Trump throws oil on the fire, tell governors to get tough on protestors

June 1, 2020 • 12:00 pm

The report from CNN below is about what’s expected from the peabrain we call our President, but it does exacerbate my fear that Trump will use the violence as an excuse to foment more violence. And in confirms my worries that violence is going to beget more violence.

Click on the screenshot to read:

An excerpt:

Donald Trump, agitated and distressed after three nights of violent protests in dozens of cities across the country, including outside of his home, told the nation’s governors in a video teleconference Monday to aggressively target violent protesters he said would only respond to a show of force.

“You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people,” the President told the governors in a call from the basement White House Situation Room, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by CNN.

In the conversation — which drew a rebuke from Illinois’s Democratic governor on the call — Trump appeared angry and chastised what he characterized as a weak response to protests in certain places, which he said allowed violence to take hold. Trump emphasized his belief the violence is being fomented by forces from the “radical left.”

And he suggested to governors it was their responsibility, not his, to tamp down harshly on the continued unrest.

“It’s a movement, if you don’t put it down it will get worse and worse,” Trump said. “The only time its successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak.”

In admonishing the governors for not doing more to quell the violence, which raged again on Sunday night, Trump was reverting to a hardline “law and order” mantle he believes is the best way to confront growing racial unrest across the nation.

Our Democratic governor, J. B. Pritzker, pushed back:

“Rhetoric coming out of the White House is making it worse, people are experiencing real pain,” Pritzker, a Democrat, told the President. “We’ve got to have national leadership calling for calm and legitimate concern for protestors.”

I don’t like your rhetoric that much either,” Trump fired back. “You could have done much better on coronavirus.”

Actually, Pritzker did pretty good on coronavirus. We do have a hotspot here, but both our governor and mayor have been pretty tough with the lockdowns, as we’re one of the most quarantined states and cities around.

But never mind, it’s time for a real leader to issue a conciliatory statement to the nation, preferably live. We’re riven by hatred, injured by violence and destruction, and afflicted with a pandemic that has most everyone on edge.  Do you want to know what a real leader would say? What Barack Obama tweeted two days ago:

58 thoughts on “Trump throws oil on the fire, tell governors to get tough on protestors

    1. Let’s crack more heads. That has been spectacularly successful so far. I’ll bet he’s really enjoying watching the police assault journalists. Please, police departments across the US, get rid of the people who are in LE for the wrong reasons.

      1. That is all over the papers here in Sweden, since on of our journalists were hit with rubber balls repeatedly.

        Going after journalists is the dying act of a democracy.

    2. Actually, that phrase really grates on me. The British media have been using it in the context of coronavirus for months (“we need to accept the new normal” of voluntary house arrest).

      It occurred to me as I wrote the above that Obama is using it in almost precisely the opposite way to the British media. As always, when he speaks out, he throws the current occupant of the oval office (I don’t think I’ll be calling him president anymore since he refuses to do that job) into sharp relief.

  1. So, how do you disengage? When one side is advocating an escalation, and that side’s followers will jump right in and escalate, how do we respond?

    I don’t have any answers, but I think the fear is that if we do disengage, and then try to address the problems civilly, that we will be ignored. There is plenty of reason to believe this, too.

    Hard as it is, I think the answer is to focus on organizing, getting out the vote, and protecting the election from Republican suppression tactics. clearly, nothing is going to get any better until then.


  2. Dear Dr. Coyne,

    If you think that is bad in the 30 May 2020 issue of Der Spiegel and editor opines that Trump is planning to have a coup and this is a reason to complain about the mail ballots.

    All the Best, Joe Hahn


    1. He is definitely of the sort to try for that. Or speak of it, certainly. But a real coup would require cooperation of different branches of government. Despite all the cracks that have appeared — and they are definitely ‘cracked’ in the Republican led Senate — I don’t think a coup will go beyond more than blustering, infantile talk from our Big Baby President.

  3. “The only time its [sic] successful is when you’re weak and most of you are weak.”

    Christ, with Trump, everything always comes down to projection and tacit confession.

    He’s sure delivered unto us the “American carnage” he railed against in his inaugural address.

  4. At this point, I’m pretty much convinced that Trump can not make a good decision. He’s simply not capable. So very odd. If I was a governor, I wouldn’t take a call from this dipshit.

  5. How can a nation elect a man like Obama, a true leader and a man of integrity, and then follow him with the thing which now occupies the WH?

    1. Now THAT, I am certain, in coming years will be the subject of many books, papers and historical reviews; hopefully not in the form a nation’s autopsy.

  6. … from the peabrain we call our President …

    C’mon, Jerry, there’s no need to be insulting … to peas.

    1. In the words of a fraternity bro of mine, “You’ve got the brain of a pea . . . not the SIZE of a pea, the BRAIN of a pea.”

  7. Do you want to know what a real leader would say?

    Yeah, but he disrespected the dignity of the office of the presidency by wearing a tan suit! I mean, can you imagine? Who could ever take anything he says seriously after such an effrontery?

  8. I read the Obama message and it was an oasis of sanity.

    And then I looked at the twitter comments and felt like I’d descended back in to a madhouse.

    I need to get off the internet for a while; it’s making me depressed about humanity.

    1. Oh yeah, you need to be in a certain mood to be able to withstand the comments section. I don’t know how some people do it.

  9. Do better on coronavirus?!

    Illinois is the ONLY state that met all CDC guidelines for reopening. Even with Chicago as a hot spot.

    Pritzker is a real leader and a real billionaire. Trump is neither. JB doesn’t take any BS from Trump.

    1. It’s Trump’s go to assertion. He knows if he keeps repeating that governors were the ones that screwed up, his base will parrot it & he’ll be exonerated of any blame (at least by his base).

        1. Yeah I logged in wrong but I must’ve done that in the past because the site let me in without approval. The website on my iPad decided to make me login. Now I’m using the WordPress reader.

          1. I learned today that if you go to Safari settings Privacy and Security and switch off Cross Site Tracking, the problem is solved. But of course, you will have reduced tracking protection.

            h/t Jeremy

          1. Must’ve discolored the Rubicon’s water, the way the Chicago River turns green on St. Paddy’s day. 🙂

  10. Call me Chicken Little or in thrall to questionable theses, I don’t care, because I’ve said before that I think it’s of critical importance to take the assessments of Bandy Lee, MD of Yale, and the other mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychologists) who contributed to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” driven by the “duty to warn,” no matter what price they must pay. To ignore and dismiss them by hiding behind the disavowals of the craven APA (which Lee contends has been corrupted by their desire for power and lucre), is to invite complete catastrophe, and I consider that a stance just as dangerous and destructive as those who blindly follow Trump.

    Not to put too fine a point on it but, speaking as a lay person, Trump is insane, a raving madman, and that should be evident to anybody who hasn’t guzzled his orange Kool Aid, evident even to those who still do his bidding for their own venal purposes. They’ve been admirably vivisecting his mental processes for several years now, and they’ve shown just how he uses projection and displacement in every instance. Everything he blames on others are things he’s guilty of — in this instance, the cowardice of governors — but who’s the blubbery one hiding in a bunker like Hitler (as one commenter noted)?

    Whether or not any of these mental health professionals, including Bandy Lee, who is religious, believes in free will, they make it plain that Trump is on an inexorable death spiral. He has no choice and they know it; which is why they can predict his actions so accurately. Political analyses and prognostications are meaningless parlor games here. This is her latest analysis, warning, and plea to act Bullseye. She is spot on.

    1. I applaud Bandy X. Lee for telling it how it is. On the other hand, even the liberal media is largely afraid to discuss the mental health of an obviously very sick person. Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC has discussed this on occasion, but I know of no others. One doesn’t have to be a trained mental profession to know that there is something seriously wrong with Trump, even though the medical diagnosis may not be known. All one has to do is answer the following question: If you have a friend or relative that acts like Trump, would you not urgently implore that person to seek treatment immediately?

      1. Without denying the truth of what she said, I would point out that it is very unprofessional for an MD to diagnose someone they have not seen. She is likely and literally risking her license.

        1. You’re advancing a straw man argument.

          Bandy Lee and her colleagues are not diagnosing Trump in the clinical sense. They are not making assessments based on the doctor-patient relationship, using and then revealing private, personal information, the sacrosanct nature of such is protected by law and professional dictum.

          Lee makes a point of stating that they gather all their information from public sources, which have no presumption of confidentiality precisely because they’re public.

          That straw man argument is what the APA hides behind in order to condemn and discredit her as you would do here.

          1. Well, aren’t you a nice person, carefully reading what I wrote.

            I didn’t discredit her. In fact I agreed with her opinion of Trump. I was commenting on the fact that medical ethics review boards don’t like it when they think the people under their purview violate one of their tenets. She couched her piece terms that could be construed as being a political opinion, not a medical one. That’s how she’ll expect to get away with it (and she probably will). But there is fine line before crossing over into weasel words. Many medical ethics review boards don’t have much wiggle, or weasel, room here and I was simply stating that she is taking a risk.

            1. It’ll be interesting to see if she is called up before a medical ethics review board. So far she hasn’t. I would have thought that all the contributors to “The Dangerous Case of Donald Tump” would have been called to account after the book was published but nothing on that score. Bandy Lee is still at Yale and I’ve heard no info or rumors about her job being jeopardized, and she tweets every day about this and she’s a pretty prolific writer and interview subject re all this.

              I just don’t see how she and the rest of them could be brought up before a review board since she bases they base their conclusions on public information. She is not violating any doctor-client privilege. If she were cashiered for that, then we’d know that the APA was in Trump’s pocket.

              We shall see what transpires. Perhaps Trump will abolish the right to free speech when it comes to anything having to do with him and his evil henchmen.

        2. Nope.

          I read an excellent essay yesterday which explains exactly why it is not unprofessional of a psychiatrist to perform such a diagnosis.

          A Duty to Differentially Diagnose

          It’s a long read so I’ll summarise.

          The thesis of the article is that Donald Trump is a clinical psychopath. The author goes into detail as to how he arrived at that diagnosis. He also explains why he thinks the Goldwater Rule (the rule that says you shall not diagnose without consent and an interview) does not apply.

          His main arguments are

          1. A duty to inform. Psychopaths cause chaos and destruction and if one is in the Oval Office, that’s a really bad thing.

          2. Psychopathy is diagnosed by combining an interview of the subject with background research. With Donald Trump there is more than enough of the latter to make a diagnosis. There is also research that suggests that an interview with the subject reduces the reliability of the diagnosis when the subject is a psychopath because they are adept at manipulating people and psychiatrists are not immune.

          Donald Trump is a psychopath and needs to be stopped.

    2. Yes, assessments. Medical doctors can’t make correct (at 80 % average across disciplines) diagnoses without meeting the patients.

      So it is personal opinion, however informed, and not worth the paper it’s written on. (Except for amusement value.)

      1. Obviously, I disagree. I think what these doctors have to say is critically important and should be heeded.

      2. This isn’t an assessment across disciplines. It’s a psychiatric assessment in one discipline. Studies have shown that psychiatric assessments may be less reliable with an interview id the subject is a psychopath.

  11. Meanwhile, a pocket of sanity exists in Michigan. In Flint, the Genesee County Sheriff joined protesters in what turned out to be (surprise! – not!) a peaceful demonstration. Report in the Detroit Free Press.

    Trump isn’t just a peabrain, he’s a pea-soul (in a non-ghost-in-the-machine sense). This Sheriff is the opposite.

  12. Regarding the phone call, I read that during the call he also said that he was going to “activate” Bill Barr to go after the protesters and send them to jail. I also read that he “sounded unhinged.”

    CNN has a copy of the audio. Sure hope they release it.

    1. It’s widely available, see the link in #13 above. There are other sources if you can’t get into that one.

  13. The irony is that a weak and global laughing stock president accuse others for the same. Self aware, he is not.

    But he is malevolent. It is blatantly obvious that he does not care for the people he is supposed to lead, but for the leadership itself.

  14. Another Trumpian jewel from the phone call:
    “Someone throwing a rock is like shooting a gun. You have to do retribution.”

    1. It was like being in a call with a doofus executive and you mute the call and laugh with your friends in the room.

    2. “I spoke about officer Floyd”. Eventually he corrected it to Mr. Floyd. Then defending his rhetoric, “I spoke about the same amount of time about Mr. Floyd as I did about the rocket”

      Problem solved I guess.

  15. “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”
    –Jan 22, 2017 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

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