Last week I posted a link to a blog post speculating on whether the president is in the early stages of dementia. This week the theory is picked up by the reputable medical news site StatNews, and I have to tell you, I think they’re on to something:
(In interviews and public statements in the ’80s and ’90s), Trump fluently peppered his answers with words and phrases such as “subsided,” “inclination,” “discredited,” “sparring session,” and “a certain innate intelligence.” He tossed off well-turned sentences such as, “It could have been a contentious route,” and, “These are the only casinos in the United States that are so rated.” He even offered thoughtful, articulate aphorisms: “If you get into what’s missing, you don’t appreciate what you have,” and, “Adversity is a very funny thing.”
Now, Trump’s vocabulary is simpler. He repeats himself over and over, and lurches from one subject to an unrelated one, as in this answer during an interview with the Associated Press last month:
“People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall, my base really wants it — you’ve been to many of the rallies. OK, the thing they want more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the Electoral College. Big, big, big advantage. … The Electoral College is very difficult for a Republican to win, and I will tell you, the people want to see it. They want to see the wall.”
His mood swings, his intemperate blurting, his inability to find a story and stick to it — these are not small things. West Wing leaks describe a latter-day King Lear, alternately raging and out of it, boasting of his big ol’ TV and his double-scoop chocolate pie. His wife is batting his hand away in front of the world. This is an administration in chaos (but you knew that). And of course, none of this is new since last year; we’re only seeing in greater detail what’s been obvious all along.
Which is to say, I’m switching my exasperation from you-know-who to the people who voted for him, who watched all these speeches and said, “Yep’m that-there’s some straight talk. He’s my man.”
This guy will go to his grave believing he’s the greatest. There’s a case to be made that his brain is growing plaques. What’s 60 million voters’ excuse?
Meanwhile, Monica Lewinsky grew into a very impressive woman, and I regret every bad thing I said about her back in the day, and there were quite a few bad things to be said.
And Fox News has finally slow-walked its Seth Rich story retraction into the spotlight. But what’s Newt Gingrich’s excuse? If I were Pope Francis, I’d be tempted to … well, to do something really rude and undiplomatic.
Wednesday has been achieved, or is at least in sight. Hallelujah.