The Mad King just fired his communications director after only 10 days on the job -- a communications director who may well have destroyed his own marriage in order to work for the Trump White House. This on top of the announcement that Russia is expelling 755 American diplomats in response to new sanctions. Despite all of the decidedly bad news for the administration, Trump started the day by tweeting, "No [White House] chaos!" Then, reacting to the day's events, Trump tweeted, "A great day at the White House."
Once again, we find ourselves observing a president who's not only incompetent, petulant, childish, erratic, ignorant and embarrassing, but a president's who's completely out of touch with reality. Sure, maybe he's doing his best "Trump Steaks are the world's greatest steaks" marketing effort to make everything seem peachy. While that may be true, it still makes him seem more out of touch with reality than he already was.
Many, though not enough of us have been aware of how disastrous this would be, long before Election Day. But the common wisdom among the political internet, including A-listers and D.C. insiders, refused to accept that Trump could win and, likewise, believed that if he actually pulled off the impossible, that he'd make the rather hasty transition from cartoony villain to "presidential."
When he became the presumptive nominee, everyone said he'd pivot to being more presidential. When he accepted the nomination, everyone said he'd pivot to being more presidential. When he won the election (with the help of Russia), everyone said he'd pivot to being more presidential. When he delivered his first joint-session address, many cable news pundits said he appeared presidential, and that he'd stick with it. When he bombed a Syrian airbase, they said Trump "became president" that night. Every time Trump manages to not blurt out the nuclear codes or incriminate himself in a series of felonies, there's a kneejerk tendency to suggest he's finally acting in a dignified, rational way -- that he's finally abandoned his tendency to act like a spastic recess bully.
And now, with the departures of, first, Sean Spicer, then Reince Priebus and then Anthony Scaramucci, and the ascendancy of Gen. John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff, they're doing it again. The word around D.C. is that John Kelly will finally be the one who'll snap the White House into place. No more crazy tweets, they're saying. No more inappropriate outbursts. Finally, we'll have some discipline and, yes, presidentialness in the White House.
Before the ink was even dry on the editorials heralding the rise of Kelly the Disciplinarian, Trump was already tweeting horrendous things -- threatening the health insurance of both Congress and the American people, while also tormenting China regarding North Korea. He appeared to attack fellow Republicans as well. And this is just the beginning. There's no chance in hell that Trump will change how he operates, whether it's describing sex orgies to Boy Scouts, or tweeting about gibberish he overheard on Fox & Friends. We can also expect Trump to fire Jeff Sessions and, perhaps, Rex Tillerson.
Sure, Kelly might enact some new policies about which staffers have access to the Oval Office, and we might get some additional message discipline through a new Kelly-approved comms director, but the real problem with the Trump presidency is Trump himself and that's a disease you can't remove.
The only occasions when Trump will become more presidential is whenever sycophants like Sarah Palin, Jeanine Pirro, Sean Hannity or Jesse Watters convince their viewers that he is. It won't make it true, but the Fox News disinformation will make it appear that way to its most brainwashed fanboys.
Oh, and it's probably a safe bet that Kelly will be ousted before the end of the year, especially as Trump descends further into Nixonian madness and paranoia.