Instability in the Castle

Author: Gary Hart

What to do when the King is, shall we say, not himself.  In the age of kings this question was as often as not a serious one.  He (or in the case of Queens, she) is after all king for life.  And dementia is not a new thing.  An addled ruler is still ruler.

The advent of the Enlightenment and then the evolution of democracy and the consent of the governed helped deal with the problem more directly with elections if nothing else.  And we are days away from this demonstration of democracy on a mass scale.

But increasingly bizarre behavior by the incumbent president on a daily basis causes concern about which might come first, the election or full-scale derangement.  For many of us, the doomsday scenario is re-election and full-scale derangement.

Woes pile up on woes.  Today, through his Fox megaphone the president is attacking senior members of his own cabinet for not indicting his opponent, President Obama, and his former opponent Hilary Clinton.  He is demanding rallies while still exhibiting virus symptoms and while under powerful steroids.  He blames the families of fallen warriors for his condition, because…he has to blame someone other than himself.

The incumbent president called off Congressional (!) negotiations for emergency economic relief, even though this should have been a decision for Congressional leaders of his own Party, then abruptly changed his mind when markets, predictably, plunged.  Of course, Republican Senators long ago surrendered their authority, and their manhood, to the president…a president who does not understand the Constitution does not give him legislative and judicial in addition to executive authority.

It continues to be unclear whether anyone is managing ongoing international relations.  The Secretary of State, like most others, is hiding himself from the irrational wrath of the King in the Castle.  Stories continue to circulate of senior military commanders agonizing over their course if called upon to put down “unrest” in key polling places in swing States.

Though the virus is, once again predictably, loose in the bare-faced ranks of Republican Senators, the Majority Leader pushes dementedly for swift confirmation of yet another very conservative Justice of the Supreme Court in the long planned court-packing scheme on the right.

Meanwhile, the chief’s deep concern for the well-being of his infected wife somehow got passed us.  Or, perhaps, it didn’t.

But there are so many distractions, some of the president’s own making.  Though he has done everything but applaud the dangerous behavior of white nationalist militias, he has not been heard to condemn the plot to kidnap the Governor of Michigan most recently disclosed thanks to the efforts of the FBI.  Could such condemnation cost him some votes?

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, as his “base” does consistently, we can conclude that his erratic behavior is caused by declining political polls. But then we remind ourselves that Harry Truman in 1948 was well behind his opponent throughout the campaign but remained a smiling, up-beat happy warrior throughout and won the election.  Difficult to imagine Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, or Barack Obama pouting about bad polls or doing an Il Duce imitation on the White House balcony.

Even The General In His Labyrinth, as portrayed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, did not reach the level of derangement of the most recent incumbent’s display.

Reports today suggest the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is convening a House task force to consider the scope and reach of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution having to do with the disability of a president.  The Speaker is sober, thoughtful, deeply patriotic, and not given to extraordinary actions…except when they are called for.  The question to be explored is the ability of the commander in chief to discharge the duties of his office.

Once again, fasten your seatbelts.  We are in for a rough and rocky ride.  But do not expect a more sane opposition to say anything like: Lock Him Up!


5 Responses to “Instability in the Castle”

  1. Gary Hart Says:

    Besides, he doesn’t have a dog. GH

  2. Brian C McCarthy Says:


    Just 11 days ago—seems much longer now—Trump alleged in the debate that violence by political extremists only exists on the left.

    “I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing not from the right wing … somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem this is a left wing…”, he said.

    This contradicts research showing 329 murders linked to the far right in the US since 1994 compared with 0 linked to Antifa or other anti-fascist groups. Add to that the kidnapping plot against Gov. Whitmer you mentioned which Trump has largely ignored.

    While some of his behavior raises the question of dementia or other mental illness, part of me suspects that ascribing it to that is just letting him off the hook. I think for the most part he knows exactly what he is doing.


  3. Michael Says:

    Trump will be at his most dangerous after he (hopefully) loses the election. Facing indictment and possibly financial ruin after he leaves office, the weeks between election day and the inauguration will be particularly unhinged. I don’t think a pet of any kind would help in that case. Military leaders already know he is not mentally fit and won’t let him start a war or drop bombs in a rage. The markets will be calmed by the certainty that Biden will be taking over on Jan 20th. But I expect that Trump will incite violence from his armed supporters. If the loss is catastrophic, there may be enough embittered Republicans who could support removing him before his term ends. But I fear the FBI will be busy infiltrating and chasing white nationalist extremists’ plots against the government for many years to come, even when the Trump nightmare ends.

  4. H Patrick Pritchard Says:

    The dog community is thankful and relieved!

  5. Eric C. Jacobson Says:

    Too late now.

    See (The USC Dornsife Daily Tracking Poll)

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