Let’s briefly recap, shall we?
…The news media, using the dubious claims of Michael Wolff as its catalysts, and following the dictates of the anti-Trump resistance, is trying panic the public into believing that the President is mentally incompetent, and that the provisions of the 25th Amendment might have to be activated, removing him from office.
…That this claim is legitimate, justified, or based on anything but the same view of the President the news media, progressives and Democrats had and loudly publicized through the 2016 campaign is a lie.
…Because it is an audacious, unconscionable lie devoid of evidence or justification being repeated for the purpose of making its targets deny it and discuss it, thus giving it more publicity and legitimacy (“Did the Holocaust really happen?” “Did Trump make a deal to have Russia take down Hillary?”), it fits the description of Hitler’s Big Lie propaganda technique.
…The foundation of this disgusting plot is Bandy Lee, Yale professor of psychiatry who has been condemned by her profession, who is hawking a book, who relies on rationalizations, and whose statements betray a political rather than a professional agenda.
Now we continue…
7. Ethics Dunces: Everyone who accepts, supports or furthers Plan E, the “Trump is disabled” lie. Ethics Dunce is too mild a name here. We have the mainstream news media proclaiming to the world that the President of the United States is mentally deficient based on tweets, gossip, leaks, unethical diagnoses by discredited professionals, an author who has admitted making things up and lying to the White House to get access, and Steve Bannon. Those who enable Plan E are deliberately risking Constitutional disaster and permanent weakening of our institutions. Jonathan Turley properly called this out as the nonsense that it was in October, only then the supposed crippling malady being claimed was narcissism. That wasn’t flying—Turley: “If we started removing public servants because they were narcissists, the nation’s Capital might become a virtual ghost town. In D.C., the question isn’t who fits that definition? but, who doesn’t?”—so Lee et al. switched to “dementia.”
That’s equally weak and dishonest, and obviously so to anyone who is objective. In the Washington Examiner, Eddy Scarry asks, “Why hasn’t Michael Wolff’s dementia-Trump ever been seen in public?” We have seen public figures and elected officials show signs of mental problems, like Nancy Pelosi, who has frequently mixed up names, forgotten where she was, sounded disoriented and confused, and talked gibberish in public appearances, or John McCain, who had a disturbing episode in a Senate hearing before his brain tumor was discovered. Trump has had nothing like that occur, either before or after being elected. Scarry:
As president, Trump frequently approaches the press pool in order to answer a range of questions, something former President Obama rarely did. In Wolff’s book, he says Trump is perpetually distracted, can’t train his mind on substance, and couldn’t recognize his own friends. Contrast that account with the transcript of a 30-minute interview Trump gave at his golf club in Florida on Dec. 28 to the New York Times. It shows him talking at length about the Russia investigation, the threat from North Korea, and immigration. He even interrupts his thoughts to speak with guests he presumably recognizes. [Transcript follows.] That doesn’t read like a mentally impaired geriatric’s interview. More accurately, it reads like someone who can speak casually about policy and assumes his audience has some grasp of it, too….
Citing an impossible-to-understand mix of conversations, Wolff otherwise says Trump is mentally diminished. And reporters believe it, despite what we’ve all seen with our own eyes over the course of two years. But they don’t believe it because they know it’s true. They believe it because they want it to be.
8. Plan E’s #1 Hypocrite: CNN’s Brian Stelter. There is, I hope, a special place in Hell for ethics watchdogs who use their job for partisan hits rather than to enlighten the public. Stelter has become the worst of the worst, with this recent installment especially damning.
During the 2016 campaign, Stelter railed against media outlets thatraised questions about Hillary Clinton’s health, even though Clinton had suffered through several medical episodes, including a concussion and a life-threatening blood clot, had repeated coughing fits, and often appeared shaky in public. Stelter deferred to Clinton’s doctors about the state of her health, acknowledging that Clinton had a “health scare” in 2012, but he reassured his viewers that “her doctors say she is now physically fit to be president. There is no doubt about that.”
In contrast, Stelter is fully committed to Plan E. Following the Presidents response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last August, Stelter suggested Trump was “suffering from some sort of of illness” and was not “fit for office.” Funny, I pretty much agree with his position on the Charlottesville riots, if not his mode of expressing them. Oh-oh—I must be getting dementia!
Last week, Stelter called Trump’s latest tweets “madness” and stated as fact that Trump is mentally unfit to serve. He cited no medical evidence, just tweets. Appearing on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, Stelter cited the tweets Trump sent that day. “We could apply a test to his 16 tweets today. If this were the leader of Germany or China or Brazil, what would we say? How would we cover these tweets? We would say these are the messages from a person who is not well, from a leader who is not fit for office,” Stelter said.
I have heard this same kind of intellectually vapid argument on Facebook. Yes, and if I read about a foreign leader being shot in the chest by a would-be assassin and insisting on finishing his speech with a bullet in his chest—as Teddy Roosevelt did—I would think that leader was nuts. And if I read about a President making one of his ambassador candidates strip in the Oval Office—as FDR did—I would question that leader’s stability. And in both cases, I would be wrong. Stelter’s test is worthless because it posits that conclusions based on incomplete evidence are fair or reliable, and we know they are not.