February 10, 2017

"I guess I should start by saying this is not a blog. Nor is it what one might call a column."

"It’s an experiment of sorts to see if there’s something in between those two. Most Fridays, from now on, I’ll be writing in this space about, among other things, the end of Western civilization, the collapse of the republic, and, yes, my beagles. If you’re a veteran reader of my former site, the Dish, you may find yourselves at times in an uncanny valley. So may I. The model I’m trying to follow is more like the British magazine tradition of a weekly diary — on the news, but a little distant from it, personal as well as political, conversational more than formal. I want to start with Trump’s lies...."

So begins Andrew Sullivan, in his new column at New York Magazine. And, yes, it's a column! You're aiming for a set length of words, on a regular time schedule that is not daily, and you're publishing it in a mainstream journal. Why pretend it's somehow inching over toward being a blog? What is more blog-like and less column-like about this? Personal, conversational... these words describe columns too.

Anyway, Sullivan titles his piece "The Madness of King Donald"....
Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?... Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional. If he kept this up, at some point you’d excuse yourself and edge slowly out of the room and the house and never return. You’d warn your other neighbors. You’d keep your distance. If you saw him, you’d be polite but keep your distance.

I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months....

There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness....

And because he is also mentally unstable, forever lashing out in manic spasms of pain and anger, you live each day with some measure of trepidation.
We've seen this Trump-is-crazy trope many times, but I'll give Sullivan credit for pushing it so hard he seems to want us to say he's the one who sounds crazy. But what I really hate about this trope is the disrespect for the real people who live with mental disorders. If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?

101 comments:

Curious George said...

"If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity..."

That just really means minorities, gays, and Muslims that live somewhere else.

J. Farmer said...

Andrew Sullivan is a good writer, is smart and educated, and occasionally has interesting, insightful things to say. That's the good. The bad is that he is so prone to histrionics and that pundit's disease of always blowing the day's headlines out of all known proportion.

BADuBois said...

Not sure if one should take seriously Mr Sullivan's opinion about medical matters, considering his previous deranged obsession with Sarah Palin's pregnancy.

Gahrie said...

If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?... Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional.

The last time it happened to me , my first thought was that for a gay man, this guy is waaay too obsessed with someone else's vagina.

Farmer said...

If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?..

Good point. Like if somebody said, over and over, with nothing resembling evidence to back it up: "Sarah Palin is not actually the mother of her child," well, I'd think he's a loon.

Bay Area Guy said...

Typical reversal of cause and effect (wet sidewalks cause rain --- Michael Crichton):

In truth, Trump is not crazy. But he is driving the Left crazy.

Robert Cook said...

Trump isn't crazy. That rationale just lets him off easy.

Basil said...

How is it that once one becomes a lefty shill, on can practice psychiatry without a license?

Of course, becoming a leftist progressive, i.e., who rejects Western Civilization in favor of the Cuban Communist hell hole model or the Iranian religious persecution hell hole model gets you all sorts of advantages, including the right to issue injunctions to require the admission to the United States of any Somali, Iranian, Syrian terrorist wanna be Washington State University professor.

Good work if you can get it.

traditionalguy said...

Oddly, it is Sullivan, who falls for every conspiracy theory dreamt-up-able. And while paranoid people do have real enemies, the passionate manufacturing of fake news when needed while you write is certain to backfire on him. Maybe he only wants a small circle of passionate believers in his work product.

Mark Jones said...

"If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?... Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional."

We just spent 8 years with that guy in the White House.

Peter said...

Pres. Trump has some disagreeable personality quirks, but that doesn't mean he's a mental case.

And, yes, serious can and should disqualify you from some activities. If you're seening hallucinations then I don't want to see you piloting an aircraft. If you think a deity (or devil) is commanding you to use nuclear weapons then you should be relieved of your military command.

Nonetheless, one shouldn't lose sight of the abusive potential of psychiatry; after all, it was used to imprison political dissenters in the Soviet Union (presumably because they refused to accept "scientific" socialism) and it could be abused here as well. It is, therefore, in the interests of the mentally ill and in the interests of psychiatry that psychiatrists, and the psychiatric profession, not allow itself to be politicized.

Which is exactly what Andrew Sullivan is calling for here.

traditionalguy said...

Trump has a mental problem. He thinks faster than everyone he is around. And when he slows down for their benefit, he seems unfocused.

Kate said...

My first thought, as well, was about real mental illness. If everybody who's idiosyncratic, or disagreeable, or passionately wacky, is called crazy, then we'll never be able to treat the people who really are medically crazy. We have to trust the diagnosis process in order to submit to the drugs.

Earnest Prole said...

Andrew Sullivan: Charming, excitable, and untrustworthy.

readering said...

I started following the Althouse blog when Sullivan stopped his. In both cases more interested in their quirky selections than their repetitive opinions. I will try to follow the new Sullivan thing but suspect I will run out of patience quickly.

Original Mike said...

"Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health."

As a reader of Sullivan from way back who witnessed his descent, I was going to say the same about him, but our hostess has waved us off of that, so I won't.

Rick said...

I keep asking myself this simple question: If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?... Here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional.

This seems very similar to an NPR interview I heard last night with David Frum. Specifically they were roused by Trump's insistence on "alternate facts" as Sullivan is above. Revealingly there was literally no mention that the left has insisted for decades there is no objective reality as a way of replacing facts with emotions as the appropriate basis for public policy.

So Sullivan et al are trying to attack Trump with tools the left has already delegitimized. The non-left is never going to respond to these pleas because they know the left will never enforce it among themselves.

Quayle said...

"If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?... "

I'd think that he and his wife built and rode a very large political machine, made millions after departing the Whitehouse flat broke, and almost recreated that political empire again, right up until the voters in a majority of states said Enough!

I mean, does anybody even attempt to avoid embarrassing, annulling comparisons anymore? One liar stirs them up to anger-drunkenness, and the other liar and his lying wife are revered, given money and adulation and worshiped as a gods.

But they are both liars.

Why don't we drop this charade of talking about principals and morals, and just get to the bare bones of the matter:

Everybody in your camp: righteous to you, devils to the other camp.
Everybody in the other camp: devils to you, righteous to their camp.

Other than that, no material differences.

n.n said...

The twilight zone is a source of instruction and comfort for some, many people. No judgment until they run amuck.

Roughcoat said...

Sullivan and people like him have the capacity to make us profoundly weary in mind and body, and tired of living. They make us feel, as Emerson did, that the world is too much with us.

James Pawlak said...

Sullivan appears to have been looking into a "physic" mirror when he wrote that column and saw only himself.

Earnest Prole said...

If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?

Slouching toward political correctness.

Rob said...

Says the man who obsessed about Sarah Palin's reproductive system.

Sebastian said...

If you came across someone in everyday life who repeatedly assaulted women and repeatedly lied about it, what would you think of him? If you had any decency, you would shun him. If that person had the presumption to speak at a major gathering in your community, you would shudder and question the good sense of the people involved. If the spouse who enabled and excused his behavior dared ask for your support, you would question her judgment, perhaps express your sympathy for her suffering, but walk away.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?
...
[This is not] what one might call a column.

I'll just leave that out there...

walter said...

Can't wait to read about his beagles...

Luke Lea said...

But is he right about all the lies as he calls them? How does Ann feel about them? Are they often misreported, exaggerated? Are they strategic fibs on Trump's parts, to focus attention on real issues? Are the so minor and trivial that they don't really matter, at least not to the degree the media insists (his inauguration crowd, for instance, which was only second largest apparently, but still very large). FDR told a lot of whoppers too, some self-aggrandizing, others completely pointless, except back then it wasn't easy to refute them on the spot. What conclusions are we supposed to draw from than?

Nonapod said...

Many valid criticisms can and have been made about Trump from every angle of the political spectrum, but the one that seems to annoy me the most is the left's obsession with the fact that Trump lies. Weirdly I think it speaks to a deeply ingrained hypocrisy.

It's a given that politicians lie. Everybody with a half a brain knows this. Some politicians lie far more often than others, some lie about bigger more important things than others (and what's "important" is subjective obviously), and some lie in a more blatant fashion than others. Republicans lie and Democrats lie. Presidents lie, senators lie, congresscritters, governors, mayors and on and on. Certainly Obama lied... a lot.

Again, none of this should be news to anyone.

So why do lefty's seem to behave as if they found something unbelievable when Trump lies? What is it about Trump that drives people on the left so crazy?

Sebastian said...

"If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?" For the left, ideas are tools. They value diversity just so long as it is useful to beat up on their opponents. They reject homophobia and sexism and mentalillnessism except when it comes in handy to slime and slander non-progs. Of course, Sullivan's own Palin Derangement Syndrome is a case in point: to my knowledge, few lefties objected to her demonization. Same with Clarence Thomas: racial slurs are entirely common, as in telling the Uncle Tom to go back to the plantation. If is the operative word: could have stopped the sentence right there.

Hagar said...


Lord Cornwallis had his marching band play "The World Turned Upside Down" as they marched out of Yorktown.

Luke Lea said...

I wish Ann had an edit functoin for her commenters. I'll leave that typo just to make my point.

Swede said...

I read Andy to find out everything I need to know about Sarah Palin's uterus.

And you should, too!

Roughcoat said...

And in fact, now that Sullivan mentions it, I do not value our "culture of inclusiveness and diversity." Which is to say, I don't like the ideology of inclusiveness and diversity, which is actually not at all about inclusiveness and diversity. I'm not the brightest star in the firmament by any stretch but I'm not so dim that I can't see that the sort of people (e.g., Andrew Sullivan) who prattle on about inclusiveness and diversity have bottomless reservoirs of ill-will for people like me.

DanTheMan said...

"I, Andrew, see the truth. 50+ million of you are blind."

Possible.
But extremely unlikely.

zipity said...


Funny. I don't recall much discussion about Obama's toxic and all encompassing narcissism.

The man who famously said he could be a better chief of staff, speechwriter, advisor, basically anything than anyone else....

FWBuff said...

Hi, Andrew!

We haven't missed you!

Otto said...

"If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity" What does that mean?

Roy Jacobsen said...

I was going to say something like "What about Sarah Palin's uterus," but I was too late to the party.

At any rate, relying on Sullivan's assessment of someone's mental health... let's just say you can do better.

chickelit said...

I just love that Sullivan will never live down his shameless treatment of Palin. And nor should he. To this day -- even apparently in spite of his friends' admonitions -- he continues to believe he acted in a normal and rational way. Plus he never apologized -- the true sign of a cad and not a gentleman.

Meade said...

Luke Lea said...
"I wish Ann had an edit functoin for her commenters. I'll leave that typo just to make my point."

All you need to do is copy/paste your original comment into a new comment box, edit, publish, and then go back and delete your original post.

Bruce Hayden said...

Is Trump really that crazy? I don't think the facts back that up. The guy saw a problem, thought that he saw a way to fix it, and then went out and was elected our President in order to solve it. Yes, egotistical, but Presidents tend to be. He never said that the oceans would quit rising if elected, like his predecessor did. My partner would instead point that he knows his own worth, and esp his strengths. He deserves to be egotistical- coming out of political nowhere, to win the highest post in the land, on his first try at elective office, over entrenched opposition in his own party, the opposite party, the MSM, etc. my prediction is that America will be different, and, I think better, if he lives out his first term of office. If that is crazy, it is crazy like a fox.

So Sullivan is trying to do, what the rest of the left is trying to do - diminish the effectiveness of Trump in remaking America by trying to delegitimize him and his Administration any way that they can. The problem, for them, is that he is flooding their defenses, moving too fast for them to concentrate their fire. I imagine it somewhat like what the Iraqis faced with VII Corp running around them in Kuwait, or the Germans against Patton in Europe. Moving much too fast for the opposition to be able to concentrate on, and, thus winning overwhelmingly.

Ficta said...

As I was walking down to buy my afternoon pack of gum (I chew way too much gum), I realized that there is an interesting connection between the fall of Andrew Sullivan and the rise of Donald Trump. IIRC, Sullivan left the Republican camp roughly when George W Bush launched an anti gay marriage initiative to whip up the base and get turnout up for his reelection (or at least that's a cynical way of describing it). Now I don't know if it was truly cynical or just wildly ineffective, but that sort of initiative worked for many years to keep the social conservative wing of the Republican party happy and enthused while their fiscal situation deteriorated. However, there never seemed to be any real payoff: the courts, or a Democratic congress, or, possibly, establishment Republican spinelessness, would result in a grand fizzle and lost ground. And the base finally said to the Republican establishment (to paraphrase legendary Baltimore lawyer Barry Glazer) "Don't urinate on our leg and tell us it's raining". Hence Donald Trump: would-be champion of the urinated upon.

As liberal commentators shouted and continue to shout, Trump has basically zero social conservative bona fides, but the urinated upon don't care. Why should they? The last twenty times somebody tried, or said they'd try, to advance social conservatism, nothing happened. At least this guy says he can get them a job. It's worth a try.

Drago said...

Peter: "Nonetheless, one shouldn't lose sight of the abusive potential of psychiatry; after all, it was used to imprison political dissenters in the Soviet Union (presumably because they refused to accept "scientific" socialism) and it could be abused here as well. It is, therefore, in the interests of the mentally ill and in the interests of psychiatry that psychiatrists, and the psychiatric profession, not allow itself to be politicized."

The left has long abused psychiatry in other countries and have been fully engaged in the same endeavor here in regards to Christians, conservatives, republicans, etc.

You know, everyone and anyone who disagrees with the left.

Wanting individual liberty was labeled as insanity in the Soviet Union and that only makes a western leftists heart go pitter patter.

Tank said...

Projection.

StephenFearby said...

AA wrote:

"...If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?"

Yup. Assuming you have a carry permit, invite the crazy guy on your block in for a cup of bulletproof coffee!

Schizophr Res. 2017 Feb 2.

Ketogenic diet in the treatment of schizoaffective disorder: Two case studies.

Palmer CM, McLean Hospital Harvard Medical School,

"...The first case is a 33 year old single man with prior psychiatric history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and major depression, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 2003. Medication trials have included methylphenidate, amphetamine salts, dextroamphetamine, bupropion, sertraline, paroxetine, buspirone, lamotrigine, lorazepam,
clonazepam, gabapentin, haloperidol, perphenazine, aripiprazole, olanzapine, quetiapine, and clozapine, but positive and negative symptoms persisted."

"...He weighed 322 lb and wanted to lose weight by following a ketogenic diet, typically consisting of coffee with medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and butter (“bulletproof coffee”), eggs, meat, fish, poultry, spinach, kale, and olive oil. Within 3 weeks, he had lost 15 lb, but also noted a dramatic reduction in his auditory hallucinations and delusions, and improvement in his mood, energy, and ability to concentrate.

For the past year, he has largely remained on this ketogenic diet and has lost 104 lb. He has experienced a reduction in both positive and negative symptoms,with his current PANSS score 49 (positive=13, negative=8, and general=28). Interestingly, however, he broke his ketogenic diet on at least 5 occasions, and his positive and negative symptoms dramatically
worsened within 1–2 days and persisted until he again achieved ketosis as measured by urine ketone strips and/or weight loss.

His functioning has improved significantly. He completed a certification course, successfully participates in an online college program, has friends, began dating, and moved from his father's home into an independent apartment.

https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0920-9964(17)30063-4

(Behind paywall)


Cell Metab. 2017 Feb 7;25(2):262-284.

Multi-dimensional Roles of Ketone Bodies in Fuel Metabolism, Signaling, and Therapeutics

"...In this review, we discuss how ketones serve discrete fine-tuning metabolic roles that optimize organ and organism performance in varying nutrient states and protect from inflammation and injury in multiple organ systems. Traditionally viewed as metabolic substrates enlisted only in carbohydrate restriction, observations underscore the importance of ketone bodies as vital metabolic and signaling mediators [even] when carbohydrates are abundant."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28178565 (abstract only)

chuck said...

Sullivan calling someone else crazy is crazy.

Earnest Prole said...

For those who know real people with mental disorders, we temper our respect for their condition with vigilance that their illness not harm others.

gadfly said...

Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health.

I am surprised to find that Andrew Sullivan agrees with me. Those wishing to verify my thoughts about Donald's mental state and even the possibility that dementia is settling in, can track my posts here for nearly a year.

Snark said...

I don't think Trump is mentally ill, but I do think there is an awful lot of anecdotal evidence that he's very likely Cluster B personality disordered. Previous experience and observation over the course of my life means I would take great pains to avoid a person with his personality characteristics in real life - Sullivan is right about that. Psychologically the type is opportunistic, predatory and dangerous. The big plays and bald faced lies are meant to overwhelm, to confuse and to gaslight. And it's not something to be admired or cheered, for the love of Christ.

rcocean said...

Its Sullivan who's mentally ill. Its been obvious for years.

Who smokes pot, goes "Bareback riding", constantly changes his political positions, worries about Palin's uterus, and thinks you're defined by where you put your dick?

Hint: It ain't Trump.

wildswan said...

I honestly thought the abortion debate was lost and the question was whether we could save the country itself. So I supported Trump on a patriotic and economic basis even though I knew he had supported Planned Parenthood. (He and Hillary both had supported PPFA, anyhow.) Then this January down on the Mall I saw the Vice President of the United States speaking at the March for Life. I see conservative justices being nominated for the Supreme Court as Trump promised. I see the Department of Education opposing Common Core (which taught abortion). And that's just the change in only one issue. In some ways the change overall is so big that it isn't surprising that Sullivan and others can't understand it, especially because they suppress all dissent in their own vicinity. They say Trump is a pathological liar but they don't let the statement get challenged in their own space. I'd like to see Sullivan challenge Milo. Instead of hiding out in the Atlantic safe print space, debate him at Berkeley.

rcocean said...

Do you believe that:

Trump is a clown and Hitler, a fool and an evil genius, a warmonger and an isolationist, a antisemite and a tool of Israel, a capitalist and a populist, a nationalist and a foreign agent of Moscow, well then:

you might be suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. If so, please avoid reading Andrew Sullivan. Otherwise, symptoms may worsen and require medical attention.

Comanche Voter said...

You have to distinguish between various kinds of "untruth".

There is an objective truth. I put three walnut shells down on the ground (I'm playing a version of three card monte---which shell covers the pea). I ask, "Tell me how many shells there are." You say, "There are two shells". Objectively that's false.

I ask, "How many shells do you see?" You say, "I see four shells." Is that an objective falsehood? I don't know. You may have vision problems. [And truth to tell, I occasionally suffer from double vision myself.]

But I can assure you that when Donald Trump makes a statement that is at variance with whatever progressive pieties that the left can conjure up, he is a lying, prevaricating pompous poltroon. Just ask the New York Times.

When it comes to "politically correct" statements, truth or falsehood just doesn't enter into it The secular have as much faith in climate change as a Catholic nun has in the Baltimore Catechism. Deviation from the secular gospel is heresy and you will be called a liar and a denier.

Sydney said...

Funny that Andrew Sullivan pretty much disappeared during the 8 years of Obama. As an intellectual, if not a conservative, wouldn't he have had some worthwhile things to write during that time? What held him back?

M Jordan said...

Andrew Sullivan is surely one of my least favorite writers. He occasionally says something interesting but he always wraps it in AndrewDrama. Seriously, is this a gay thing? Milo's the same way. He can't sit still for one second without performing whole body affect displays.

Wears me out.

buwaya said...

"The secular have as much faith in climate change as a Catholic nun has in the Baltimore Catechism."

In the case of a fair number of Catholic nuns, they probably more faith in climate change than in the Catechism also.

buwaya said...

"The secular have as much faith in climate change as a Catholic nun has in the Baltimore Catechism."

In the case of a fair number of Catholic nuns, they probably more faith in climate change than in the Catechism also.

Rich said...

Andrew has stopped taking his antidepressants again.

Michael said...

Andrew, really. You used to make sense - at least in your New Republic days. Donald Trump has swum in the most shark-infested waters in the country - big time New York real estate and finance, Hollywood/television, and now politics - and he has survived and thrived for 50 years. How crazy can he be?

Angel-Dyne said...

Damn, I hate it that blogger has made using preview a pain in the ass. One more try:

If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?

Well, I don't value "our" sham "culture" of control-freak "inclusiveness and diversity", in part because being told to police my language for ordinary pejorative terms like "crazy", the use of which does not indicate any lesser compassion for the stricken on the part of the user than on the part of the pious scold, annoys the hell out of me.

I suspect Sulllivan may very well have genuine mental pathologies, but even I didn't, I'd call his output "crazy" with equanimity.

Leslie Graves said...

There's that cruel, cruel neutrality again.

Douglas said...

If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?

I would think he believed himself to be either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

harrogate said...

When you're a billionaire who acts this way, you're not deranged, but "telling it like it is."

That's what Sully misses. All these years later, and for all the changes he's made on some issues, he still can't see the basic fact that the very wealthy run this country and that this fact has blighted us in so many ways

maddermusic said...

Sorry, but Donald Trump really is crazy. This very day he told a meeting of senators that former NH GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte lost her reelection bid because thousands of people were bused in from Massachusetts to vote illegally for her opponent. Evidence? Zero. And common sense tells you there's no way such a thing could be true. But Trump says stuff like this as a matter of routine. Either he's mentally ill or his contempt for truth is total. Either way, America is screwed.

Fernandinande said...

StephenFearby said...
He completed a certification course, successfully participates in an online college program, has friends, began dating, and moved from his father's home into an independent apartment.


If you think bragging is going to make people jealous, you're right.

Leslie Graves said...
There's that cruel, cruel neutrality again.


Worse than neutral cruelty?

Rob McLean said...

Sullivan titles his piece "The Madness of King Donald"

Stopped reading there.

Meade said...

Sullivan: "I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months..."

Complex personality aside, at least Trump doesn't seem to have symptoms of mental and psychological illness. In fact, he seems emotionally settled, steady, and far from any kind of panic while so many of his opponents, by their own words, sound like they might benefit from therapy.

Sullivan: "It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes."

Father issues. Maybe subtle mother issues. Sounds like Trump's unhinged haters could use some good old-fashioned Freudian psychodynamic psychotherapy. Unless they always, always prefer feeling unsettled, anxious, and near panic.

damikesc said...

He is our top investigatory gynecologist, so he has his bona fides.

Michael K said...

Those wishing to verify my thoughts about Donald's mental state and even the possibility that dementia is settling in, can track my posts here for nearly a year.

Why in the world would anyone want to observe the mental deterioration of another ?

I'm not talking about Trump.

Commander Crankshaft said...

We've seen this Trump-is-crazy trope many times, but I'll give Sullivan credit for pushing it so hard he seems to want us to say he's the one who sounds crazy. But what I really hate about this trope is the disrespect for the real people who live with mental disorders. If you value our culture of inclusiveness and diversity, why would you express your criticism of Trump by inviting us to think about how we should rightfully and justifiably insult and shun a person with mental illness?

Nice of you to concede the implication behind Trump's bizarre behavior. But Trump's illness is different from other unfairly stigmatized disorders in that:

1. It manifests more socially than psychologically: Whatever harm it does to him is usually projected outwardly onto others.
2. It is not treatable and incurable.

This is why people were generally fine going with the shorthand of calling him "unfit." We can't have quadraplegic firefighters, no matter what you want to read into the ADA. And a narcissistic president is almost as practically disqualifying. There's a reason why Washington, as the first example of one, was so great. Humility is still needed in a president, if for no other reason than respect for awesome majesty of the office. It's what separates our leaders from kings, at least in terms of what we expect of them.

Commander Crankshaft said...

Complex personality aside, at least Trump doesn't...

Doesn't what? Have a three-year old's emotional reaction of extreme hurt to the merest of criticisms and limitations? He does. How anyone denies that someone prone to 5 AM Twitter rants to lash out at critics no matter what their aim or argument is a testament to the powers of denial on the right. Even the blogger herself seems to concede his debilitating problem. And advising "therapy" for those people is as rich as a buttermilk turd biscuit. Try that one on to a room of 20 psychiatrists and see where it gets you. Trump is textbook clinical.

You are a poorly educated man with strong powers of credulity and denial. But the problem with Trump is that he confuses the office with himself. If you need basic psychiatry distilled down into a shorthand that even right-wingers should understand, it's that. He confuses the office with himself. That's not healthy, no matter how badly infected you are by partisan politics to see that with him, it's clinical.

That office is too damn powerful and mighty for any person to risk confusing it with their own person. You'd think that would be an explanation so simple and characterological that even a right-winger could understand it. But I guess not. Trump thinks he is the office. He is the institution. He is the presidency.

Time to get real, and time to stop making excuses. Trump is as narcissistic as Nixon was paranoid. At least.

wwww said...

Mental disorders are not identical to personality disorders.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder. Depression, anxiety -- all mental disorders.

Borderline is a personality disorder. Narcissism or inappropriate impulsiveness: personality disorder.


Mental disorders and personality disorders can manifest simultaneously, or overlap, but they do not necessarily overlap.

When people talk of Trump, they are almost always referring to a personality disorder, not a mental disorder.

wwww said...



Trump does seem to increase mental disorders in others -- particularly people prone to anxiety. Therapists have noticed a distinct uptick.

People with anxiety disorders need perceived stability. Environmental events such as floods, or terrorist events on TV, will also aggravate anxiety disorders.

Trump is not a Tory or a Conservative in the classic sense. He wants to shock and awe and disrupt. In his performance, he reads as a radical.

That disturbs a sense of stability for those who are more mentally vulnerable. They are more in need of political institutions to appear stable for their sense of safety in the world.

TWW said...

"I’ll be writing in this space about, among other things, the end of Western civilization, the collapse of the republic, and, yes, my beagles.

Why is he going to talk about the END of Western civilization unless he is referring to the invasion of Islam which I think he is not.

Why is he going to talk about the collapse of the republic unless he is going to talk about a constitutionally elected president, which I think he is.

As for his Beagles, I have no comments other than to look up the word 'Narcissist'.

Meade said...

Sullivan questions Trump's mental health and calls him "mentally unstable." Trump might have a strong personality. But where is evidence of his having a personality disorder? His personality seems to work very well for him. Meanwhile there's plenty of evidence of disorder and instability in many of those who simply don't like Trump's personality or policies.

Meade said...

Of course Nixon was paranoid. There was a conspiracy trying to destroy him. And it did.

Trump is a narcissist. So what? Every one of our greatest presidents has been narcissistic. They'd be crazy not to be.

MaxedOutMama said...

Sullivan convinced me that he was verging on significant mental disease with his manic pursuit of the Palin pregnancy story. That did not qualify as sane to me. The poor guy went so far as to get a neighbor of Palin's to temporarily move out so Sullivan could move in and keep surveillance on the family! It follows that he is probably not the best one to be discussing what he perceives as Trump's mental problems.

It comes down to this - Trump is probably crazy as a fox. People might not like him. There are certainly valid criticisms of his character. But the ultimate test of sanity or neurosis is how well a person can acknowledge and deal with reality, and Trump's successes prove that he IS doing that, in contrast to a great many of those in the chattering class. Those who CAN'T recognize what Trump has done and is doing are the ones not dealing with reality.

Discussing Trump's genuine style/character issues is one thing. Creating a fantasy world in which Trump is a yammering conglomeration of mental dysfunction is proof of mental dysfunction on the part of the fantasizer.

FullMoon said...

adfly said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health.

I am surprised to find that Andrew Sullivan agrees with me. Those wishing to verify my thoughts about Donald's mental state and even the possibility that dementia is settling in, can track my posts here for nearly a year.


That right there is ironic.

Commander Crankshaft said...

Sullivan questions Trump's mental health and calls him "mentally unstable." Trump might have a strong personality.

Strongly abrasive and defensive.

But where is evidence of his having a personality disorder?

Tons of examples, but it doesn't get sharper than this discursive mistaking of himself with someone named "God."

His personality seems to work very well for him.

Lol. Hope his 40% and tanking approval rating works for him, also.

Meanwhile there's plenty of evidence of disorder and instability in many of those who simply don't like Trump's personality or policies.

Trump, as a chaotic authoritarian in a freedom-loving country, creates social instability.

Brian McKim & Traci Skene said...

Trump, sez a commenter above, claimed He and Ayotte lost MY because of vote fraud. Googled it, found a report that attributes the Trump claim to "a GOP official with knowledge of Thursday's lunch conversation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a private meeting."

Did you know that a reporter can make up any old shit if he attributes it to "a GOP official with knowledge of Thursday's lunch conversation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because it was a private meeting?" I knew that. I guess not everybody knows that, though.

Commander Crankshaft said...

Of course Nixon was paranoid. There was a conspiracy trying to destroy him. And it did.

Nixon destroyed his own presidency by orchestrating a criminal lawbreaking assault on the properties of his political opponents. He destroyed himself by harboring a primitive and obsessive contempt against his fellow Americans. Which is fine, except when you're supposed to lead and therefore unify them.

Trump is a narcissist. So what? Every one of our greatest presidents has been narcissistic. They'd be crazy not to be.

You're confusing healthy narcissism with the pathological form, which is a bit embarrassing if you want to talk about it thoughtfully. There's admittedly a gray area in politically strong leaders, but Trump is way over on the other side. His defensiveness is off the charts and a grave liability. Anyone who can be manipulated that easily through flattery is a dangerous person to have in office.

Again, he confuses the office for himself. Show me where he has demonstrated respect for the office. Which of our dozens of presidents has he professed admiration for? Which have set examples that he'd like to follow? You'd think that with that many great examples, he'd at least pick a couple for whom he aspires to be like, if not to match or surpass. Who's inspired him.

But no, alas he cannot. He is Trump. He is way too consumed instead with the building of his own image - because his personal ego needs were never gratified, despite the passage of 67 years to learn to get over it. An authentic personality was therefore never able to develop.

That's clinical.

Meade said...

"That's clinical."

Writes a grown adult who calls himself "Commander Crankshaft"

richard mcenroe said...

"If you came across someone in your everyday life who repeatedly said fantastically and demonstrably untrue things, what would you think of him?"

"THIS is CNN..."

Commander Crankshaft said...

"That's clinical."

Writes a grown adult who calls himself "Commander Crankshaft"


What's "clinical" about that? It's fun to come up with names in a forum where nearly everyone is pseudonymous - especially one where the commenters are as cranky as the group you seem to attract and host here. Man, I could just imagine you at a Shakespeare play, playing psychiatrist on all the character actors. Not a big fan of the theater, are you? And did you approve, in all your therapeutic expertise, of names like Publius? I'd really like to know what pseudonyms you're ok with, from the vantage of your accomplished clinical standpoint.

Other than that, I'll take your lack of response to anything other than that last bit, and the ad hominem opening that it afforded you, as an acknowledgement of the weakness of your rebuttal.

AprilApple said...

...forever lashing out in manic spasms of pain and anger...

Like the leftwingers in Ashely Judd-land or the anti-Milo anti-free speech leftists who wear ISIS masks and burn down Starbucks?

Clayton Hennesey said...

Have people really been missing Andrew Sullivan?

Meade said...

"It's fun to come up with names"

Good. Glad you're having fun here, Commander. Being that I'm poorly educated, perhaps you could do me the kindness of explaining what ad hominem means. Is that like a hip hop rap artist name or what? Oh and by the way, we don't use words like rebuttal around here. Please keep it PG. Rear end is okay. Or dairy air.

AprilApple said...

After 8 years of Andrew's bad liar king... the reaction is to clean up the mess.

This send progressives into delusion.

Commander Crankshaft said...

Well, you do have your talents, Mr Meade. You're better at coming up with puns than I'll ever be at a pseudonyms that bore me slightly less than whatever I replaced it with.

But I think we both know what ad hom means. We all abuse it. Everyone of us. It comes down to taste, and quantity - which of course no one will ever agree on.

I'm not perfect. But I can't begin to imagine what kind of hell it would be to worry about how I'm perceived as intensely as Trump does. If you think I'm unsympathetic to the man, at least remember that.

I often happen to like him, and I think he's a douchebag who infuriates me. I guess we all have our inconsistencies. I think he tries. But he does have his handicaps, and I thank my lucky stars they're not the same as mine.

chickelit said...

Tons of examples, but it doesn't get sharper than this discursive mistaking of himself with someone named "God."

That link can't go to where you said it goes, CC. I heard a "comedian" start off with ad hominem. Since he started it, here goes:
Your link goes to an unfunny man with a tiny sounding audience -- probably as tiny as his penis.

Commander Crankshaft said...

If that's all you got out of it, chick - then I guess you're ready to be interviewed by a Christian interviewer for your thoughts on the Big Guy and an answer for him that expounds upon how awesome your personal financial accomplishments are.

You strike me as a regular church-goer. Have you ever considered replacing the service and sermons with a roundtable for parishioners to engage in tendentious financial braggadocio?

Have you thought of putting Jesus on our currency? Have you thought of putting Trump statues in your churches, in the altars?

You really won't be making any progress with this guy until you do.

Commander Crankshaft said...

When I saw that segment, I heard Trump say, "God is.... how much money I've made. How great my deals were."

Jon Ericson said...

Do another line.

Quayle said...

CC. Here to put us all to sleep again?


Bore. Ring.

You're boring. Plain and simple.

I want some excitement. Cummon cranker! Give us the juice!

Commander Crankshaft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Commander Crankshaft said...

Your mother's boring. And your daddy's Dan Quayle.

Get the fuck out of my conversations. No wonder you support Trump. Who the hell has the bad manners to eavesdrop on other people's conversations and then complain about how they weren't entertained by them?

That's like being intruded on by an exhibitionist flasher who jumps out from behind the bushes trench-coat open, with his dick in the air, complaining that the canoodling couple making out in front of him didn't turn him on.

You've got issues, Quayle. Your lack of excitement sure as shit isn't mine, though.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Good lord, if Trump in office means we have to deal with Andrew Sullivan again let's get the impeachment proceedings started now.

Lost My Cookies said...

Oh. This guy again.

zefal said...

As an early reader of andie's old blog I'll tell you how this will play out.... He will be intensely anti-Trump, then at some point become a big Trump fan and deny he was ever anti-Trump. The end.

TBlakely said...

"Father issues. Maybe subtle mother issues. Sounds like Trump's unhinged haters could use some good old-fashioned Freudian psychodynamic psychotherapy."

There is a radio talkshow host here in Austin that is utterly obsessed with Trump. His anti-Trump harangues go on and on, day after day. What I find interesting is that before the Trump mono-mania he publicly threw his dead father under the bus claiming he was a racist (it seems a right of passage for leftists to publicly denounce their country and/or relatives for 'street cred'). Given his obvious daddy issues, I guess it's not surprising he's a nutter when it comes to Trump.

(This dude, who claims to be an independent, said he voted for Hillary because she was 'qualified'.... talk about delusional.)

FIDO said...

Andrew Sullivan not deciding to talk about Kellyanne Conway's uterus? The man is a strange obsessive weirdo! However, as long as he talks smack about Donald, he will find an audience.