Trump's 'very stable genius' tweet shows he isn't

On Saturday morning, before most people were awake, President Donald Trump was tweeting about how very, incredibly, s...

Posted: Jan 7, 2018 5:08 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2018 5:08 PM

On Saturday morning, before most people were awake, President Donald Trump was tweeting about how very, incredibly, stupendously smart he is.

"Throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart," tweeted Trump. "Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"

His tweets came in reaction to the less-than-flattering picture painted of him in Michael Wolff's new book, "Fire and Fury." The portrait of Trump is of someone viewed as a child by those who work for him and who appears to act that way as well -- impetuous, bullying and unaware of what he doesn't know. Wolff himself has said that those around Trump believe he is deteriorating mentally.

To which Trump responded with a flurry of tweets insisting he is the world's greatest super-genius.

Is he? Who knows? Trump talks about how smart he is all the time. I haven't seen his IQ test, and, of course, being very smart is not a prerequisite for being president.

What Trump's tweets this morning prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the idea that he is some political savant executing a three-dimensional chess strategy that only he can see is simply wrong.

A debate over his mental competence is not one that Trump should want. He should be talking relentlessly about the rising stock market, the economy, the companies giving their employees bonuses because of the tax cut he shepherded to passage.

Debating whether he is a) smart b) mentally competent or c) in a state of mental deterioration is a stone-cold loser for him. Strategic politicians fight only on ground that is favorable for them. Or they steer conversations or debate to ground that is favorable to them. They don't engage in fights they can't win. And the "I am really a very smart genius" fight is not one that has a "win" for Trump.

Why fight it then? Because Trump's secret strategy is that there is no strategy. He thinks something and then does something. He acts and then reacts. He is a political creature of almost entirely id.

For people who doubt it, remember this: Trump never planned his days as a businessman. As he explains on the first page of "The Art of the Deal," he liked to let the day come to him -- no planned meetings, no set agendas. Just let the day unfold and sort of wing it.

And, it worked for him. He became a billionaire, a reality TV star and, now, President.

So, why would he ever stop? He wouldn't.

Trump's lack of strategy is, in an odd sort of way, the most consistent thing about him. Any look at his life tells you that he is someone who just, well, does stuff.

Why has it taken the political world so long to wake up to that fact? Because we tend to view presidents -- and presidencies -- as tied together by some sort of narrative arc. That each statement, each policy decision, each tweet is somehow in support of a broader agenda. That the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That theirs is a story being told to us by the White House -- and it's our job to sniff it out.

Trump's presidency is abnormal in all sorts of ways. But perhaps the most important to understand is that it lacks any sort of meta-narrative. There are just his reactions to things. That's it.

And that, whether you like Trump or hate him, is not the hallmark of a three-dimensional chess-playing super genius.

West Lafayette
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Kokomo
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 50°
Rensselaer
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Fowler
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 46°
Williamsport
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Crawfordsville
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Frankfort
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Delphi
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 47°
Monticello
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Cooler weather is settling in.....
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117450

Reported Deaths: 3580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21403766
Lake10618323
Elkhart6667111
St. Joseph6576110
Allen6292203
Hamilton4909109
Vanderburgh371931
Hendricks2747123
Monroe262736
Tippecanoe252313
Johnson2338124
Clark223657
Porter217647
Delaware198562
Cass19549
Vigo184327
Madison168975
LaPorte147441
Floyd138963
Warrick134440
Howard131863
Kosciusko124817
Bartholomew117957
Marshall101224
Dubois99119
Boone98646
Grant93334
Hancock93243
Noble92532
Henry80926
Jackson7689
Wayne76814
Morgan72938
Daviess67728
Shelby67729
Dearborn66528
LaGrange63911
Clinton60914
Harrison58724
Putnam58112
Gibson5305
Knox5259
Lawrence51529
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48711
White48614
Decatur45839
Miami4383
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper3992
Steuben3877
Scott38111
Posey3400
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31125
Ripley3038
Clay3025
Orange28824
Whitley2796
Carroll27713
Adams2743
Wabash2718
Washington2691
Starke2677
Wells2654
Spencer2593
Jefferson2483
Huntington2453
Fulton2412
Tipton22822
Perry22113
Randolph2207
Jay1880
Newton17311
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1621
Rush1574
Vermillion1300
Fountain1282
Blackford1203
Pulaski1131
Crawford1080
Brown1043
Parke1032
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren401
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events