Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Remember the story of Walter Mitty? Well, he's our President now...

Trump Has Conned Even Himself

by P.M. Carpenter | February 28, 2018 

In the mind of President Walter Mitty, he has passed the test. "You don't know" about your grit "until you test it," he said to the nation's governors yesterday at a White House gathering. So test it he did — in his mind. "I really believe I'd run in" and … tackle the shooter? … "even if I didn't have a weapon," he assured them. There, in the State Dining Room, stood the Hollywood personas of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, all in one presidential package.

But again, this heroism had to play out strictly in President Mitty's mind, since in real life, Cadet Bone Spurs has been somewhat less than courageous. During the Vietnam war, he requested and received five deferments from the draft, one for that eponymous ailment — although, notes the Washington Post, "the problem was not severe enough to prevent him from playing sports such as football, tennis and golf." In those troubled times, Master Mitty possessed his own idea of valor, telling radio host Howard Stern, years later, that averting sexually transmitted diseases was his "personal Vietnam…. I feel like a great and very brave soldier." He also once told Stern of his bold reaction to the sight of an octogenarian falling and bleeding at a Mar-a-Lago event: "I said, 'Oh my God, that's disgusting,' and I turned away. I didn't want to touch him."

At a 2016 campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio, a man jumped a barrier and charged in Trump's direction, whereupon Trump "looked nervously behind him and grabbed and started to duck behind his lectern." Trump then transformed into Mitty, telling the crowd, "I was ready for him, but it's much easier if the cops do it."

Such daring was again on display yesterday, and not only in Mitty's stirring revelation that in Parkland, Florida he would have "run in," weaponless, and done, well, something or other. Mitty lectured the cowardly governors, "You guys — half of you are so afraid of the N.R.A. There's nothing to be afraid of. And you know what? If they're not with you, we have to fight them every once in a while." Indeed, Trump showed them how it is done. In his White House remarks, he promptly "dropped any mention of raising the age required to purchase a rifle to 21 from 18," since the N.R.A. opposes the measure.

He also characteristically removed himself from any sane leadership (i.e., he only advocated the truly crackpot notion of arming first grade teachers with 9mm Berettas.) In its place, he promised the governors that the "great people" at the N.R.A. (such as the clinically paranoid Wayne LaPierre and slitheringly vile Dana Loesch) would "do something" about mitigating America's mass slaughters incurred, in large part, by the N.R.A.'s incurable insanity. In addition, Trump "is waiting to see what Congress comes up with," as spokesharpy Sarah Huckabee Sanders related.

He did, however, propose one sensible idea. As the NY Times reports, "Trump lamented a period in history when he said mentally unstable people who had not yet committed a crime could be committed to a mental hospital if it were clear they were acting like a 'boiler ready to explode.'" This stimulated my memory banks. Did I not once ponder his boiler instability? I delved into my archives, and yes, there it was, from June of last year: "His state of mind? Look again at the above portrait. There you will see a trollish neurotic and bloated windbag that's about to blow." Preemptive institutionalization? I'd say he was on to something — at least for one American.

In the meantime, President Mitty is free to run loose, recounting his imaginary exploits of gallantry and grit. We always think there is no way this tormented imbecile can drag himself any lower, or degrade the United States's image any sharper. But, he always finds a way.