People have been writing unfavorable things about American Presidents since George Washington took the oath of office, it comes with the territory. It is literally the case that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. So the fact that a Michael Wolff would take the time to write a scathing indictment of an unstable and unqualified President should hardly come as a surprise. It fact, we probably should have expected it.
In the normal course of events, Mr. Wolff's "magnum opus" would have been as well received as a skunk at a picnic. Under the best of circumstances this tale of dysfunction and chaos at the White House would have been met with a huge dose of skepticism. But Republicans have greeted even the most salacious parts of this book with nothing more than a grudging silence, giving us an indication that they believe the worst parts of Michael Wolff's book are true.
That's what makes this book so remarkable. It reads like a bad political novel from the 1960's, sort of like "Seven Days In May" only more frightening. And as far-fetched and seemingly implausible as the details of the book may seem, nevertheless they appear to ring true. I don't think has anything to do with Michael Wolff's skill as a journalist or even a story teller. It all comes down to the focal point of the book, President Donald Trump.
When you get right down to it, Fire and Fury is nothing more than a character study, a psychological dissection of the man we chose to be President. And that's what makes it so compelling. The book confirms for us what we already know. There really are no surprises here. There are no jaw-dropping stories that will come as a complete surprise. What Michael Wolff has served up is a condensed version of Donald Trump. Can we be surprised that this President is a lousy boss to work for? Hardly! From that fateful day in June of 2015 when he descended that escalator to announce his candidacy for the Presidency up to the present moment, it was apparent what kind of man Donald Trump was. He started his campaign by insulting Mexico and its people, demonstrating in a concrete way that this man would not run his campaign by appealing to our higher angels. From Day One, his vindictiveness of spirit and the spite and hatred he had percolating in what passes for the Trump brain were all readily apparent. And yes, we chose to ignore the harsh, negative tenor of his campaign as he mercilessly insulted and impugned EVERYONE who stood in his path to power.
I thoroughly believe that's why we're not surprised at all by the negative character portrait that emerged about Donald Trump. Michael Wolff didn't give us any new insights into the character of the man that we now allow to control America's nuclear arsenal. We pretty much knew him already. What Michael Wolff has done for us is to give us a reminder of the bad choice we made on November 8th of 2016 and showed us just how likely we will be to regret having made that decision in the first place.
Filed under: Politics