July 10, 2019

Because he's afraid of clowns?

From the sidebar at NY Magazine:
"Why Trump Fears the Secret British Memo Calling Him a Clown" — a column by Jonathan Chait — is a big disappointment to me because it does not discuss the fear of clowns — "coulrophobia" — or even have anything at all in it about clowns or the word "clown."

The story of the British ambassador calling Trump "inept" had been too boring to blog, as far as I was concerned, even when I saw the potential to say that the ambassador himself was, ironically, inept, since he's the one who lost his job. But the notion of Trump suffering from the cliché phobia of clowns amused me. Didn't happen though. Fake news! "Clown" is just a standard media epithet for Trump, inserted by the headline writer for cheap titillation. Worked on me. How irksome!

Here's the NYT article on the ambassador's fate:
Kim Darroch resigned on Wednesday as Britain’s ambassador to the United States after the leak of his candid observations on the Trump administration, a ferocious response from President Trump and the failure of the likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson, to support the British envoy.

Mr. Darroch submitted his resignation in a letter that said the situation was making it impossible for him to carry out his role. “Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador,” he wrote.

On Monday, Mr. Trump said the White House would no longer deal with Mr. Darroch after the leak of confidential emails written by the ambassador that had described the Trump administration as “clumsy and inept.” The president described the ambassador as “wacky,” a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool,” and called Prime Minister Theresa May “foolish” for ignoring his advice on Brexit....

“The fact that Sir Kim has been bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump’s tantrums and Boris Johnson’s pathetic lickspittle response, is something that shames our country,” said Emily Thornberry, the opposition Labour Party’s shadow foreign secretary. “It makes a laughingstock out of our government. Just imagine Churchill allowing this humiliating, servile, sycophantic indulgence of the American president’s ego to go unchallenged.”
I love Thornberry's rhetoric. It makes notice how routinely British politicians hurl insults. It's like the way Trump tweets, which seems so off the norm here in the U.S. And that's why Darroch's memo looked so harsh to us, but then Trump dished right back. Darroch said "clumsy and inept," so Trump returned with "wacky," "very stupid," and "pompous fool." Tit for tat.

55 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

"Why Trump Fears the Secret British Memo Calling Him a Clown" — a column by Jonathan Chait — is a big disappointment to me....

Jonathan Chait?!!?

Crazy Trump-hating leftist Beta Male gets valuable ink at the NYT. What a surprise.

Beasts of England said...

Someone attacking Trump regarding his manner of communicating? Calling Trump a clown? Such a layup...

EDH said...

Althouse said...
...a big disappointment to me because it does not discuss the fear of clowns — "coulrophobia" — or even have anything at all in it about clowns or the word "clown."

"You're living in the past... You're hung-up on some clown from the 60s, man!"

Darrell said...

The Media clown show.

"It's a mirror, dude!"

Mark said...

Chait's readers may care what European elites think. Trump's base? It would view the ambassador's scorn as validation.

Ann Althouse said...

"Crazy Trump-hating leftist Beta Male gets valuable ink at the NYT. What a surprise."

No, it's NY Magazine. He's always there.

Rob said...

Gotta love "lickspittle."

Mark said...

Also, Dave Brubeck (with the able assistance of Louis Armstrong) got there a long time ago:

I'm the real ambassador!
It is evident I was sent by government to take your place
All I do is play the blues and meet the people face to face;
I'll explain and make it plain I represent the human race
And don't pretend no more!

Who's the real ambassador?
Certain facts we can ignore;
In my humble way I'm the USA!
Though I represent the government
The government don't represent
Some policies I'm for!

Oh, we learned to be concerned about the constitutionality
In our nation, segregation isn't a legality
Soon our only differences will be in personality
That's what I stand for!
Who's the real ambassador
Yes, the real ambassador?

Michael K said...

Churchill sent Halifax the appeaser to the US to get him our of the way.

Read his exchanges with Roosevelt to see how to relate to the US.

The funniest observation of the relationship was by MacMillan in North Africa in 1942 when he said the Americans are the Romans and we are the Greeks. The Romans had the power and the Greeks thought they gave good advice.

Fen said...

The story of the British ambassador calling Trump "inept" had been too boring to blog, as far as I was concerned,

It's somewhat entertaining, all the people who call Trump "inept" keep getting their lunch eaten.. hats handed to them?... Destroyed. Yes, that's it.

Maybe Trump has an Shrine to Murphy in his basement?

I kinda want to test that. Stand outside in a lightning storm, yell "Orange Man Bad!" and see if I am struck down.

Nonapod said...

Not sure what exactly people expected. Of course the guy had to go. How can you work with a person who is supposed to be the main representative of your biggest ally if their hatred of you personally has been revealed so publicly.

As for the comments themselves, I agree with Mark, the people who hate Trump will obviously strongly agree with them, and people who like Trump will look at the comments as just the whinging of an elite globalist. Either way it's just more fuel for the fire.

Infinite Monkeys said...

The fact that Sir Kim has been bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump’s tantrums

Bollocks.

Fen said...

bullied out of his job, because of Donald Trump’s tantrums

LOL. He was fired because his words compromised his ability to represent British interests with the United States.

MayBee said...

I feel sorry for the Ambassador. I'm sure ambassadors speak like that all the time. Then someone leaked this memo to make Trump look bad, and it's the Ambassador who gets the old heave-ho.

Big Mike said...

IMHO “pompous fool” was enough. Epithets like “wacky” and “very stupid” are overkill. Darroch should have been declared persona non grata and given 24 hours to exit the country.

Big Mike said...

I kinda want to test that. Stand outside in a lightning storm, yell "Orange Man Bad!" and see if I am struck down.

@Fen, please don’t try this. I fear the result.

Carol said...

I don't think a diplomat could be anything but condescending about stupid Americans and their leaders.

It renders them superior to the situation and all.

Annie C. said...

Doesn't Insty have a daily link to a "Democrat Candidate Clown Car" update?

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...

doctrev said...

Going to Jonathan Chait for advice on diplomacy after the Iraq War is like getting Bernie Madoff's advice on financial management. What is wrong with you??

Look, a diplomat has two purposes.

1) Represent the interests of your nation. I'm not even mad that he thinks Trump is a clown, because it's an opinion, and one widely shared in Theresa May's government. Being associated with that omnishambles makes him a number of steps below professional clowndom, but moving on-

2) Don't piss the host off so much they revoke your diplomatic credentials. I'd actually understand Darroch repeatedly slagging off Trump to State Department officials, because they're a bunch of time-servers with nothing better to do than wank each other off with Trump-hate and sodomy. But writing it down! Why, you stupid man?! Where did you learn your trade??

Under the circumstances, this isn't even the dumbest thing the May government has done this year. That stupid woman will probably mean the demise of the Tory party. Good.

clint said...

The leaking of confidential communications between an ambassador and the government he represents seems like a big deal.

For a newspaper to cavalierly publish such confidential information when it's not evidence of some wrongdoing also seems like a big deal.

The fact that a career diplomat thinks Orange Man Bad doesn't seem at all like a big deal, or even vaguely interesting.

Fen said...

@Fen, please don’t try this. I fear the result.

Hah. No worries, to borrow from the quote: I don't believe in Murphy, but I do fear him.

Yancey Ward said...

I am quite sure most ambassadors to the US have thought every American president was a moron and have said as much in secret communications. Darroch has to go, though, because his became public- that is a no-no in diplomacy.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

clint: The fact that a career diplomat thinks Orange Man Bad doesn't seem at all like a big deal, or even vaguely interesting.

Quite. To European pols and functionaries, aren't all non-Dem American pols incompetent clowns by definition? (And sometimes, they even manage to be right about that - see: GW Bush. They also fawn over non-entities like Obama, so, stopped clock and all...)

Bruce Hayden said...

“LOL. He was fired because his words compromised his ability to represent British interests with the United States.”

Fen is exactly right. Insulting the leader of the country that you are representing your country with is almost always a deportable offense. You there in their country at that leader’s convenience and sufferance. Trump essentially revoked that, saying essentially that the US government would no longer deal with him, thanks to the insults he made to the leader of the host country, and, by extension insulted that country itself. Stupid, stupid stupid.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Trump is apparently a big germophobe and hates being around anyone visibly sick (coughing, sneezing, etc).

narciso said...

he was a former envoy to the eu, and national security advisor, until early 2016, as such he vouched for the steele dossier, and pushed the iran deal, he failed on both counts, the earlier bit is why he has enmity for Assange,

narciso said...

sorry farage, when he first had memos leaked back in November 2016,

narciso said...

it's peculiar that new York magazine who wrote that early profile of Epstein, is now only showing curiosity 17 years later,

n.n said...

He's annoyed by the diverse straw clowns posed by NYMAG et al.

n.n said...

it's peculiar that new York magazine who wrote that early profile of Epstein, is now only showing curiosity 17 years later,

Shades of #MeToo, along with #SheKnew #SheProgressed.

narciso said...

landon thomas, wrote a profile of Robert rubin, where he mentioned the merger of the two natural gas companies that became Enron, and picked ken lay to head it, based on his experience in drilling in the Permian, and his govt service, but that went down the memory hole in 2001,

TJM said...

Jonathan Chait is a mega left-wing loon and not worthy of any attention.

narciso said...

yes chaitred, is a joke, but the context of fmr ambassador darroch, is somewhat interesting,

Steven said...

I'm not even mad that he thinks Trump is a clown, because it's an opinion, and one widely shared in Theresa May's government.

Irony is anyone working for May calling Trump "inept".

Puck said...

memorandum that leaked on Saturday, leading to Mr. Trump’s declaration that the ambassador to America’s oldest ally was, in effect, persona non grata.

France is the United States’ oldest ally. They helped us to beat the fucking Brits.

narciso said...

well except for that, the war of 1812, the time they almost got involved on the confederacy side, and a possible conflict over Venezuela in the 1890s, we're square,

Gunner said...

Someone should ask Mr. Chait if he feels like revising his infamously stupid "I hate everything about George W. Bush" article from the 2000s.

rcocean said...

What does Trump really fear? Germs. Also, Sharks.

daskol said...

I feel sorry for the Ambassador. I'm sure ambassadors speak like that all the time. Then someone leaked this memo to make Trump look bad, and it's the Ambassador who gets the old heave-ho.

We sure this was about making Trump look bad? There's a new PM in London, and the ground is shifting there in UK posture to the EU and the US. I think they wanted this clown out of DC.

rcocean said...

obviously Trump didn't like the guy BEFORE this stuff was leaked. No expects diplomats to be honest. They're supposed to butter up the other countries leader. Our American Ambassador in London was no doubt telling Ms. May that she was absolutely fabulous.

Hunt's "I stand by our Ambassador" was stupid. There's no point in keeping an Ambassador when the head of the Country he's at won't work with him. He's useless. And from reading some of the "Pompous" "Stupid" Ambassador's comments, it appears he just passed on gossip and the Conventional DC wisdom.

rcocean said...

I think a friend of Boris leaked it. Its put his rival Hunt, in a very bad light.

daskol said...

On the British propensity to insults, I read or heard something like this somewhere, and it holds up: Brits speak civilly to one another and comparatively disrespectfully to their political leaders, while we are too harsh with one another and far too ceremonious in how we relate to our leaders. This includes journalists, ours who typically kiss politico ass vs. Brit television presenters who can be really tough with their political inverviewees. British politicos take, and dish, a lot of shit, and they do it with panache. The House of Commons is way more entertaining than the pompous proceedings of our legislature.

narciso said...


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/07/10/lack-progress-us-uk-trade-talks-laid-bare-cache-leaked-documents/

bagoh20 said...

"Chait's readers may care what European elites think. Trump's base? It would view the ambassador's scorn as validation."

That's exactly how I see it. An ambassador named Sir Kim from a nation that still has a royal family, and which ignores the desires and votes of it's own people, while coddling ungrateful dole sucking immigrants who hate their hosts with a passion, if that ambassador said he admired Trump and agreed with him, his methods and his goals, I'd question if Trump was up to the challenges he has. I expect people like Sir Kim to dislike or even hate Trump. If the gentleman was a smart capable man, we never would have found out his true feelings and thus realized how unsuited he was for his job. Good riddance.

bagoh20 said...

Everything the ambassador said may be true, but if it is, we need to reevaluate what works and doesn't. Sir Kim probably loves him some Neville Chamberlain, a right honorable gentleman.

tcrosse said...

There's a saying that an English gentleman is never unintentionally rude.

Amadeus 48 said...

I wouldn't respect Trump if he didn't claim a head here.

As I said before, Her Majesty's Government could have saved money by getting a subscription to WaPoop. They got the same info and no more insight from Darroch.

ZeroHedge had an amusing post from a Brit suggesting that the likely suspects for the leak include anyone who ever worked for Darroch. He is a New Labor Likely Lad and a horrible bully. Many people who have dealt with him think he is a putz. Think of Rahm Emanuel with a Brit faux-working class accent and a bad attitude.

A bully bullied. Good riddance.

Michael McNeil said...

well except for that, the war of 1812, the time they almost got involved on the confederacy side, and a possible conflict over Venezuela in the 1890s, we're square,

Don't forget the “Quasi-War” (Quasi-guerre in French), the undeclared war — conducted principally at sea — between the United States and France, between the years 1798-1800.

Leland said...

I love the juxtaposition:

"Everything we know about the sex crimes case against Jeffrey Epstein"

preceded by

"How Jeffrey Epstein made his money: Four Wild Theories"

Four Wild Theories tells me they don't know much about the case against Jeffrey Epstein. I'm sure one could say, but the indictment tells us about the case; which it does. Except the indictment is really small potatoes compared to what is alleged by others not associated with the case. The indictment sex trafficking all occurred in his home, in which he allegedly simply told the naked under age girl "now go stand next to old man, touch his pee pee, and let him touch yours." That's sexual assault but not penis penetration rape. It's not taking the young girls across state lines or even precinct lines.

People can complain about Acosta, but I'm not seeing them throwing the book at Epstein now. Maybe they'll amend the indictment to at least add possession of child pornography, which will at least put Epstein in the same jeopardy as Anthony Weiner and Jared Fogle. Fogle plead down to that jeopardy, but Epstein is starting there.

narciso said...

I was referring to our brothers across the pond, certainly we've been allies since world war 2, France has been off and on since de gauillle

Fen said...

well except for that, the war of 1812, the time they almost got involved on the confederacy side, and a possible conflict over Venezuela in the 1890s, we're square,

Don't forget the “Quasi-War” (Quasi-guerre in French), the undeclared war — conducted principally at sea — between the United States and France, between the years 1798-1800.


Also Desert Storm, where our French "ally" was given the far left flank so the only thing could betray were the sand fleas.

Fen said...

They helped us to beat the fucking Brits.

That's true and we own them gratitude for that, but their motive wasn't altruistic.

Steven said...

The clock for the alliances of both Britain and France with the US start after the Vietnam War, as their failure to fulfill their freely-accepted commitments under SEATO was inconsistent with a status as allies to us. They've continuously been our protectorates for longer, but not our allies.

If you seek an actual ally of long standing to the United States, look at Australia.

Aunty Trump said...

A Brit once told me that the reason they didn’t join in in the Viet Nam War was that the Viet Cong never asked them.

narciso said...

they had a brief dustup in aden, that ran concurrent with the first phase of the war, 63-67, of course then they had to fight a proxy war out of oman against the dhofar tribes,