Peak mediocrity

David Brooks being even more willfully wrong and middleminded than usual.

Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year:

That is, let him start with congratulating himself for Going Against the Tide, for Thinking For Himself, for Not Following the Herd.

First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.

If they’re going there to have a meeting with him they’re at least somewhat on his side and thus predisposed to think he’s ok.

The issue is not whether or not he’s a “raving madman.”

Who cares if he’s affable to people predisposed to be on his side?

Whoaaaaa with that “if repetitive” throwaway – that is not a trivial matter. That’s a symptom of dementia. He’s the president; it’s very bad if he has dementia.

He seems well-informed enough to get by??? We’re supposed to think that’s good enough? This isn’t an after-school job at which getting by is all that’s expected; this is the presidency. Also “getting by” at a meeting of people on the same side is really saying almost nothing. He’s not there to be a stuffed dummy who is good enough if he doesn’t vomit on the table.

And that is one of Brooks’s “inconvenient observations.”

He is such a dullard. It never stops amazing me that he’s a prominent talking head.

Second, people who work in the Trump administration have wildly divergent views about their boss. Some think he is a deranged child, as Michael Wolff reported. But some think he is merely a distraction they can work around. Some think he is strange, but not impossible. Some genuinely admire Trump. Many filter out his crazy stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist.

That’s the inconvenient part? That’s some kind of dissent from the view that Trump is incompetent and dangerous in his job? They filter him, they work around him, they think he’s a deranged child, some of them actually admire him – this is different from the conventional wisdom how exactly?

My impression is that the Trump administration is an unhappy place to work, because there is a lot of infighting and often no direction from the top. But this is not an administration full of people itching to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Because it includes a lot of people who are pissing themselves with excitement at their chance to trash the environment and take away health insurance and slash taxes on the rich. We know.

Third, the White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn’t tweet. The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we’d see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals: the shift in our Pakistan policy, the shift in our offshore drilling policy, the fruition of our ISIS policy, the nomination for judgeships and the formation of policies on infrastructure, DACA, North Korea and trade.

If Trump didn’t tweet – that’s like saying if Hitler didn’t hate the Jews. Trump does tweet, and that’s not a sideshow.

Plus we would see a White House that is briskly pursuing its horrendous goals that we don’t want it to pursue. We don’t want a “shift in our offshore drilling policy,” just as we don’t want another Deepwater Horizon.

Then he lectures us on being too much in a bubble, then he laments how lowbrow the opposition is.

Why does the Times pay him a large salary for this?

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