A uniquely tiresome individual

It must have been fun to be a political journalist reporting on Trump, right?

Well, no. I never found Donald Trump to be remotely captivating as a stand-alone figure. He’d been around forever and his political act was largely derivative. His promise to “drain the swamp” was treated as some genius coinage, though in fact the platitude had been worn out for decades by both parties. Nancy Pelosi promised to “drain the swamp” in 2006, just as the Reagan-Bush campaign had vowed to “Make America Great Again” in 1980.

Trump said and did obviously awful and dangerous things—racist and cruel and achingly dumb and downright evil things. But on top of that, he is a uniquely tiresome individual, easily the sorest loser, the most prodigious liar, and the most interminable victim ever to occupy the White House. He is, quite possibly, the biggest crybaby ever to toddle across history’s stage, from his inaugural-crowd hemorrhage on day one right down to his bitter, ketchup-flinging end.

It’s the truth. He’s mind-numbingly empty and boring and trivial. He’s that guy you hope doesn’t sit next to you on the bus.

Bottom line, Trump is an extremely tedious dude to have had in our face for seven years and running. My former New York Times colleague David Brooks wrote it best: “We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.”

There’s nothing to understand. It’s all out there in the open – what you see is what there is. There’s nothing to probe or question or elucidate. He has the mind of a very young boring child.

The article is about why so many adult politicians helped the six fireflies in a jar. Lindsey Graham for example:

Graham was always saying how important it was to “get the joke” about Trump. “Getting the joke” is a timeworn Washington expression, referring to a person’s ability to grasp a shared truth about something best left unspoken. In the case of Trump, the “joke” was that he was, at best, not a serious person or a good president and, at worst, a dangerous and potentially criminal jackass.

Hey, that’s a really funny joke, isn’t it.

“Oh, everybody gets the joke,” Mitt Romney assured me in early 2022 when I asked him if Senate Republicans really believed what they said in public about how wonderful Trump was. “They still are very aware of his, uh, what’s a good word, idiosyncrasies.”

Cool cool cool, everybody gets the joke, but everybody goes right on helping the fireflies destroy everything.

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