Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

My Copy: 9781501175510 (image from bn.com)

Terrible. And I DON’T mean Woodward’s writing (because he’s Bob-Freaking-Woodward, so duh). I mean terrible in the sense that as much as I like to think better of people, sometimes they can be far worse than you ever suspected.

Fear: Trump in the White House is about the year or so before his election until about March 2018 when debate raged on whether or not Trump should testify in the Mueller investigation. I’ll admit I’ve never cared for Trump, and plenty of my blog posts have had me call him Dump because the man infuriates me so much he’s like Voldemort and I’d rather not say his name. However, since his Twitter feed is so outrageous and the coverage was so overwhelming, I figured maybe there were some aspects to the man that I missed, and perhaps there was something going on that the rest of us weren’t all that privvy to.

Sad to say, I was incredibly surprised by what was on the pages, in the sense that what I figured I’d pieced together about the man was quite true. I’d hoped I was wrong. All the interviews with staffers and former staffers, the notes and the other publications that discussed the early days of his presidency, they just revealed things that made me cringe.

There is so much packed in these pages, all centered around Trump’s administration (not so much his private life, if that’s what you were wondering), and it’s interesting to see what staffers thought of him and how things changed, depending on where they were and who was involved in the discussion. The fights over the border wall, the tariffs, North Korea and China… all there. I felt a bit bad for some of the folks who went to work for him; others, not so much. They reminded me of my dad for a bit there: thinking he’s still in “campaign mode” and will become “presidential” any day. But that didn’t happen. We got what we saw, and so did they. And how the more they had to fight for his ear against each other, the more demoralized many of them became.

It was an administration of chaos from the start. These staffers had to fight to be heard, whether it was regarding trade, Afghanistan, the service economy, etc. They had to prove their points to a most incurious man who hasn’t changed his mind about anything in at least 30 years, and refused to learn.

A basic breakdown of what you’d find in there may not be all that surprising, but I gotta say, so dang much has happened the past four years that if you’ve forgotten what happened and when (as that time feels like a decade ago now), then this book will remind you of the events going on a couple years ago.

If you asked me to summarize the Trump administration in those days from what I’ve read so far, Trump would be like Jerry Springer: stir shit up and sit back to watch the melee. He did it to his staffers, the department heads, on Twitter… everywhere he could.

Even though I’m sure some folks will be like “yeah, we know what he’s like.” After reading Fear, I feel like I’ve been standing at the edge of a lake miles and miles wide, but when I put my foot in the water and walk, it’s only about an inch deep with each step. Not so surprising.

5 thoughts on “Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

  1. wolfess says:

    My second son is severely retarded and while I do not believe the covidiot is ‘disabled’ to that degree I do believe (based on my knowledge and experience) that he is mildly retarded, and when combined with his obvious narcissism and megalomania, he is manifestly unfit to even be elected dogcatcher.* *When someone would remark that Jeffrey Dahmer was so sick because he had never had a dog, my father said that he did — he just killed it and ate it. That’s what I think about trump — he is manifestly incapable of being successful at anything because he honestly doesn’t have the intelligence to be successful, and when combined with his malignant narcissism the only healthy thing to do with him is put him in a quiet, calm room where he can do no further harm. Unfortunately, it appears far too many of his fellow narcissists would rather use him to have all their wishes granted instead of doing the just thing. I sincerely hope that the latest NYT articles combined with the books that have been written about him will create HIS October Surprise that forces him to give up … I guess time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Time certainly will.
      The “refusal to learn” bit wasn’t too surprising… sort of. I felt rather bad for the folks that were trying to explain trade deficits and how our economy wasn’t all about manufacturing jobs anymore, but we’re a largely service economy. They even got him to admit that in his Trump properties the businesses that were in them were all service-based. But all he kept saying was “that’s what I’ve believed for 30 years.” Even when they made charts and showed pictures and got him to admit he mostly dealt with retail folks, he kept saying the same thing. I think that was the moment I started to feel for those around him, those that weren’t hangers-on, but hoped to do something good and became quickly disillusioned. Now you have cronies sticking around to bolster his fragile ego, and that’s not good for ANYONE, let alone a sitting president. It feels like they just let him spout while the inmates take over the asylum.
      The force be with us all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wolfess says:

    What I don’t understand is why no one has taken any steps to stop him — is he such a force that no one has the nerve to put together a group of fbi/cia/ss agents that can shut him down? It’s been obvious for awhile that they really could use the 25th amendment, but no one has even made a move to do that. I didn’t watch the debate last night but the articles about it describe a 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum on live tv — that is so dangerously abnormal that l don’t see how anyone in power can ignore his obvious illness any longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Dunno either. But apparently it’s just chronic stupidity and arrogance. Doesn’t seem to be curable or treatable, and one of those odd things that’s not fatal for many folks. I really can’t get the folks who saw that performance and still want to vote for the man. I mean, I know plenty of kids with behavioral issues that act better than he does.


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