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The Debate Over the Mental Fitness of the President Begins in Earnest

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 9, 2017 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | October 9, 2017 |

Bob Corker Shit Talks the Prez — I saw a lot of our commenters in last night’s Pajiba Love being all, like, “Screw Bob Corker. Where was he before the election?” Hey! I get it. And every time a Republican turns, I see similar sentiments, and they are understandable. Why should we celebrate a guy who stood by the President for a year, and who only just now turned against him after the President sold him out?

You know what, though: I’ll take allies where I can get them. And the thing about Corker is, he’s not just saying, “Trump is reckless,” and “he’s going to start World War III.” Corker is saying, “ALL of my Republican colleagues think the same thing.” (“”Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”) Lots of Democrats have been saying publicly that Donald Trump is not fit for office. This is a leading Republican member of the Senate. This is how the ball gets rolling. This is what leads to a week, a month, or months of news stories debating Trump’s fitness. That’s a debate we’d like to see because 1) it weakens an already weak President among the public; 2) the more the media talks about how unfit Trump is, the more he’s going to exhibit unfit behavior; and 3) at some point, maybe the crazymaking reaches a tipping point, and hopefully that’s when we see more defections. It also weakens his support for the inevitable impeachment hearings.

“There’s no bigger story in America today,” CNN’s Brian Stelter asked yesterday, “that the fitness of the President of the United States. Is he fit for the office. Is he stable for the office?”

This is the debate. Trump isn’t helping himself when he tries to take credit for POPULARIZING THE WORD ‘FAKE.’

What is wrong with this man?

Remember this, too: Republicans will sit and watch the President destroy the country, but they will not stand idly by while Trump talks shit about one of their own.

Here’s Joe Scarborough this morning on MSNBC:

“This is the thing he doesn’t understand — I mean this, the president is so out of it, he doesn’t understand. That if you attack Bob Corker, a guy who started a business on his own, became unbelievably successful in his 30s, has always been a success, a mayor, two-term senator. You attack this guy, he’s not scared of the president, and he’s got nothing to lose. The damage that Donald Trump did additionally to his presidency (Sunday) is unspeakable.”

I hope he’s right.

Also: It means that tax reform is all but dead already.

DACA Demands — Donald Trump has finally come forward with his demands in exchange for a deal to protect the DREAMers. It’s basically Christopher Miller’s list of demands: He wants the wall, he wants 10,000 new immigration agents; he wants tougher laws for those seeking asylum; and he wants to deny grants to “sanctuary cities.”

Unless Trump has a lucid day, DREAMers are in trouble. Democrats aren’t going to agree to the Wall. Many Republicans aren’t going to agree to the Wall. My hope is that Trump gets a “symbolic” wall (i.e., more fencing) so that he can say he won without actually winning. It’s worth it to save the 800,000 DREAMers.

The Mike Pence Protest — Trump can’t legislate, and by attacking Corker, he’s essentially giving up on passing substantive legislation in the foreseeable future. So, all that Trump has left are symbolic victories, and even those he continues to lose, like this Mike Pence protest, which has blown up in his face. Everyone knows it was orchestrated, and now people know that it was orchestrated at a cost to the taxpayers.

Trump’s base may not care about recklessly spending taxpayers’ money, but you know who does? Inspectors General, five of which have investigations opened against Trump cabinet members. It’s just one more set of scandals that’s going to continue to make it impossible for Trump to take any actions beyond executive orders.

The Final Word: Mr. Robot returns on Wednesday! Here’s showrunner Sam Esmail:

Is Esmail using the unpopularity of the President to promote his show?

I’m OK with that.

Update: Strike that. Stephen King gets the final word.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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