How likely is it that Donald Trump, if elected, would serve more than a few months of his term? How likely is it that he will even continue as the nominee much beyond the convention?
My opinion is that Trump is suffering from what I call “Attention-Seeking Deficit Disorder.” He doesn’t want to serve. He doesn’t want to be president; he wants the attention that accompanies the campaign. And now, I think he’s rather afraid that he might win. [Laughs] I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do as president.
— Lloyd Wright, the Democratic National Committee’s media coordinator during the 1964 race.
That quote appears in an interesting interview published on last weekend’s Politico Magazine, with the title “LBJ’s Ad Men: Here’s How Clinton Can Beat Trump–We talked to two of the geniuses behind the greatest ad campaign in political history. Here’s what they’d do in 2016.” The interview is by Robert Mann, author of the book Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater, and the Ad That Changed American Politics. (The other participant is Sid Myers, former art director at the campaign’s advertising firm.)
Earlier this week Trump was quoted as suggesting that he isn’t having very much fun anymore. I think this occurred the day after the judge in the Trump U. case ordered the public release of deposition transcripts and other documents from the litigation’s discovery process—information that, at least in my opinion, will be a death blow to his candidacy.
But also within the last two or three days, as Trump has spiraled into undeniable madness, I’ve seen articles such as one today by NYT Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak titled “Donald Trump Could Threaten U.S. Rule of Law, Scholars Say.” That article begins:
WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump’s blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say.
Even as much of the Republican political establishment lines up behind its presumptive nominee, many conservative and libertarian legal scholars warn that electing Mr. Trump is a recipe for a constitutional crisis.
All of the quotes in the article are from libertarian-right law professors. But clearly, the expectation of blatantly unconstitutional conduct by Trump is hardly limited to that crowd.
Another article I read in the last day or two recounts the many statements Trump has made in the last few months that make clear that he doesn’t know even the basic contours of what each of the three branches of the federal government is charged under the Constitution with doing, and appears not to know that there is a separate of powers among the three branches under the Constitution.
Then there are those private conversations that Paul Ryan mentioned yesterday between him and Trump, which culminated in Ryan’s endorsement of Trump upon the stated ground that Trump would become Ryan’s puppet. Trump, Ryan said, will support Ryan’s fiscal agenda. And regulatory agenda. And Legal Movement agenda. Which is what most large Republican donors care about. Trump’s made it clear that the federal judiciary will be a branch of Koch Industries. And that almost certainly is a promise he would keep.
Directly or via succession. His own.
He’s assured Ryan that the Kochs, the securities and banking industry donors, and the pharmaceutical industry donors will control their respective industry’s administrative agencies, beyond anything that existed even in the Reagan and Bush II administrations. He’s done so publicly about the EPA. And undoubtedly privately regarding the others.
Ryan doesn’t trust Trump to keep his promises. But I think he needn’t worry, not because Trump himself actually understands what a promise is—he doesn’t—but because it will be Ryan and the Kochs who choose the vice presidential nominee. The person who quickly will become the actual or de facto presidential nominee or, if the ticket wins, president within a few months.
I think Democrats need to consider the possibility of this scenario, and start seriously educating the public about the Ryan fiscal and deregulatory juggernaut in store for the country if the Republican ticket wins. And they should recognize that the real ballgame here may be the VP candidate.
If Trump remains the nominee and is elected, how long will he remain in office?
I’m not sure whether this is a serious post or not.
Trump is the one who could riun the mushroom cloud ad. It ain’t Trump who reneged on keeping NATO in the west.
Imagine a mushroom cloud with a super model……… picking daisies.
Hard to see how a narcissist would not want to fly around in AF One!
It is interesting. Trump believes in delegation but delegation to whom? He would have some high visibility projects to work and probably neglect whatever doesn’t interest him. More interested in power and pomp than policy. Having endured the campaign, he wouldn’t likely quit, but months of vacation would be certain. Who he will draw on, including for vice president, will say much.
“I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do as president.”
And somehow I am more terrified by Hillary Clinton precisely because I do know what she will do as president.
No Edumndo, you really haven’t a clue regarding what Clinton may do if elected. First, the President can only try to provoke legislation. Clinton will have to work with the Congress. Hopefully that will be a Democrat dominant Congress. Also, what you think you know are only the figments of the imaginations of Republican Party operatives over the past two g Presidencies. Listening to those deceitful propagandists one would be led to believe that Clinton initiated the war in Iraq rather than having cast a Senate vote based on Cheney’s lies.
Clinton may not be a great choice, but she stands a far more liklely chance of being a good choice than Trump or, for that matter, any of the other Republican primary candidates that couldn’t even challenge Trump, himself being severely challenged on many issues.
Trump being trump is going to do what he likes to do. Golf, jet around saying things to horrify elites, and making deals that work out for him but nobody else.
I expect his administration to be fairly similar to W’s in this regard. All politics all the time without the bother of cumbersome policy tedium, which like W he will generally leave to his cronies. Kind of like the way he’s run his fabled businesses more or less into the ground. Multiple times. While somehow always finding another chump to buy into the next deal. It’ll be sort of like Trump University or Trump Steaks but without the boring hassle of curriculum or shipping boxes of meat around.
The executive branch such as it will be constituted will have a free hand remaking the country as they see fit. It’s going to be a hell of a show.
I realized after posting my comment that the late Douglas Adams actually correctly described the Trump administration in his characterization of Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Zaphod is the former president of the Galaxy in the Hitchiker’s Guide series. As Adams describes him, he understands that his role is not to actually wield power but rather to draw attention away from those who do. A role I believe Trump is tailor made to serve.
You people are worse than the clowns who said Trump would not get the GOP nomination. He is in for it now all the way. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
His role models are Berlusconi and Putin. He will go for it and use the power of the presidency to go around the constitution and do all sort s of unpleasant garbage.
I think Trump wants mainly to show that he can HAVE power. He’d love to use it for personal, trivial things, like “opening up the libel laws,” but not for anything else. I don’t know enough about Berlusconi’s conduct to comment on him, and I doubt that Trump knows who he is, but while Trump may be a Putin wannabe, he’s nothing like Putin. Putin’s history in the KGB was a serious training ground, and I think he’s sort of Stalin-like. Trump is mostly just childlike.
Putin delegates nothing. Trump would delegate everything. And when he becomes tired of it, he very well could just walk away from it, I think.
I cannot wait for this thing to be over. The level of insanity regarding the discourse in here is frightening.
The idea that there are self described liberals that believe a Rep President(let alone Trump) is the same as a Dem President is sure proof of chemical abuse, alcoholism, or an outbreak of sheer stupidity.
What planet have you people been living on for the last three decades?
“I think Trump wants mainly to show that he can HAVE power.”
Pardon me Beverly, but what you, or any of us, think regarding the motivations of the candidates is irrelevant. Stop guessing and stick with the facts as best as we can know them. What we do know is that virtually every spokes person for the Trump campaign is lying through their teeth when in any televised discussion of the campaign. What we do know is that Trump sounds foolish when making his ridiculous pronouncements. And another thing that we know is Trump seems to have won a primary campaign against sixteen of the worst possible candidates offered to the general electorate. When John Kasich sounds like the most reasonable candidate we know something is amiss in the process. So winning against 16 turds is not a major accomplishment when viewed in the light of so many of the current GOP elected Congressional members. Trump is the extension of the Tea Party phenomenon, though seemingly more ridiculous than even that political group.
The one thing that Trump’s candidacy may be good for is improved voter turn out of people most likely to vote center or center left. that would be a big start to improving the Congress as well as the Executive. More voters tends to loosen the grip of the monied class on election results and the drift toward a more progressive political agenda. Trump is only saying more directly what the others like Ryan, McConnell et al have been keeping under their collective breath. They are liars who only represent the interests of their financial benefactors. Are Democrats better than that? Maybe by a hair’s breath. Is HLC better than that? Hard to tell, but her general performance in government seems to have been mostly self actualization at any cost. Too bad.
OK, what do people think the odds of his being assassinated before the end of the year?
I think they are very, very high.
By Paul Ryan?
I would be inclined to take that action except for you know, it being a gruesome wager on the death of a short fingered vulgarian. I’ve honestly been a lot more worried about Bernie’s safety; he appears to have angered a lot more powerful people despite his current situation.
Far more likely he suffers a genuinely show-stopping gaffe (you know, the one we’ve all been hungrily watching this side show expecting to see Any Minute NOW!) that effectively ends his credibility to finish the campaign in any competitive way. Vaguely defined “health issues” dictate the suspension of his campaign which puts the GOP in the ditch and HRC wins unopposed in any serious way. It’s not impossible.
Hey, Ted Cruz’s father’s still around, and he knows how these things are done!
For National Enquirer readers maybe.
put aside the rhetoric and the professional wrestling over issues that don’t matter (to THEM anyway) and you might see a case that whatever party is in the white house, policy that affects the monied interests, and policy they think affects the strength of their empire abroad…. uh… remarkably similar.
they like it when we call each other stupid. it keeps us from getting together to do something about OUR interests.
Not likely that there would be an attempt on Trump’s life. The left of center crowd doesn’t do assassination. And the likelihood of some real wack-o without political ideology would take aim is totally unpredictable. That’s the nature of wack-o actions, who knows where or when?
Exactly how many Reps voted for the Dodd-Frank bill? Or the ACA?
People that talk about the “lesser evil”(always with a smug sense of moral purity attached), somehow forget that the other choice is a greater evil.
Last time I looked, the Founding Fathers allowed slavery because the other alternative was the greater evil.
Of course it could all just be an elaborate kayfabe dance http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/05/politics/donald-trump-bill-clinton-2016/
Billmon has been having a lot of fun with this idea, the possibility that Trump only wanted to burnish his brand and the entire campaign was just a way to give Hillary a little assist by ensuring the GOP nominated the worst possible candidate.
Which all went sideways “The Producers” style when he managed to win the nomination. Springtime for Hitler indeed.
Donald: “Hey so I’m thinking our best move hers is for me to just attack this judge…”
Bill (laughing): “Wow you are really outside the box here man. Yeah that’s great. Then make sure you top it off by doubling down on it when you get criticized by the GOP”…
It would all be funnier enacted by Harry Shearer on his radio show as a segment of “Clintonsomething” but you get the idea.