The campaign over the “unfitness” of Donald Trump
8 January 2018
The publication of Michael Wolff’s insider account of the early months of the Trump administration, Fire and Fury, has become the occasion for a media firestorm powered by allegations that Trump is mentally unfit to be president. Media pundits and Democratic politicians have cited the book’s portrayal of Trump to claim that the president should be declared incompetent. The result of such a maneuver, in the unlikely event it could be accomplished, would be a President Mike Pence.
In his usual fashion, Trump added fuel to the fire. First came his heavy-handed threats against the author and the publisher, seeking to suppress the book, and his imprecations against former campaign manager and White House counselor Stephen Bannon, now head of the fascistic Breitbart News, who served as the principal source for Wolff. This was followed by imbecilic tweets in which Trump celebrated his supposed intellect, describing himself a “stable genius.”
Wolff’s Fire and Fury is typical of the gossipy fare produced by this longtime chronicler of the foibles (and fables) of the Manhattan upper class. Nothing in his account of the Trump White House comes as a shock. That the real estate con man and television reality show host is an egomaniacal blowhard with a short attention span and an aversion to reading is neither surprising nor remarkable. It does not distinguish Trump from thousands of other American CEOs.
The furor over the Wolff book is a continuation and extension of the efforts of the Democratic Party, backed by much of the media, to engineer Trump’s removal through the methods of Washington intrigue and scandal-mongering. The charges of mental “unfitness” supplement the ongoing campaign around the…