11 thoughts on “Trump: Competence, Character, and Mental Stability

  1. Trump’s Attitude and Treatment of Women

    Edit (2/9/2018)

    I’m not 100% sure if Trump said every one of these quotes, but I’m fairly certain he said them (or something very close to it).

    Edit (2/20/2018)

    Response from the woman making this accusation:


    and this

  2. Intelligence and Competence

    Edit (2/18/2018)

    I don’t know if this is a sign of incompetence, but this does not inspire confidence, and it seems worrisome.

    From Axios: Skirimish in Beijing Over the Nuclear Football

  3. I read the original WaPo story but didn’t look at any of the following buzz. My overwhelming impression, though, is that people are going to read this wrongly. Different people DO receive and process information differently, and there’s nothing that says a person who does so off the written page is more competent than the person who does so aurally or through conversation, or through physical manipuation of some sort. I’m extremely sensitive to the way we Americans tend to misunderstand this.

    Nowhere in any of the public’s campaign vetting is it ever emphasized in the slightest that an American president should be a book-reading person. In fact, we put a ridiculous, disproportionate amount of importance on a candidate’s ability to listen and orate, a completely different skill. Nobody seems ever to have handed a candidate a book and asked him or her while at the lectern to break down the contents.

    Anyway. Thanks for sharing that. It’s a case of the story actually providing some decent context that I think most readers aren’t going to hear. Which means I’m annoyed and slightly peeved at something that I haven’t confirmed is happening.

  4. I think the reaction you describe is more likely if they don’t read the article, and only rely on the headline.

    Nowhere in any of the public’s campaign vetting is it ever emphasized in the slightest that an American president should be a book-reading person… Nobody seems ever to have handed a candidate a book and asked him or her while at the lectern to break down the contents.

    To me, this isn’t a persuasive argument against vetting a candidate’s book-reading. If we could find practical ways of doing this, I think the information is valid and worth knowing.

  5. Right. I’m just saying we don’t. And if we care about a President reading that thing every day, we should vet for it, which we don’t.

  6. I suspect there are a lot of things I care about–that I think the most voters should care about, too–that is not really vetted. The vetting process itself (e.g., “debates”) is kinda lame as well. I’m not sure what this has to do with the article, though.

  7. Corrupt Administrators

    (Note: I didn’t read the article)

    From former director of United States Office of Government Ethics:

  8. Brown M&Ms Category

    This is a reference a stipulation in Van Halen’s contract–namely, the group required M&Ms candy in their dressing room–but without the brown ones. My understanding is that Van Halen put this in their contract as a way to gauge the people they hired. If they found brown M&Ms, it meant the people either didn’t read the contract carefully or failed to deliver. Bottom line: the people hired would likely mess up on something big. A Darmouth poli-sci professor will occasionally tweet news items under the brown M&M heading. His explanation is slightly different. This post will function in the same way.

  9. National Security

    From CNN: Trump still unconvinced Russia meddled in 2016 election (2/14/2018)

    Even as his intelligence chiefs unanimously told a Senate panel Tuesday that Russia meddled in 2016 and is planning to do so again in 2018, three sources familiar with the President’s thinking say he remains unconvinced that Russia interfered in the presidential election.
    While this issue is separate from the question of whether Trump campaign officials colluded with Russian officials, to Trump the issues are interwoven, the sources say. He views the notion that Russia meddled in the election as an argument that he had help to win, and that he didn’t win the election on his own.

    (emphasis added)

    Doesn’t this essentially mean that Trump is putting his ego ahead of protecting the upcoming elections (and deterring Russian interference)? It seems petty and childish, not to mention irresponsible and a dereliction of his duty as POTUS. Can an individual adequately do the job of president if they’re not willing to put aside their ego for the country’s interests? (I would say no.)

    Edit (2/15/2018)

    From USA Today: Rob Porter Mess Reveals Broken White House, Not Broken Security Process

    Porter now appears to be one small symptom of a larger problem. According to NBC News, more than 130 White House political appointees, among them President Trump’s daughter, son-in-law and White House counsel Don McGahn, were operating with interim clearances as of November. Forty-seven of them were in positions that report directly to Trump.

    Some of the interim clearances may be related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of ties between Trump’s team and Russia. Still, that’s an astounding number.

    The story deals not only with national security, but competence and credibility (e.g., Trump WH kept lying). Porter’s domestic abuse is an issue because it’s something that can be used to blackmail him. With that threat, adversaries can extract classified information or maybe even turn Porter into an agent. My understanding individuals who have a background that makes them vulnerable to blackmail generally don’t receive security clearance.

  10. Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations

    From WaPo Top U.S. Officials Tell the World to Ignore Trump’s Tweets

    According to the article this message is coming from both congressional Republicans and Democrats, and Trump appointees (e.g., McMaster). Advising other world leaders to ignore Trump’s tweets seems awfully close to saying not to take the POTUS’s words seriously. Think about what that says about the Trump’s credibility–about what these people think about Trump’s competence and fitness. If something disastrous happens because of the Trump presidency, this will be one of many warning signs that will prevent people from saying, “We had know way of knowing.”

    By the way, here’s another sign that this is a serious matter:

    The question of whom they should believe — the president or his advisers — has befuddled European officials. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel confessed Saturday that he didn’t know where to look to understand America.

    “Is it deeds? Is it words? Is it tweets?” he asked.

    He said he was not sure whether he could recognize the United States.

    Away from the glare of television cameras, many European diplomats and policymakers echoed the same concerns.

  11. Mental Stability/Fitness

    Below are some of some of the recent tweets I believe Stelter refers to:

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