There’s one thing about an extreme narcissist, they don’t take criticism well, nor being either defied or denied. And when they reside in an alternative reality, where their words and actions are always correct, and they’re never at fault for anything, it just gets worse.
Trump cannot function as President, he doesn’t have the balance. He’s a real estate “mogul”, with his own company. He surrounded himself with yes-men and what he says is law, there is no court of appeals for the edicts of The Donald. Politics doesn’t work that way, especially when you know nothing about it, you have experts, who want their voices heard, and criticism and setbacks come with the territory.
As the campaign wore on, there were multiple media reports about the dejected and demoralized atmosphere in the Trump campaign. Infighting between high level factions, turnovers, little or no coherent guidance for staffers, and an arrogant, sometimes seemingly unhinged candidate who lashed out at all around him. These people had one lifeline. November 8th, after which they could pack their stuff, scrape the trump campaign shit off of their shoes in the parking lot, and go home to get drunk and try to forget it ever happened.
From media reporting based on leaks in the west wing, and some agencies, nothing has changed. Unfilled offices for staffers in the west wing, daily infighting between power centers behind Trump, no undersecretaries or department managers even named yet, much less confirmed. No guidance in the departments, and in some cases not even assignments. One MSNBC host, I think it was Chris Hayes remarked the other night that the busiest place in the State Department is the employees cafeteria. People congregate there, grab a cuppa, and shoot the shit, since nobody has any actual assignments for what they’re supposed to be working on for the day!
But, back to the west wing. The campaign was one thing, the gig was 8-10 months, with an escape hatch at the other end. But this morass will last for at least 4 years. Working at the White House is supposed to be an honor. Every day you walk through the doors, no matter what your title, working in the center of the most powerful office in the free world. I know a little about this, my father was a signals officer in the army, assigned to Eisenhower’s staff. He traveled with the President, and on the wall over my bed is a framed portrait of George Washington, painted by Ike, with a White House card, signed by Ike and Mamie, congratulating them on their wedding. But from the reports coming from staffers, these people sound more like they’ve been sentenced to a gulag.
And it’s only going to get worse. If there’s one thing that can kill morale, it’s a scandal. And the Trump White House is breeding scandals like the place was a bunny hutch. The WH counsel has already ordered that no documents dealing with the campaign be destroyed, but so what. John Dean did the same thing during Watergate, and the order was completely ignored. But Nixon had a dedicated, political staff in place, Hair Furor has nothing of the sort. And worse, he has proven over and over again that he has no loyalty to anyone but himself. At least some of these staffers, in their political innocence, may feel compelled to save those documents. What if a couple of FBI agents show up, and start going from office to office, talking to people and asking for documents. These staffers may not even really know what’s in some of them, nor understand the import of the content, but their possession of these documents could put them under scrutiny. And all of this in a shitty work environment?
To my simple mind, the most important door in Washington D.C. right now is the side door to the White House. If you start seeing a steady stream of people you’ve seldom if ever seen before, walking out with satchels or cardboard boxes, never to be seen again, then you know that the investigation is picking up steam. And considering that I’ve seen nobody in the Trump administration even remotely capable of carrying out anything even near a Nixonian coverup, it could start getting messy in a hurry.