge.

  • Lester224||

    This whole thread is "whataboutism". Obama isn't president. Get over it. Bashing Obama doesn't do any objective good except perhaps to your personal psyche. Celebrate that Trump is president if you have to still do it. Trump is president. His is obviously a narcissist. That puts him in good company with a lot of other politicians.

  • MOAB Maxine||

    I like it here at Reason. I tried Breitbart and once questioned Trumps intelligence. Whoops. Reported and slapped down within the hour. Badge of Honor?

  • Eric Bana||

    Hey! Obama was a transformational figure that only comes along once a century!

    (I figure who actually said this.)

  • Episteme||

    Optimus Prime was a transformational leader. Unless Obama turned into a truck at some point in his administration and I missed it, he was just another bloviating politician.

  • Robert||

    You misspelled "politicians generally". How else could one succeed in the field?

  • Longtobefree||

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • Flinch||

    While we are on the DSM topic... shouldn't pickpocket politics become a sub category of narcissism disorder? It is breathtaking to see fellow americans sweep aside the 13th amendment to use congress [and its committees] to reach across the fence [or the doctors desk] to take their neighbors wallet. To that end, Pelosi should have a straightjacket reserved for her rabid tendencies.

  • Libertarian||

    Pelosi shoving her hands into your pockets and then being physically restrained? Your fantasies are disturbing.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    She's the Queen of Femdom.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I think the more important question is whether Trump is indeed like, really smart.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Lee is rebelling against the American Psychiatric Association's rule barring members from diagnosing at a distance public figures whom they have not personally examined. "

    " "The level of concern by the public is now enormous," Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy Lee told The New York Times. "They're telling us to speak more loudly and clearly and not to stop until something is done, because they are terrified.""

    So, it looks like Lee isn't diagnosing Trump, she is relying on the diagnosis of "the public".

  • sharmota4zeb||

    A psychiatrist is basically a psychologist that hands out pills to keep clients coming back, because his verbal skills aren't good enough to keep them with talk therapy. Psychology is basically the branch of anthropology that studies psychology majors and declares their behavior the epitome of normal and healthy.

    Lee's logic is wrong, but internally consistent. Lee knows that everyone in her department thinks Trump is crazy, therefor, every normal human thinks Trump is crazy, therefor, Trump must be crazy.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    "The level of concern desperation by the public left is now enormous,"

  • damikesc||

    So, it looks like Lee isn't diagnosing Trump, she is relying on the diagnosis of "the public".

    At least the imbecile is remotely self-aware. From Byron York, of NR (not a pro-Trump publication)

    "Yale psychiatrist who briefed Hill Dems wants to physically restrain President Trump, force him to submit to evaluation, declare him unfit for office. But she worries: 'This really will look like a coup.' You think?"

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    What does a forensic psychiatrist do, ask dead people about their problems?

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Is Trump a 'Very Stable Genius' or a Dangerous Lunatic?


    He IS a genius! He tweeted so himself.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Billions in free publicity.

  • Leader Desslok||

    Is Trump a 'Very Stable Genius' or a Dangerous Lunatic?

    The answer is yes.

  • Braunasaurus||

    Translation if we throw him out we won't have anyone left

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    I don't think the man is mentally disturbed. For instance, he flaunts his wife's good looks to anyone he can, even in front of her, in moments punctuated by an uneasy awkwardness. I mean, any of you would do that, wouldn't you?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    My ex-wife used to show me off like a prized stud. She even wanted me to pick her up at the mikvah in violation of local tradition so the other ladies could see what she would be enjoying that night. In retrospect, I should have just gone with it and appreciated our youth while we had it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Mazel tov!

  • GlenchristLaw||

    "'Normal' is what everyone else is and you are not."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Really? You're quoting that movie? After what it did to a world icon?

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    World icon? Do you mean Geordi LaForge?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    GALACTIC ICON I SHOULD HAVE SAID.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Your article is great, Sullum.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    My own view is that his antics are more hilarious than terrifying and have the salutary effect of undermining respect for the presidency,


    Don't fret. The president still enjoys the total confidence of all those 'fine people' who enthusiastically applauded when he asserted that more than half of immigrants from Mexico are rapists, criminals and drug dealers, and later when he said that trade with China is "raping us".

    Perhaps Trump is not alone in his lunacy...

  • Tom Bombadil||

    The thing is, you're the lucky one. You can always go back to where you came from. I wish I could escape this crazy country.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Tom Bombadil,

    You can always go back to where you came from.


    I do enjoy certain advantages. For one, I am not as easily fooled as others by obvious shysters and mountebanks, nor am I one to accept facile arguments based on chauvinistic attitudes and a mythical belief that one's greatness and importance is derived from national greatness.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Plus you can always go back to where you came from.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Oh, anyone can do that, Tom... Just ask a Cheyenne.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    I believe he said 'illegal immigrants'.

  • Mark22||

    Oh, anyone can do that, Tom... Just ask a Cheyenne.

    The Cheyenne are American citizens; they can go and live wherever they want in the US.

  • Mark22||

    nor am I one to accept facile arguments based on chauvinistic attitudes and a mythical belief that one's greatness and importance is derived from national greatness.

    As an immigrant myself, I find nothing "mythical" about my strong preference for US culture over Mexican culture: it was a deliberate and informed choice.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    We can say with accuracy that less than 1% of Mexico's population is foreign born. This means Mexicans sure hate immigrants.

  • Vernon Depner||

    No, it just means Mexico is a shithole.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Yeah, great conclusion, Aristotle.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    730,000 of those are permanent residents from the United States, by the way, which makes about 89% of all foreign permanent residents in Mexico. So while you use that number to conclude that Mexico must hate immigrants, it is clear a lot of American citizens love Mexico enough to move down therr.

    By the way, while the xenophobes here in the US insist, wrongly, that foreign-born people do not enjoy 'constitutional rights', the Mexican constitution expressively says all people's individual rights are protected under it no matter where they were born. A constitution would not need to have such protections expressively stated since each of us is born with unalienable Natural Rights but there you go.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Can an American walk across the border and start working without documentation?

  • Rat on a train||

    Don't know about that, but they can't own property within 100km of a border or 50km of a beach even with documentation.

  • Zeb||

    Probably could if he were willing to work for less than the locals.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I asked that question to Old Mexican because I know the answer is "no fucking way". Old Mexican, where did you go?

  • Azathoth!!||

    He r-u-n-n-o-f-t.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "730,000 of those are permanent residents from the United States"

    I wonder what would happen to an American found living in Mexico without proper immigration documentation?

    I wonder if that American living there for many many years illegally would make the punishment less or more severe?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Except for the Mexican right to possess firearms in the home which must be approved by the SEDENA which do not approve permits for non-Mexicans.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yeah, about a 800,000 foreign born people is still less than 1% of Mexico's population. Mexico has not exactly opened it's doors to immigrants from Venezuela, Haiti, and Syria.

  • Mark22||

    the Mexican constitution expressively says

    Great! You have no objection then if we adopt Mexican principles, laws and rules for dealing with foreigners and immigrants.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Is it a hearing aid you need?

    Is that the problem?

    Because you keep ranting at people about things that no one's actually said.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I think Lee and Trump both are drawing hasty conclusions based on biased samples...

    I'd say they're both right. There are plenty of people in each column here.

    And, yes, Lee is not the first expert to very credibly judge from afar a president's fitness.

  • SIV||

    It's not narcissistic personality disorder if it's true.

    MAGA

  • Vernon Depner||

    Is that You, Lord?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That is the funniest thing lefties will never admit.

    They fall for Trump's tweets and whoop and wail about those, never seeing what Trump is doing to help Americans.

    Then there is truth in the rare things I see Trump saying. For example Jan 8, 2018 Trump tweeted:
    "African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in our country. The Hispanic unemployment rate dropped a full point in the last year and is close to the lowest in recorded history. Dems did nothing for you but get your vote! "
    Unemployment numbers
    Overall, the unemployment rates are the lowest since 2000 at 4.1%. Unemployment for black persons is 6.8% the lowest since at least 2007.

    Of course, these unemployment numbers are skewed based on who is in office and how many American stop looking for work. Since all the different administrations do this and put forth the best numbers they can get away with, Trump's first year is still better than any year in Obama's two terms.
    Black-American unemployment

  • sudon't||

    Maybe if we incarcerated five-percent of white men, we could reduce their unemployment figures, too?

    But seriously, what, exactly, did Trump do in his first year to reduce unemployment? You know damn well if the economy was going bad you'd be blaming Obama. To credit Trump with anything at this point is to be as delusional, or as dishonest, as Trump.

  • Mark22||

    It's not narcissistic personality disorder if it's true.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is a prerequisite for the presidency. Hillary and Obama had it even worse than Trump.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

    "biggest electoral victory ever"
    "greatest jobs president ever"
    "most legislative wins in first year ever"
    "biggest inauguration crowd ever"
    "best first year stock market gains ever" and so on

    All demonstrably false.

    Trump is fucking insane AND a pathological liar.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Everything has to be big for the p...y-grabber-in-chief. Like,for instance, his bankruptcies...

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Ok, let's assume for the sake of non argument that he is clinically "crazy," whatever that means, the outcomes speak for themselves:

    1. As I told a European taxi driver last Summer, the worst candidate in the history of American politics lost to the second worst candidate in the history of American politics. I will take his "crazy" over a mendacious, self serving, corrupt, venal, feckless and tyrannical hag any day, not to mention: his greatest accomplishment was to keep Lady McBeth out of office.

    2. A remaking of the Federal Judiciary with candidates recommended by the Federalist Society and not the ABA; for the most part [there have been two or three exceptions, whom you are not doubt eager to display...] these have been very qualified jurists like Gorsuch, Willet, and Ho, and are generally conservative and inclined to strict scrutiny of Constitutional matters, especially the Bill of Rights. Trump is filling a record number of vacancies, and even IF the Republicans lost a majority in the Senate in 2018, he has another year of offering candidates they will gleefully approve. This will be a legacy for generations,


    I did not vote for Trump by the way, and he is not a person I admire in any way, but he certainly is the greater lesser of two evils.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    3. Major tax reform, the first in 30 years, whereby the corporate tax rate has been reduced to a level similar to other developed nations. Of course the other shoe to fall will be spending cuts, which leads to more

    4. Draining the swamp: Small steps in this direction, and I hope more to come in the way of reducing the power and overreach of agencies and regulations and putting such matters back into the hands of duly elected representatives.

    5. Last but not least, a burgeoning economy and record low unemployment, which you no doubt wish would fail so you could blame Trump.

  • p3orion||

    Although largely ignored by the press, I think that the massive reduction in the federal regulatory burden will ultimately prove to be Trump's greatest achievement, if some way can be found to make the reduction durable, and not subject to immediate reversal the next time some Democrat gets into office.

  • Flyby||

    Agreed.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fuck the Federalist Society. They are a bunch of anti-4th Amendment drug warrior Aborto-Freaks. No classic liberal respects them.

    Trump inherited a healthy economy with record equity markets and full employment. He gets ZERO credit for this economy.

    Trump is filling the "swamp" with more swamp creatures from Goldman Sachs (although Gary Cohn is no doubt the smartest member of his administration).

    The corporate tax cut was long needed but Obama's attempt at 28% was blocked by the GOP.

  • damikesc||

    Trump inherited a healthy economy with record equity markets and full employment

    ...yet growth is far higher under him than it ever was under Obama. Weird.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    .yet growth is far higher under him than it ever was under Obama. Weird.

    No it is not. Obama had 3% quarters too.

    Repeat the wingnut mantra after me - "Obama is the first POTUS never to have a 3% GDP YEAR".

    Which is true - but he inherited the worst economy since FDR did.

  • damikesc||

    No it is not. Obama had 3% quarters too.

    True. He got 3.2 back in 2015.

    He then got after that, in order: 2.7, 1.6, 0.5, 0.6, 2.2, 2.8, 1.8, 1.2...then its been 3.1 and 3.2 the last quarters. Weird, huh?

  • Palin's Buttplug||


    then its been 3.1 and 3.2 the last quarters.

    Not weird since other world markets are up more and the US Dow companies do over 50% of their business overseas.

    Don't tell me the Dotard is responsible for the world wide equity boom.

    He actually hurts the USA relative to other markets by opposing US friendly trade deals like the TPP.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    FDR never had a chance to turn the civilian economy around is his 4 terms as president!

    Haha. Lefties lie so much and try and twist history but it never works.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt: "Trump inherited a healthy economy with record equity markets and full employment. He gets ZERO credit for this economy."
    Yet the unemployment numbers show this to be a lie. Unemployment was much higher than 4.1% in 2016.

  • Flyby||

    It's not just about unemployment, as unemployment only tracks those who want to work. The 'discouraged worker' who gives up trying to find a job is not counted. The labor force participation rate plummeted under Obama, and likely would have continued to go down with another democratic administration that valued government regulation and feelgood policies versus economic opportunity. I do think Hillary would have been significantly more pragmatic than Obama, but her base would have made it very hard for her.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    High rates of growth should be easy after a crash. Once things reversed the downturn that began with the 1929 crash, the US only had one year of GDP growth less than 3%.

    1934 +10.8%
    1935 +8.9%
    1937 +5.1%
    1938 -3.3%
    1939 +8.0%
    1940 +8.8%

    Only extreme partisans give credit or blame to new Administration's economic performance in its first year. Clearly it is premature to give Trump much credit for US economic performance so far. But it is patently absurd to argue that Obama delivered a robust economy during his administration: it was a very dismal performance especially because he was starting off from a low baseline.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Ok, Assplug, just how do you envision the world had Her Hagness won the election? Does not have to be real [since it never happened] so just give us your hypothetical and hyperbolic best.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Ok, Assplug, just how do you envision the world had Her Hagness won the election? Does not have to be real [since it never happened] so just give us your hypothetical and hyperbolic best.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    The squirrels want to know too.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not much different.

    So far.

    I vote for gridlock though. I say it here all the time.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gridlock after as many socialist laws have been passed as possible...is what you mean.

    You want lefty Democrats to win as much as possible to use government to further lefty agendas.

    You are for gridlock because Trump is prez and Republicans control Congress.

  • GILMORE™||

    You can't say enough about how incompetent and unqualified he is to be leader of the free world

    I suppose i could declare the person making this statement 'crazy', and offer as proof that: "There IS no election for "leader of the free world": just the United States. And the qualifications for it are, 1) to be a citizen, 2) to be of a certain age, and 3) to win the plurality of the electoral college votes

    One's qualitative assessment of 'competence' can only be valid when compared to the prospects of other candidates. By that measure, its hard to say whether there would be any discernible difference at all. If todays political hacks are less expert in role than the past's hacks, then blame the public

  • GILMORE™||

    re: "compared to other candidates"

    "I think that I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,...I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm going to think I'm a better political director than my political director."

  • Rat on a train||

    3) to win the plurality of the electoral college votes


    A majority of the electoral votes is required to win. If not the vote goes to Congress.

    The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.
  • Brett Bellmore||

    " at least as delusional as Trump's belief that his success as a developer, a reality TV star, and a politician puts his I.Q. score above 140."

    No, Trump at least has this going for him: He succeeded at a number of different and difficult endeavors where most people fail. That ought, properly, to be considered an informal IQ test.

    "Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)."

    He's exaggerating that he's a billionaire who got elected President in his first attempt at politics? Didn't really happen?

    "Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love."

    Again, billionaire President married to a supermodel?

    Look, everybody who runs for President has an exaggerated idea of their own merits, but Trump's conviction that he's a brilliant success at everything he tries may be better grounded than average.

  • Delius||

    Except that he didn't succeed. His is almost a continuous record of failure, until he lucked into being a reality TV host, a role that actually plays to his strengths. At one point he was $300M in debt.

    As to the "billionaire" claim, there's no way to verify that except that he says he is. Which again, the exaggeration. More sober estimates put his wealth in the hundreds of millions range, meaning all his wheeling and dealing probably lost him money, as compared to index stocks.

    And that's not even considering that a significant portion of his money is probably ill-gotten via being a money launderer for foreign, shall we say, investors.

  • Mark22||

    Except that he didn't succeed. His is almost a continuous record of failure, until he lucked into being a reality TV host, a role that actually plays to his strengths. At one point he was $300M in debt. ... More sober estimates put his wealth in the hundreds of millions range, meaning all his wheeling and dealing probably lost him money, as compared to index stocks.

    So he managed to bounce back from $300M in debt to being a very wealthy man and you consider that a failure? Going from -$300M to +$500M is "losing money" in your New Math?

  • Flyby||

    Listen, I get it that you hate Trump, but to talk about a continuous record of failure is downright silly, and I suspect even you know that. Leave aside the fact that he turned his name into one of the best known brands in the world, TV star, and someone who previous politicians on both sides consistently looked to for endorsements... he just ran against both political parties and got himself elected President of the United States, against odds that seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. The magnitude of what he did is mind boggling, and I'm hard pressed to think of anything in my lifetime that compares.

    That doesn't mean you can't hate him, and everything he stands for. But your opposition would be a lot more effective if you acknowledged the reality of what he has accomplished, and kept your focus on specific policies you disagree with.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Everything in that list is par for the course for the average politician.

  • Flyby||

    Probably the most perceptive comment on this board. Google search some combination of narcissism / U.S. Presidents and you'll get millions of hits. This is hardly a new conversation, it's well known that almost every President (as well as many other leaders in business, actors, etc) scores very high in these traits.

  • eyeroller||

    This stuff is almost a requirement for anyone who runs for president in the modern world. The process is so miserable and high-pressure, only delusional narcissists can get through it.

    Americans get what they demand (good and hard).

  • damikesc||

    You didn't mention Bandy's desire for Trump to be FORCED to undergo analysis so he can be found unfit. My, nothing like a desired coup d'état.

    And the APA shouldn't worry about this stuff killing the legitimacy of their profession. They lost their legitimacy long ago.

    As more than a few "mental health experts" (including contributors to Lee's book) have noted, the fit between these criteria and Trump's personality traits is striking

    Same can be said for, literally, every other President ever. It's not like Obama was different in any of those regards.

  • Longtobefree||

    Can we agree that non-credentialed individuals, and credentialed individuals who have not treated a patient but pronounce a diagnosis, are incompetent to asses mental state?
    No? Well then how about non-credentialed individuals, and credentialed individuals who have not treated a patient but pronounce a diagnosis, are crazy?
    Welcome to the revolution.

  • p3orion||

    we agree that non-credentialed individuals, and credentialed individuals who have not treated a patient but pronounce a diagnosis, are incompetent to asses mental state

  • chemjeff||

    I don't think he's crazy. I do think however he is like your elderly uncle who only watches Fox News and believes every word of it then wants to discuss every nutball story that appears on that network with you.

  • damikesc||

    Or like a relative who only watches CNN and is obsessed with white vans. Or planes falling into black holes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    damikesc|1.8.18 @ 10:25AM|#
    Or like a relative who only watches CNN and is obsessed with white vans. Or planes falling into black holes.


    The left likes that people "believe" the media, they are just unhappy that it is FOX. Joseph Goebbels would be so proud.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    or the crazy uncle who was in the John Birch Society who was obsessed with the Russkies, or the crazy uncle who watches CNN who is obsessed with the Russkies.

  • Rhywun||

    You do realize that Trump is playing a character right? He was a Democrat during most of the past three or four decades. He doesn't "believe every word" of anything.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You do realize that Trump is playing a character right?

    This could be true but if so he is an inept and ignorant character.

  • Rhywun||

    Its main objective is to get leftists foaming at the mouth. I'd say it's a smashing success.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Rhywun. You are so correct and the left falls for it.

    Meanwhile Trump rolls back Obama EOs, pushes Congress into tax reform, nominates Gorsuch, rolls back some regulations, etc.

    Its almost as if the left cannot understand how Trump can do all that and tweet. It will be funny after Trump's 8 year presidency that we find out Trump's tweets were actually done by interns at the WH just to keep lefties in a blind rage.

  • Rhywun||

    we find out Trump's tweets were actually done by interns

    Yeah, I've never believed that Trump was doing the tweeting. I mean, come on. He had better things to do, like watch TV.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Agreed. The past 1yr+ has been rather entertaining.

  • Tony||

    And you believe that is an appropriate use of the president's time?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It keeps lefty nuts like you occupied and away from Trump rolling back the Nanny-State, so very good use of president's time.

  • Tony||

    It's so cute how you project your own child-mind with its inability to focus on anything but shiny objects onto other people.

    Yes, it's all Trump's 87-dimensional chess. Truly the most brilliant person ever to occupy the presidency, or any job probably. Just ask him and he'll tell you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Funny. You lefties are the ones distracted by the shiny tweets of President Trump.

    I like his rolling back of government as he said he would during his campaign. I really like how you lefties have zero idea how to deal with Trump, so you throw tantrums.

    After one year, Trump is the best president in decades.

    7 more years of Trump hell for you lefties.

  • Tony||

    Please be a parody.

  • Myshkin78||

    Best president in decades? That's simply absurd. Obama was worse than Jimmy Carter and yet Trump isn't even the best president in the last two years.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Billions in free publicity!

  • JoeBlow123||

    Trump probably is an ass. But I just don't care anymore. He world has not ended yet the hysteria has increased and the tactics have evolved. Now the media is pushing this 25th Amendment and mentally unstable stuff and I think it is a bunch of crap. It is the same story, same pattern, same objective. Fucking propaganda.

    So I don't care. Fuck it.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Sigh. This is too true.

  • p3orion||

    The Left seems to think if only (repeat wistfully: "IF ONLY) they could find some way to drive Trump from office, whether by impeachment, or the 25th Amendment, or unleashing rabid badgers in the Oval Office, that then they will get to triumphantly carry Hillary Clinton into the White House on their shoulders, to the sound of brass bands and choruses of "Gloriana" from a transgender choir.

    They seem to forget that Mike Pence is waiting in the wings, to continue the conservative policies that Trump has somehow managed to stumble into, and what's more, to continue them without the constant negative circus that The Donald carries with him everywhere he goes.

  • Rhywun||

    Re: Oprah

    I could not leap across the room fast enough to change the channel when I saw her yap opening and about to form words during my morning Pravda TV's hysterically sycophantic coverage of the Me Too Awards. Then the newsheads got busy picking on the one lady reporter who obviously didn't get the message that not wearing black this morning was crimethought.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    O c'mon.

    Oprah is TV royalty and ratings gold. The fact that she is as unqualified as the Con Man to be POTUS doesn't mean anything on the boob tube.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    After almost 1 year, Trump has proven to more qualified to help Americans as president than Obama, Boooosh, Clinton, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Truman, FDR, and Wilson.

    Fun fact: Obama and LBJ were the only presidents to have the USA involved in war during their entire presidency.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    and Hillary too. She would have been a disaster for getting the USA out of the Great Recession.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "The fact that she is as unqualified as the Con Man to be POTUS doesn't mean anything on the boob tube."

    What are the qualifications to be President?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt definitely does not mean:
    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

  • Longtobefree||

    1. Be a natural born US citizen.
    2. Be 35 years old or older.
    3. Live in the US 14 years
    To be exact:
    No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

  • Ditkazbearz2||

    He's a hella lot sharper and smarter then the democrats in the senate and congress around the same age lol

  • Bubba Jones||

    Politicians in general are morons.

    There are some smart people in DC but they don't work for us and they aren't going to limit themselves by committing to a party or a political office.

  • Longtobefree||

    And yet they rule over us.
    What does that say about us?
    Welcome to the revolution.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Comparing him to Bernie Sanders does him no good.

  • Ron||

    the left made the wolf cries about both Reagan and Bush so even if Trump were mentally derainged we would still ignore their calls

  • Tony||

    You could judge for yourself by using your eyes and ears.

    Just because Republicans have a habit of sending incompetent assclowns to the White House doesn't mean Trump isn't the worst yet.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It will take some serious incompetence to equal Democrats in Congress and the WH.

    Obama is one of the worst presidents of all time.

  • Ron||

    I still put Carter above Obama but its close

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Carter worse than Obama? Interesting.

    ObamaCare and being a war president do not put Obama into a category by himself? Only LBJ and Obama had the USA involved in war during their entire presidencies. ObamaCare is the first time Americans were told to buy something they might not want.

    Carter was bad. He was an activist. He and his Georgia good 'ol boys could not handle washington politics. He couldn't grasp that politics of the World were changing from two superpowers to geopolitical and religious-centric politics. He was not a confident president, so the recession of the 1970s became worse and the USSR was emboldened to intervene in Afghanistan and Africa. Carter's action with the embassy hostages and subsequent military debacle could be listed as: incompetence 101.

    Check out this CBS list of worst to best presidents. Before looking, guess who is the worst?
    worst to best president list

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    Woodrow Wilson is the worst human who ever lived, if you go by the full record.

    Thanks for Jim Crow, Nazi Germany, a century of unparalleled violent ethnic war, universal perpetual indentured servitude to the federal government, and the concept of the Constitution as an irrelevant old piece of paper, asshole!

  • Mark22||

    Just because Republicans have a habit of sending incompetent assclowns to the White House doesn't mean Trump isn't the worst yet.

    Tony, honey, look at the web site you're on: we are libertarians. Libertarians want minimal government, not competent government.

    The people who find competent government appealing are progressives, technocrats, and socialists, on the mistaken belief that competent government can fix problems. And what they end up with is politicians that are competent at propaganda and staying in power, not competent at improving the lives of their subjects.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Why would anyone on Reason care?

    Isn't one of the defining premises of libertarianism that people in positions of power will abuse that power and they can never be trusted.

    I can't think of a single president that didn't need to be restrained, at least constitutionally.

    My bigger concern is people who keep treating our government as royalty with the expectation that they adhere to some standard of behavior.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. Those conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book. Sometimes I have let the players offer their versions, in turn allowing the reader to judge them. In other instances I have, through a consistency in accounts and through sources I have come to trust, settled on a version of events I believe to be true."

    ----Michael Wolffe

    "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House"

    https://tinyurl.com/y79qwopc

    Why would anyone take this seriously?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I found it funny that media types were the advertised big purchasers of the book. As if that means that this book's sales will be successful.

  • Tony||

    But he doesn't just have a collection of negative personality traits. He very evidently lacks basic self-control and situational awareness. But maybe that's just my bias talking, which says that the president of the US should present with more decorum than a shit-flinging monkey.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Speaking of shit-flinging monkey.... Obama is not president anymore.

    Remember when Obama called Americans lazy? "If you're in the United States, sometimes you can feel lazy and think we're so big we don't have to really know anything about other people." -Obama

    Remember when Hillary called Americans deplorables? "You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? [Laughter/applause]. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. -Hillary Clinton

  • Tony||

    Are you triggered? Obama's quote may not have been politic, but it's 100% accurate. You, for example, probably couldn't find your ass with a map.

    Similarly, Hillary's comment was not good for her politically, but it was also 100% accurate. Bigots are deplorable and a large part of Trump's appeal was his bigotry.

    Trump talked about his dick size on national TV. I'm still not over that, and there's been 1,000 things since then.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Funny. Obama's entire life seems to be a short nap followed by a long nap.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Further confirming the left's bubble-living.

    I would bet a $500 donation to Reason that I am more traveled around the World than you.

    I would bet another $500 donation to Reason that I am more traveled around the USA than you.

    Care to take me up on the bet?

  • Tony||

    Yes.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Are you going to pay your other bet first?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I want in.

    I go through a passport every 5 years.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Bigots are deplorable

    Unless it's hatred of straight, white, males. That's acceptable.

    a large part of Trump's appeal was his bigotry.

    I have to see evidence of this.

    Trump talked about his dick size on national TV. I'm still not over that

    Men have penises and women have vagina's. Sometimes they come up in convo. Get over it. I, for one, am refreshed by Trumps lack of poise.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How are the lefties gonna control what people think and say if they rally behind Trump who says whatever and says F*U to lefties?

  • Tony||

    The guy you're humping spends part of every day attacking the free press and promoting his own personal propaganda network. The problem with stupid people in a free soceity is they don't know when they're being had.

  • Longtobefree||

    Publicly commenting on the press, and sometimes on it's accuracy, does not count as an attack. Pulling broadcast licenses of stations that do not cite multiple named, verifiable sources would be an attack. Repealing the favored mail rates of publications would be an attack (but reduce the budget deficit). Sending federal marshals to arrest all publishers who continue to publish stories after they are proven false would be an attack.
    But saying lazy reporters don't do research is not an attack.
    Calling stories that are false "fake" is not an attack.
    But then that doesn't matter to you, does it?
    Sometimes we know we are being had, and the next election cycle proves it.

  • Mark22||

    Similarly, Hillary's comment was not good for her politically, but it was also 100% accurate. Bigots are deplorable and a large part of Trump's appeal was his bigotry.

    ... thereby confirming your own bigotry.

  • Rhywun||

    "Decorum." One of the best things about Trump's tweets was how they've ripped the mask off arrogant, holier-than-thou liberals.

  • Tony||

    You people are vulgar anarchists. You don't have to defend this behavior just because it has an (R) after it. Do you really think it's OK for the president to talk like a preschool bully? To be this incompetent? To make his main mission pissing off the progtards?

    You people are a disease on decent society.

  • Rebel Scum||

    You people are a disease on decent society.

    Do you know who else dehumanized his political opposition?

  • Mark22||

    You people are vulgar anarchists.

    Why, yes, we are! Libertarians are anarchists or minarchists by definition. As for discussion style, we are following the lead of the left: we're not going to let you beat us into a pulp with your vulgar and personal attacks with one hand tied behind our back.

    Do you really think it's OK for the president to talk like a preschool bully?

    No, and Trump doesn't. Trump is inarticulate and a bad communicator, but that's still better than people like Hillary, Obama, or Bush.

    To be this incompetent?

    No, which is why I didn't want Hillary or Sanders near the presidency.

    To make his main mission pissing off the progtards?

    If it works politically to keep progressives and socialists out of power, I'm fine with it. But it's not his "main mission". Trump's main mission is obviously to quietly dismantle what Obama "accomplished" in his eight years in office.

  • Flyby||

    Dude, have you read your own comments? I hate to attack personally, but more than any other person on this board you equate disagreeing with your positions to malicious intent, hate, or some other malignant trait.

    I find this to be one of the most repugnant traits a human being can have, and you have it in spades. I'll take some garden variety vulgarity any day.

  • Eek Barba Durkle||

    But maybe that's just my bias talking, which says that the president of the US should present with more decorum than a shit-flinging monkey.

    Isn't this just precious...the sockpuppet who openly worships and grovels before the President who made a habit out of showing up in late-night tv skits, even to the point of trashtalking a candidate running to replace him in the last week of election with 6-year-old slang, is now pretending to be worried about 'decorum'.

    This might be more believable if you weren't a pathologically lying denier of human rights with a long history of being dishonest and uneducated on literally every subject.

  • Mark22||

    He very evidently lacks basic self-control and situational awareness. But maybe that's just my bias talking, which says that the president of the US should present with more decorum than a shit-flinging monkey.

    All things being equal, yes. But too much self control and decorum is bad as well: Hillary could convincingly fake pretty much any political position with her "self-control and situational awareness". (Her downfall was that her faked positions eventually became so inconsistent that people concluded that she must be lying all the time.)

  • Robert||

    Candor scares some.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The distinction drawn by Frances is rather mystifying in light of the DSM, including the version that Frances edited. DSM-IV, which was published in 1994 and revised in 2000, defines "narcissistic personality disorder," for instance, as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." The diagnosis requires at least five of these symptoms:

    Prior to the DSM-IV's publication, this was known simply as being a politician.

  • San Diego||

    When (below)Allen Frances says DT is unstable and impulsive, what standard is he using if not a "psychiatric diagnosis?" Is he having his cake and eating it too when he says Trump is an asshole, but don't quote me?


    "Allen Frances, who edited the fourth edition of the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), agrees that Trump is temperamentally unsuited for his job but questions attempts to cast that assessment as a psychiatric diagnosis. "He is definitely unstable," Frances told the Times. "He is definitely impulsive. He is world-class narcissistic not just for our day but for the ages. You can't say enough about how incompetent and unqualified he is to be leader of the free world. But that does not make him mentally ill."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Who needs a psychiatric opinion? The proven lies are more than enough.
    "But he's not Hillary," chant the robotic minds.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Tony||

    Oh no, look upthread. They've found a positive sum in DT. He's "candid," you see. And he pisses off the progtards by being an internet troll. You know, presidential stuff.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Trump is an ass and a disease. But the thing that gets me is how blatant the media propaganda machine has become. You would literally have to be retarded to think there is not some disgusting amount of groupthink and blatant Democrat slanted propaganda to be running through the news media machine.

    I do not know how many times I need to read "over 200 interviews conducted" as if this means it is legit. I have to wonder "so the fuck what, who were they with" and get Bannon who is literally falling over himself to fellate Trump now for his transgressions and some former campaign director named Katie Walsh. These are the big tickets? And this fucking story has been dominating every single news channel all over the globe (I am currently in Germany, read American news, and watch both the BBC and Japanese news) for about a week now with veryone acting like this is a real story?

    Fuck you news. Same bullshit as that fucking dossier, I knew it was horseshit the minute I read it.

    Fuck you news.

  • Mark22||

    "But he's not Hillary,"

    He's also preferable to any of the other losers than ran in that presidential election and primaries.

    And while I didn't vote for him, so far, I have no problems with anything he's done: deregulation, the tax bill, stricter immigration enforcement, and nominating more conservative judges. Strip away all the hyperventilating, and Trump has behaved like a moderate Republican, unlike the last few "Republican" presidents we have had.

  • p3orion||

    I agree (except for the part about him being better than any of the other Republican candidates; I wrote in Ted Cruz because I just couldn't bring myself to pull for Trump, and was sure as hell not going to vote for Hillary.)

    Trump has been remarkably successful at enacting a conservative agenda. That said, he has shown absolutely no understanding of (or appreciation for) conservatism, or indeed of ANY consistent political philosophy. Lord knows he's incapable of communicating concepts that require multi-syllabic words. I think his gift is that he stumbled into surrounding himself, for the most part, with competent people who DO know what they're doing, and is himself just incompetent enough that he cannot really fuck up the works too badly, however much his personal circus might try. All the pettiness, immaturity, and narcissism provide a distraction and cover while the grown-ups get the work done.

  • Flyby||

    That actually matters Michael. There is no Messiah... ultimately you have to pick from two people, both far from perfect. Trump was surely not my ideal candidate, but I'm completely comfortable having chosen him over Hillary.

    Not really that different from every other Presidential election. I get it that it sucks when your guy loses, I've felt the same way. But to become totally unhinged is another matter altogether. What's so beautifully ironic is that there is a whole class of people that have let this move them to a level of despondency/rage/hatred/despair unlike anything I've witnessed in my lifetime... and they think the President is the one with mental issues. Priceless.

  • Harpua||

    As a longtime reader, I remember Reason publishing a lengthy article making the case that Bill Clinton suffered from mental illness. Not the first time. Prolly won't be the last:

    http://reason.com/archives/199.....dent-think

  • ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.||

    It takes a certain type of personality to run for - and win - the office of the Presidency of the United States. i don't think Trump's dsm category is any different from that of many other of our Presidents. The differences: 1: He is on TV and twitter constantly, thus we are looking at him from a microscope - something never possible with most of our other Presidents and 2: He doesn't hide behind a facade of political correctness but bluntly shouts out what he thinks as he thinks it.

    Consider this though: The media is paying attention to his tweets - not to his accomplishments. So, in that sense he is like the magician who waves one hand at you to capture your attention, while with the unseen hand does his business.

    Crazy? Or crazy like a fox?

  • p3orion||

    [Trump] is like the magician who waves one hand at you to capture your attention, while with the unseen hand does his business."

    The question is whether the unseen hand is his, or that of the more-competent people he has working for him. Ultimately, it really doesn't matter whether Trump is doing good work, or just delusionally thinks that he is responsible for everything good that happens. As Reagan said, it is remarkable how much can get done when no one cares who gets the credit.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I am not the first to point out that the DSM IV criteria also applied almost point-by-point to Barack Obama. Yet I didn't hear liberal diagnosticians going out of their minds about him.

    The sad fact is that almost every successful politician -- or businessman, or actor, take your pick -- has a share of sociopathic characteristics. It's what fuels their vision and gives them the energy and strength to make decisions that the rest of us mere mortals shy away from.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You don't try to become President unless you have a really elevated opinion of yourself.

    But if you succeed in becoming President, you have empirically validated that opinion, to some extent.

    I have to laugh reading that stuff about, "2.Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love"

    The guy is a billionaire, married to a supermodel, and in his first attempt at politics got elected President despite being enormously over-spent and having "his own" party divided. He's got a lot more basis for those fantasies than your guy who plots taking over the world while working at the drive in at Wendy's.

    Still, I can see he's not entirely connected with reality, because he's constantly lying about stupid things, like the size of his inauguration crowd. But then, Obama thought he knew more than all his advisors did about their own specialties, and said so. So, again, not unusual.

  • Ted Duke||

    The Communists and Democrat Politicians, but I repeat myself, are panicking. They keep slinging mud at the President, hoping it will change views. Sane Democrat voters will do that, and have done that, because they already recognize how much they have benefitted from the President's recent actions, economy growth, jobs numbers, etc.

  • Believe and Obey||

    "Trump is temperamentally unsuited for his job", the job is temperamentally unsuited to humanity. It is grotesquelly irresponsible to place that much power in the hands of any one human being.

  • JFree||

    If so, you may wonder, why are they treated by medical doctors?

    Because the sole function of psychiatrists is to prescribe psychotropic medications and that requires a medical degree. Even though those meds have zero biochemical basis. But since they are extremely profitable and extremely fast-growing pharmas with profit potential across all age groups, that means it requires a specialist field to justify more reasons to prescribe meds.

    For the under 18's: Used to be the only meds they took were asthma/allergy stuff and the occasional childhood disease thing. Now the #2 prescription class and #5 are psychotropics - taken by 4.7% of the age group.

    for 18-44: Used to be analgesics, ulcer meds, and allergy stuff. Now psychotropics are #1 and #3 - taken by 13% of that age group.

    for 45-64: They've always been the start of the multiple meds-using demographic. Still are but the psychotropic % has gone from 9.5% of the age group to 26.1% in the last 20 years

    for 65+: The psychotropic % has gone from 3% to 19% in the last 20 years.

    There's money to be made. Problem is there aren't yet meds for narcissism so media diagnosis of the disorder is clearly out-of-bounds for the profession

  • Joanne Marinelli||

    For once, I agree with Sullum. I worked in MH for a brief stint as a lay professional. I wouldn't go so far as to label diagnostic classification as "bullshit". Some of my clients could be prone to violence, and we have tragedies like the Andreas Lubitz plane crash-- but I am sympathetic to Foucault's view in Birth of The Clinic, that much of mood disorder treatment is more about society standards, less about brain disease or holistic mood health. The Trump we have today is not the Trump of PBS documentaries, which sums up what I know about the man, as I do not view reality television. I voted him in, depressing Philadelphia's Clinton tilt, and can vote him out, in theory. He is vulgar and has said outrageous things. I am vulgar and write very close to the line of unacceptable anarchy, which Trump flirted with in the primary. I don't like his constant fake news outcry and remain diffident about whether or not he hurt Mossad in his meetinss with the Russian foreign secretary, but that may go to lack of experience. This 25th Amendment rattling is just as insidious as a nuclear button contest.

  • Liberty Lover||

    Is Trump a 'Very Stable Genius' or a Dangerous Lunatic? Simple but truthful answer, neither. He does evoke strong responses though.

  • Mark22||

    Lee: "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President"

    The same profession that sent classical liberals and free market advocates to psychiatric wards in the Soviet Union. The same profession that declared homosexuality a mental disease and prescribed everything from electroshock "therapy" and aversion "therapy" to castration and institutionalization. The same profession that feeds our kids psychoactive drugs in unprecedented amounts.

    Thanks, Bandy Lee, for your input. We'll take it for all it's worth.

  • ohdelilah||

    If he's not a moron, but only acts like one in public, that would pretty much rule out any claims of "stability."

  • Mark22||

    It's a tough job, one where you are constantly attacked and your words are constantly twisted, where your life is put under a microscope, and where you are expected to answer irrelevant and leading questions.

    What you are seeing is simply what happens when you put a business leader, who is used to people jumping at his beck and call, in that position. What you were seeing with Hillary is the opposite: someone who was used to making fame and fortune by wheedling and lying.

  • Lester224||

    He may have been a "business leader" but he's a remarkably incoherent, unread, incurious lazy guy who still spends many hours of his day watching TV and playing golf. There are a lot of business leaders we could have elected who are much smarter than Trump.

  • Mark22||

    For your reference: past presidents ranked by psychopathy. At the top of the list: JKF, Clinton, Jackson, the Roosevelts, and LBJ.

    John F Kennedy, for example, was ranked second highest (out of 42) on the Fearless Dominance dimension, and sixth highest on the Impulsive Antisociality dimension – which equates to an average rank of 4 across both scales. Bill Clinton – also with an overall average ranking of 4 – came in seventh highest on Fearless Dominance, but enjoyed top billing when it came to Impulsive Antisociality.

    Note the predominance of progressives near the top. Trump fits right in. Hillary would be an outlier even among this heady crowd: she'd probably break the scales on psychopathy entirely.

  • MOAB Maxine||

    I ran an experiment. I posted a reasonable comment on Breitbart just politely expressing my worry that Trump may not be the genius he proclaims and that his mental health may not be tip top.

    "Just a little concerned that Trump opens his mouth too much and should just focus on the policy. Which by the way, many of the policies I agree with."

    Within the hour, I was slandered as a "hater", reported and threatened. Meh, I knew better. We've lost it.

  • Longtobefree||

    Nothing is a total loss if you learn a lesson from it.
    Stay off Breitbart. That is no place for polite expressions of anything.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. Etc.

    When you've been one of the most famous billionaires in the world for forty years, a TV star, and you're now President of the United States -- a position people have called the most powerful office in the world, I think it's fair to say that your sense of self-importance isn't exaggerated and your thoughts of unlimited success and power aren't fantasies.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Did the arrival of the Volokh Conspiracy bring a bunch of downscale, backward, authoritarian, intolerant, right-wing faux libertarians to the Reason site, or were the goobers already here?

  • ||

    I have read a lot of the comments and like most arguments that are political there are "fake" news on BOTH sides. If and when the stock market decreases in value is when people will really start to question the mental health of the president.

    Has a mathematician that has lived through two housing crisis (1980's and 2006), the tech bust and a few others, the president of the United States has nothing to do with the economy. Since he spends a lot of time praising it, he may soon regret it.

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