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State of American History, Civics, and Politics

Acting Presidential: How Long Can He Keep It Up?

Beetle Bailey (October 27, 2019) the same day the crowd chanted "Lock him up"

The President of the United States has the power to set the agenda. Given that position, the individual holder at any given moment can set in motion actions, ideas, and events which reverberate throughout the nation and the world. The President may act on the basis on well-thought out decisions in collaboration with others. The President may give a speech which sets a new course of direction and initiates actions by others. And the President may act impulsively without talking with others or thinking of the consequences.

In the past few days and weeks, We the People and the world have had the opportunity to see multiple forms of decision-making in operation. We have seen a decision made as the result of a telephone call. It was with a dominant male with whom the President wishes to conduct non-presidential business for money. In that instance, there was no thought as to the consequences of the decision. There was no thought as to the actual implementation of the decision. There was no thought at all.

We the People and the world also have witnessed the execution of a carefully planned elaborately detailed operation to take out the leader of the foremost terrorist group in the world. The plan required the involvement of multiple players, was meticulously developed, and was something that required the occupant of the office of presidency to be presidential. Such grownup moments have been few in the years of the presidential campaign and presidency by this person.

Ever since he glided down that escalator, the media have been wondering when he would grow up.

When he won the nomination, some people said now he will act like a grown up.

When he won the election, some people said now he will act like a grown up.

When he delivered his first State of the Union, some people said now he will act like a grown up.

So far they have always been wrong.

Even the recent killing of Al-Baghdadi exposes the dual aspects of this president. There have been moments when he can sound presidential, when one can think that there is adult in charge in the White House instead of the adults in the White House acting to control the immature child President. These moments of adulthood and of seeming presidential usually occur when he is reading words he never wrote from a teleprompter. Such moments do not last long. He always quickly reverts to type.

Undoubtedly, it is these fleeting moments when he acts presidential by reading words he did not write from a teleprompter that produces the rigid figure he loves to mock and parody when he imitates a “president” in a professional political wrestling arena. Those stiff awkward gestures expose what he really thinks about those moments when he is obligated to act up grown up. No wonder he does not want to do it often.

But once he finished his recorded speech on the killing of Al-Baghadi and began to ad lib, the seventh-grade smart-aleck-dumb-aleck emerged. It was like watching Edward Norton transition from Aaron to Roy in Primal Fear. Once unleashed the true figure emerged untethered to an adult considerations.

1. Barack Obama failed. I succeeded.
2. My terrorist killing was greater than Obama’s terrorist killing.
3. I did not inform the Democratic leadership because it would have leaked the information.
4. The CIA does excellent work when it focuses on what it should be doing.

Even the repeated mentions by Bonespur Boy of how Al-Baghadi died whimpering and crying like a coward ring false. It certainly is possible that is how Al-Baghadi did die, but independent confirmation will be needed before the words of this President can be trusted…and so far it has not been given. But one has to wonder why Bonsepur Boy who cannot even fire someone face-to-face kept repeating this description. The person mocking Al-Baghdadi has been a whining crybaby throughout the entirety of his presidency. His was a whining crybaby during the Mueller report. He is a whining crybaby during the impeachment. He even falls short in decorum of the way the last two impeachment Presidents behaved. He will never man-up.

Now let us suppose for a moment that this President decided to fake being an adult for a more extended period of time. Everyone is assuming that in the presidential election he will go low. Everyone is assuming that he make any insult and tell any lie that he thinks he needs to do in order to win. He will be a non-stop punching machine where every blow is below the belt.

Now consider a wildly improbable alternative. Suppose he instead, he tried a different tack. Suppose he said:

I now realize that global warming is real.
I now realize that global warming is not a Chinese hoax.
I now realize that global warming is the greatest threat that mankind has ever faced.
Only a very stable genius can solve this challenge.
Only I can solve this challenge.
I must go beyond what George Washington did in creating this great country.
I must go beyond what Abraham Lincoln did in saving the union.
I must save the world.
I now realize why God placed me here is this time and this place: to be the anti-global warming President who will save this planet.

Dear reader, you may be thinking that I am nuts and that our immature child president could never say such things. Actually he could say such things. He has no ethics, He has no conscience. He has no morals. He has no values save narcissism. If his gut enabled him to realize that acting adult would turn the tables on the Democrats he could do it.

I am not saying he has the mental necessities to make such utterances. I am pointing out there is no telling what this President might do. He controls the agenda. On any given day, he could say or do anything, leaving everyone to scramble in response. I am not saying he would chose to act responsibly and pretend being an adult. Most likely, reading from the teleprompter is the limit of how long he can maintain the façade. He cannot be Aaron in Primal Fear for long; the real Roy cannot remain hidden.

But suppose he did embrace global warming and become the champion who will overcome it, how would Democrats respond? Suppose he did embrace the California pollution and mpg standards, how would Democrats respond? Suppose he did embrace the job opportunities available in reducing carbon emissions, how would Democrats respond? By impeaching him?

Interesting to speculate what the wild card in the White House might do.
Tonight’s tale from the Twilight Zone.