Donald Trump – Most Negligent, Lazy, Disengaged President In U.S. History
I’ve written a few notes in the past, on the subject of what a lazy slug Donald Trump is and what a knee slapper it is to hear from people in his administration who attempt to convince us otherwise.
Trump is very sensitive about reporting that strips him naked on his self indulgence and slothfulness. He must maintain the trope that he is / was, a self made man, a titan of commerce, a “bootstrapper” – as opposed to the Class A con man and grifter, those of us who have examined his life before and during his occupation of the Oval Office, know him to be.
Fingers to the bone
And the exposure vs the feeble cover-up attempts continue. Most recently, the New York Times has added some additional material to the already existing record, and it has bees swirling around in Trump’s bonnet, as evidenced by these tweets:
So much here to unpack.
The “trade deals” he’s been involved in the negotiation of, are normally not the sort of accomplishments one would want to highlight. The trade wars he commenced, were a strong factor in the economic downturn already underway in America, even before the Coronavirus arrived on our shores.
“Early in the morning until late at night”, aside from being a hackneyed line in one or another song lyric, is self made myth in Trump’s case, which will become evident when we dig into it here shortly.
“Third rate reporter” is a term Trump resorts to in labeling, accomplished journalists, respected professionals in their field – men and women who have been honored with “Noble prizes”.
The people who know Trump and say that he’s “the hardest working president in history”, fit two categories.
They are either, (A) fictional or (B) on Trump’s payroll and among their job duties is to blow smoke up our posteriors.
One of these in category (B), is recently appointed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who begs our sympathy for this besieged president, claiming, in an interview with the right leaning tabloid New York Post:
“I can tell you that the biggest concern I have as a new chief of staff is making sure he gets some time to get a quick bite to eat.”
That which Trump has gotten done in the first 3 1/2 years, more than “any president in history”, are things that any other president in history would not want brought up by anyone.
Why Trump felt the need to capitalize the non-proper noun, “country”, is beyond me, other than he routinely evidences himself as semi-literate – lacking even a second grader’s functional grasp of grammar.
Former White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, who sadly, proved in no way to have been an upgrade from the former liar extraordinaire, Sarah Huckabee Sanders appearing on – where else? Fox and Friends, back in March of this year, was asked by bimbo co-host Ainsley Earhardt:
“Stephanie, when Bernie was on ‘Meet the Press’ over the weekend, Chuck Todd asked him if he was going to continue to be on the campaign trail because we keep hearing if you’re around 80 years old you are susceptible, and he is 78 years old. President Trump is 73. Will he continue to have rallies and be out there on the campaign trail?”, to which Grisham replied:
“He actually just addressed this. Yes, he plans on still holding rallies. And I’ll tell you what, with our President — this man who doesn’t sleep and who I have seen work 15-16 hours a day every day — I have no problem thinking that he’s going to be just fine and just healthy.”
Here we go again, with the “Trump works his (capable) fingers to the bone” fairy tale. We know what Trump’s “executive time” consists of and how many grueling hours he puts in riding around in the presidential golf buggy at his resorts, which we taxpayers foot the bill for.
Executive time (Trump’s frittering away the day with self indulgent personal interests), is excused by White House aides, as a “more creative environment.” What is being described by that, a Montessori Academy? I beg the indulgence of that reference, because at least in theory, a Montessori Academy is supposed to produce extraordinary achievement. Trump’s Executive Time, produces extraordinary idleness, negligence and failure.
Also, notice the comment, “who I have seen work 15-16 hours a day, every day”. What? – she spent 15 to 16 hours a day, monitoring his work habits?
Madeleine Westerhout, director of Oval Office operations, is among the officials who are defending Trump, tweeting that he had “hundreds of calls and meetings” every day that aren’t part of his public schedule.
If it sounds absurd on the face of it, it usually is. “Hundreds of calls and meetings”? Let’s run the math on that, shall we? So, if she literally means “hundreds” plural, we can reasonably interpret that to mean at least over one hundred calls and meetings.
If Trump were either on the phone or in an in person meeting even a hundred times and a conservative average length of each, was 10 or even 12 minutes – his doing so, even in the span of 12 hours, is an impossibility, as there are just 720 minutes in a 12 hour period.
Do such people even consider the failed logic in such statements? And why do I sound like Dr. Sheldon Cooper waxing skeptical?
Be that as it may, even if he skipped potty breaks and conferenced non-stop, her assertion is a complete absurdity. But the audience for such silliness is not the average thinking individual.
In February of last year, details of what former Chief of Staff John Kelly euphemized as “executive time”, meaning the bulk of his waking activities, was revealed in a number of reports. The principal reporting on it originated with Axios.
A White House insider provided them with copies of internal scheduling memos covering the time period from November 7, 2018 to February 1, 2019. The documents showed the Lion’s share of Trump’s schedule as non-defined, “executive time”, as shown in this summary graph:
It indicates that 59 percent of Trump’s daily activity that is in any way measurable – is unaccounted for and unstructured. It has also been revealed as a result of the analysis of Trump’s record of activity, that 67% of the time, Trump checks out altogether at 5PM or before.
What Axios learned from their sources inside the West Wing, is that executive time consists for the most part, of Trump watching television, tweeting, schmoozing and gossiping with people such as operatives within the constellation of right wing media, who provide him insight on what sorts of messaging and tactics will best function in keeping his voting base entertained and energized.
Trump, when he actually is in the White House and not on a golfing vacation at one of his resort properties or using Mar A Lago as a influence peddling venue, doesn’t arrive at the Oval Office until around 11AM, sometimes not until after an hour lunch. Trump defends the absurd amount of time he spends golfing, by claiming that he is getting “a lot of work done on the golf course.”
“Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a “tiny” bit of exercise. Not bad!”
Steve Chapman, writing in the Chicago Tribune, provides an amusing reference point in pop culture to Trump’s habits of non-productivity:
The comic strip “Dilbert” has a character named Wally, whose chief talent is finding ways to avoid doing anything productive. A few years ago, his pointy-haired boss informed Wally that he was being replaced by a robot. “All it does is drink coffee and look at inappropriate websites,” he said.
Self obsessions of a Narcissist
What time segments are not pre-scheduled, such as ceremonial signings, meetings with foreign dignitaries and photo ops, are free wheeling consultations with members of his staff, driven by various impulses, some of which are the result of phone discussions with conservative activists and media personalities (Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh) or fictional material he saw on Fox News and other fake news outlets.
His current main squeeze appears to be OANN (One America News Network), now that Fox is doing some head fakes to convince non-addicts that it is more objective than it has been throughout both the 2016 election and Trump’s presidency.
A great deal of this unstructured time is occupied by Trump’s obsession with how he is being reported on and portrayed by the legacy media, whether that is the New York Times, Wa Po, CNN, ABC or MSNBC.
This is such common knowledge that The Lincoln Project, a #NeverTrump oriented org, consisting of the moderate / centrist element of the GOP (almost obsolete), purchases airtime on Fox News and on local stations in Maryland, Virginia and in the Palm Beach County, Florida markets to air their scathing ads. Trump can’t watch TV and escape them.
He identifies personally objectionable material that he believes the fourth estate should not be permitted to publish or to air and fritters away hours in “counter-punching” – even lashing out at people who are deceased .
This is largely a departure from past presidents who followed the wisdom of their key political advisers and ignored all but the most incendiary indictments against themselves. They would also follow sound advice that says don’t initiate lawsuits to block publication of damaging books, unless you actually want more people to be intrigued by them and desire to purchase and read them.
Trump, lazy as he is, is actually the best publicity agent ex National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Trump niece, Mary Trump, could possibly have.
Since we’ve brought up Mary Trump, there are a few items in her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” set for general release this coming Tuesday, that add insight to the narrative that Donald Trump has never actually done an honest day’s work in his entire life.
One is her revelation that Trump was too slothful to even study for the SAT college admissions test. Instead, we learn from Ms. Trump that Donald did the expedient thing that entitled slugs do – have their sister (in this case, Maryann), complete their homework assignments for them and find someone else more industrious to take important tests for them.
“To hedge his bets he enlisted Joe Shapiro, a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker, to take his SATs for him. That was much easier to pull off in the days before photo IDs and computerized records. Donald, who never lacked for funds, paid his buddy well.”
Mary Trump underlines her uncle’s inclination to paint himself as a hard driver and a tireless mover and shaker and sets forth the basis of how all that was a self manufactured myth that Fred Trump, her grandfather, participated in fostering:
“His comfort with portraying that image, along with his father’s favor and the material security his father’s wealth afforded him, gave him the unearned confidence to pull off what even at the beginning was a charade: selling himself not just as a rich playboy but as a brilliant, self-made businessman. In those early days, that expensive endeavor was being enthusiastically, if clandestinely, funded by my grandfather.”
Ms. Trump also notes, in her book, and I am not quoting it here, that at one point, early on, when Donald Trump was taking over the real estate empire that he himself did not build, she was invited to assemble material for the purpose of writing a profile of Trump as a businessman.
She was set up with an office in Trump Tower and was afforded access to essentially everything, even listening in on phone discussions Trump was involved in. She was taken aback by the fact that Trump was not really conducting business per se, but just schmoozing socially with various people.
She was struck by the realization that the Donald really did virtually nothing of any substance.
“We’ll see what happens”
A tell tale verbal cue that Trump is careless, mentally lazy and possesses no instinct to even inform himself on matters of critical importance other than incompetent falsehoods that don’t stand up to scrutiny, is his habitual employment of the phrase, “We’ll see what happens.” This is the typical Trump response to questions from reporters on matters of substance.
He doesn’t have the beginnings of a clue regarding the details of the issue or policy because he has not made an investment in the time or the attention required to discover the facts or what operational roadmap his administration might be following, so “We’ll see what happens” is shorthand for, “I really don’t actually know or care to know.”
Perpetual campaigning in lieu of governance
Another element of Trump’s time as president that exceeds in magnitude any past presidency – is his using the office as a base for continuous campaigning and fundraising, activities that require almost zero in the way of concentrated effort or mental focus.
This is exclusively true with Trump, because Trump discovered early on that he can freely make random assertions that, although they are virtually always false or strongly misleading, his zombie like base will not hold him accountable to.
From January 23rd of 2017 to February 2019, as documented by the Center For Public Integrity, Trump logged an unprecedented 57 campaign appearances, while using an excessive amount of taxpayer funded resources doing so.
From 2019 on, up through March of this year, Trump added an additional 30 political rallies. Eight of them were during the span of time in which Trump claimed that he was too pre-occupied with impeachment to do anything constructive to manage the onset of the coronavirus outbreak.
That was when he wasn’t golfing at Trump International West Palm Beach:
Tweeting, golfing excessively and staging every presidential function in the context of an incessant re-election effort, demonstrates Trump’s malignant narcissism and sociopathy.
Insistence on ignorance as a virtue
But what is most dangerous, on an hour to hour basis for this nation, is Trump’s refusal to even attempt to understand or digest materials that are critical to his ability to function competently and protect America from threats both foreign and domestic.
It has been established that for the entire run of his term, Trump has disdained the daily briefings that cabinet officials and the intelligence community assiduously prepare for his review.
Nowhere is the lack of focus or interest more distressing than in relation to how Trump routinely ignored daily briefings that were purposed to convey the extreme seriousness of the coronavirus.
The Washington Post reported:
U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat, according to current and former U.S. officials. The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief, a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day and designed to call the president’s attention to the most significant global developments and security threats.
In August 2017, the Washington Post detailed from interviews with White House sources, that then White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, strived mostly in vain to “hold the attention of the president” during briefings on Afghanistan. They noted, “[E]ven a single page of bullet points on the country seemed to tax the president’s attention span on the subject.”
One White House insider confided to the newspaper that, “I call the president the two-minute man. The president has patience for a half-page.”
Trump himself, has actually never denied this. He has, in the past, painted inattention to briefings as if there is some virtue in being ignorant of critical information that a man with access to nuclear codes should be situationally aware of. “I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you.”
Trump, before he attained the office, seemed to disdain presidents that he assumed, (in this case, incorrectly), did not participate in or carefully read intelligence briefings:
Fact–Obama does not read his intelligence briefings nor does he get briefed in person by the CIA or DOD. Too busy I guess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2014
and further establishing a pattern of holding a different standard of conduct applicable to others (even though this accusation has, surprise, been fact checked as false):
Obama has missed 58% of his intelligence briefings. But our president does make 100% of his fundraisers.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2014
On the matter of the intelligence briefings, the risk this poses came into sharp relief in the past two weeks, where we discovered that Trump had indeed been informed that Russia, through the agency of its counter-intelligence and espionage bureau, the GRU, has been connected (with convincing evidence) with having offered cash payments to elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan, to target American troops.