Now that the blue wave has actually happened and there aren't any more campaign rallies to tell him he's loved the best, Donald Trump is reacting as any normal US president would, according to the Los Angeles Times: he's become a very grumpy, snappish, no-fun guy, just locking himself in his room and listening to "I am a Rock" over and over, blubbering at the line "A rock feels no pain, and an island never cries." (Haha, that is silly. When Donald Trump feels emo, he just watches that old McDonald's ad with him and Grimace, then tries again to see if HR McMaster will let him nuke California. The answer keeps coming back "no," but maybe someday.)

But it really looks like Donald Trump is in quite the funk these days, though not the sort of funk that at some point would be brought out, along with da noise:

With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials. "He's furious," said one administration official. "Most staffers are trying to avoid him."

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of a brooding president "trying to decide who to blame" for Republicans' election losses, even as he publicly and implausibly continues to claim victory.

Jesus. Poor dipshit is probably just short of wandering around in a bathrobe with his bare feet stuck in Kleenex boxes, muttering that his toenails are much longer and magnificent than Emmanuel Macron's.

The story also notes Trump has really been upset over last week's Wall Street Journal story about his very deep involvement in payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. It put him in a very bad mood, possibly because the WSJ didn't even describe him as the "mastermind" of the scheme even once. He never gets the credit he deserves.

We'd say Trump is shirking his duties, bur really, that's his job -- now he's escalated to avoiding even the superficial parts of pretending he's presidenting. He's skipped any number of trips and meetings with foreign leaders in the past week, sending a flunky instead. He even decided not to go visit the troops on the border during their deployment in Operation Restore Panic. sending Mattis instead. He couldn't even be arsed to travel two miles to Arlington on Veterans Day, because why, just why?

Maybe firing more people will make him feel better. He'd really like to fire John Kelly, but he hasn't figured out how to tell Kelly to fire himself without actually telling Kelly he's fired. Trump needs someone to do that for him. (Melania? Help a shitty husband out?)

In a fine bit of timing, the Washington Post last night published its own very special "The President Is A Peevish Toddler Again" story, all about Trump's five-day (and continuing) snit that coincided with his trip across the Atlantic so he could watch Fox News all weekend in the US ambassador's residence. It's quite good, based on the embarrassed observations of a number of anonymous outsiders whose last pleasure in their jobs is telling the world all about what a terrible day they had at the office.

The snippiness escalated as Trump flew across the Atlantic Friday. Prime Minister Theresa May called Air Force One to congratulate Trump for winning all the midterms -- she knew she was just blowing smoke up his ass, but she was doing so with strategery -- but he was in no mood to be flattered. Instead, he blew up at May and demanded she put sanctions on Iran because he unilaterally scrapped the nuke deal, and also bitched about Brexit and trade, to the point that her aides, accustomed to Trump's nasty moods, "were shaken by his especially foul mood, according to U.S. and European officials briefed on the conversation."

The biggest get in the WaPo piece is that Trump, the master of self-publicity, had no freaking idea how badly his decision to skip a visit to a WWI US cemetery would go over with the public after the Secret Service "had concerns" about flying 50 miles in fog and rain, and also said a motorcade would mess up Paris traffic. Trump decided to stay in the ambassador's residence and to send John Kelly and Joint Chiefs chair Joseph Dunford instead. Oh, but then Trump learned maybe that looked bad, which was clearly a huge surprise because everyone LOVES him:

Trump quickly grew infuriated by a torrent of tweets and media coverage suggesting that the president was afraid of the rain and did not respect veterans [...]

Trump told aides he thought he looked "terrible" and blamed his chief of staff's office, and [Deputy Chief of Staff Zachary] Fuentes in particular, for not counseling him that skipping the cemetery visit would be a public-relations nightmare.

The poor thing. As if he ever listens to advice anyway. Best line from the whole piece goes to historian Douglas Brinkley, who said Trump is "just a bull carrying his own china shop with him when­ever he travels the world." That, kids, is why we need historians (as well as for mocking Dinesh D'Souza).

Finally, If all this Sad President Babyshits coverage keeps getting him down, Trump may have one more excuse to ask Melania to fire John Kelly for him, since Newsweek brought renewed attention to the existence of "policy time," one of Kelly's desperate innovations for keeping Trump's mighty galaxy brain at least occasionally on his job.

Politico White House reporter Annie Karni tweeted on Tuesday: "A new thing on Trump's private schedule that I haven't seen before: In addition to some 'executive time' today, he has two blocks of 'policy time.'"

Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey followed up on Karni's tweet by adding that "policy time" was instituted by Chief of Staff John Kelly in an effort to get the president to focus on issues.

"It was installed earlier this year... A Kelly creation. It sometimes goes better than others," Dawsey tweeted.

Trump just hates having any "work" impinging on his Fox News time, but now he has to add to his full plate of grievances the weighty struggle of whether firing Kelly would be a real feather in his cap or a big black eye. He could try a checklist, if only he knew how to read and write.

We won't, however, fall into the trap of saying it looks like Trump is finally unraveling this time, because the man and his circle of sycophants are always unraveling -- it's just how his brain operates, and the trick is to not let his state of perpetual chaos infect the restfulness we laughingly call our shared "reality." As public radio's "On the Media" pointed out in July, it resembles nothing so much as the "Shepard tone," the anxiety-inducing auditory illusion that seems to be infinitely rising in pitch but never reaches an end.

Except with Trump, the madness is more of a downward spiral, a plane spinning out of control -- but as far as we can tell, there's no longer any ground to crash into.

[LAT / WaPo / Newsweek / On the Media]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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