Cognitive Psychology

The Government Shutdown Showcases EVERYTHING Wrong with Trump and the GOP

The Ol’ Pussy Grabber always has the biggest and #bebestest everything. Everyone is saying so. He has the biggest and #bebestest hurricanes! They cause the biggest and #bebestest damage to the US communities they strike, amirite Puerto Rico? Now, he has the biggest and #bebestest government shutdown! Obama never had one even close to as long, damaging, and costly as this one! This one might even send us into an economic recession! HA! None of Obama’s shutdowns ever put the US economy into recession! Obama’s shutdowns were puny, short, and ugly. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s is a big beautiful damaging shutdown.

I’m afraid that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s shutdown of the government reflects everything that is wrong with the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, his administration, and the GOP. The shutdown is due to the Ol’ Pussy Grabber being an unproductive malignant narcissist, his chaotic administration, and the GOP’s groupthink.

Cancelling Pelosi’s Flight to Afghanistan

One of the latest events in the shutdown is as exemplary of everything that is wrong as any of them: in a fit of pique, The Ol’ Pussy Grabber outs Pelosi’s trip to visit the troops in Afghanistan. The sheer stupidity of the move is staggering even though it doesn’t appear to be so stupid at first glance.

Consider this: when punishing children for misbehavior, you should follow the rule of natural and logical consequences, meaning that whatever punishment you mete out should be related to the misbehavior. For example, I had trouble with students being out of uniform in my class. In the absence of clear school policy and procedures, my first impulse was to take their cell phones on a daily basis until they complied. It was not a natural or logical consequence to their behavior, though, because there is no relationship between uniform and the use of their cell phones. I didn’t do it for that reason. If I had, it would’ve just pissed them off and soured our relationship, but it would’ve gotten them into uniform.

A similar dynamic is going on here. Everyone knows that he cancelled the trip because Pelosi cancelled his State of the Union address. On the surface, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s move seems tit-for-tat, but it isn’t. Pelosi followed the natural and logical consequences rule. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber shut the government down and refuses to do anything to re-open it, so she made the call on security grounds. It’s logical, no government funding for the Department of the Treasury, which administers the secret service which provides security for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber means that the security for a meeting of all three branches of the federal government would be less than its best effort. An attack on that meeting would devastate our government, so we cannot afford to go half-assed even though half-asses is the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s specialty. It shouldn’t be done. It’s natural because it’s directly related to the shutdown.

Cancelling Pelosi’s and the Democratic congressional delegation’s military flight to Afghanistan is not related to the shutdown; the military is still funded. And, by outing it publicly, they’ve put enemies of the US on notice that they might be coming in the near future heightening their personal risk.

Executive Dysfunction

Other than pettiness, which the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has in spades, why’d he do it? He did it because of his executive dysfunction. Unlike me and the phone-for-uniform swap, once he has an idea, he does it. He can’t resist the impulse. Every idea appears to be good when you first have it. It bubbles up out of what Daniel Kahneman calls system 1 — the always on, unconscious, effortless part of the mind that reacts to everything — and it is up to system 2 — the on when needed, conscious, effortful part of the mind — to consider it and decide. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber has no system 2. He just has a big smoking hole where any type of impulse control, rational planning, or disciplined execution should be. So, system 1 throws up an idea, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is off to the races.

His executive dysfunction is why his aides are terrified he’ll actually try to withdraw from NATO by tweeting or just blurting it out next time he’s in front of a microphone somewhere. It’s why we’re withdrawing from Syria. It’s the reason why he does oh so many of the seemingly random out-of-the-blue stupid stuff that he does. And, it’s why he doesn’t have an end game for the shutdown. He ain’t thought it through. Perhaps you remember reading a few weeks ago that the admin was surprised at all the consequences shutting the government down would have. They hadn’t thought about it or planned it or done anything to prepare for it because no one saw it coming and the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is incapable of planning anything or executing a plan. He has no executive functioning.

Narcissism and the Narcissistic Wound

It’s also due to his narcissism. Pelosi is a threat to his delusion driven narcissistic facade. All narcissists harbor the delusion that they are perfect and the best and every thought, idea, and fart are the crowning achievement of human kind. When that delusion gets challenged, the challenge must be utterly destroyed before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down, so he’s doing his best to hurt her. This is the equivalent of a tom cat puffing up its tail and arching its back to scare off its rivals, only the tom cat’s ploy has a chance of working.

He’s a counter-puncher because he can’t plan and has to strike back immediately to salve his narcissistic wound. Unfortunately, he’s not the devastating counter-puncher Mohammad Ali was. He neither floats like a butterfly nor stings like a bee. He is more floats like a bee and stings like a butterfly in his counter-punching. Get it? The aerodynamics of bees means they shouldn’t be able to fly so they don’t appear to fly as effortlessly as butterflies do. They seem to struggle to keep themselves airborne and butterflies don’t sting at all. See? That’s funny, right?

Inability to get a Deal

Another exemplary moment of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s struggle came when he exclaimed, We’re getting crushed! to Mick Mulvaney his hapless newly installed acting chief-of-staff. Why can’t we get a deal?

Narcissism, part 2

Most of us read that and think the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is stupid. He’s not stupid; he’s a narcissist. They seem similar, but they aren’t. A narcissist believes themselves to literally be the smartest #bebestest person ever born. They believe that they cannot be wrong. So, when something does go wrong, it is someone else’s fault. It also means that a narcissist cannot learn. They cannot reflect on their mistakes and correct them in the future.

When a narcissist says something as patently stupid as Why can’t we get a deal? when his position is cave to my demands and the other side isn’t caving, the answer is obvious: you’re not offering a deal, ergo, no deal can be got.

When you’re dealing from a position of singular weakness — 53% of the public blame the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and Repubes for the shutdown — the other side does not have an incentive to deal; you do. But, he’s a narcissist, he thinks his position is the best position to have and anyone who doesn’t take it, doesn’t do so because they are just stupid. They cannot see his genius. You know this is true because he actually wants Democrats to agree to give him $5.7 billion for the wall! That’s his position. Oh, for hubris’ sake!

Aides are reporting that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s “frustrations” break through his otherwise sunny disposition. In those moments, he blames his aides for a lack of a deal but when Mulvaney tried to “negotiate” by offering the Dems a lower level of funding for the wall, he shouted at him, You’ve fucked it all up, Mick! His aides don’t have the latitude to actually go out and make a deal happen. How can it be their fault? By default because it can’t be the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s fault, he’s fucking perfect.

It may be stupid logic, but it’s the only logic the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has, so by definition, in his eyes, it’s perfect. Christ splintery arse! We are so fucked.


The last point here is perhaps the most important one. The shutdown fiasco is a direct result of the Repube groupthink. I’ve been pissing into the hurricane with this predicting that it would lead to a fucked up decision — there have been several — family separation policy, anyone? ignoring Puerto Rico? — but this is the one that is the most obvious.

We hear two things all the freaking time about Senate Repubes: (1) they think the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is freaking nuts and they hate him and wish he’d just hurry up and resign all ready! And (2) they are pissing-in-their-panties petrified that (a) the Ol’ Pussy Grabber will single them out in a mean tweet and (b) that they’ll be primaried if they criticize him. Look what happened to John McCain! He died, didn’t he? Okay, too soon? Probably. Sorry.

The Kaine Gambit

Sen Tim Kaine (D-Milquetoast) — Remember him? Sure you do! he was Clinton’s VP nominee who brought pretty much nothing to the dance but his pants and a smile — got so garsh darn mad that HE brought a bill to open the government to the floor but that mean old Mitch McConnell objected. Seriously, Kaine did McConnell one big favor. McConnell could’ve been doing whatever he does in the little Senator’s room when Kaine did it and let it proceed to being debated and voted upon. The government might’ve opened and the whole mess would’ve been over with.

The fear of retribution that all Repubes live with and have lived with since the early days of the Tea Party means that they will not go against Tea Party ultra-conservative orthodoxy or what passes for it these days. Without a voice of dissent, groups start believe that their own shit don’t stink. Next thing you know they’re wading around in shit up to their necks and thinking that it is wonderful.

Bad Decisions

Groupthink means that the group will make bad decisions because they are not considering alternatives or the consequences of their actions. Groups suffering from groupthink just plow full steam ahead making bad decision after bad decision and watching their morals swirl around the toilet bowl before they finally disappear into the sewer. The shutdown seems to be one of those groupthink decisions.

Increasing Immorality

No Repube seems at all concerned with the 800,000 unpaid federal employees, the contractors, or any of their families. If that isn’t immoral, I don’t know what is. None of them seems at all concerned about the damage the shutdown is doing to the economy, national air traffic safety, food safety, national security, or any of the other myriad of long-lasting effects that the shutdown will have. And, the longer it goes on the worser the effects and the longer they’ll last.

The Ol’ Pussy Grabber doesn’t allow dissent. McConnell doesn’t allow dissent. The Tea Party or whatever they call themselves now don’t allow no dissent. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber told Mulvaney not to tell him no very often when Mulvaney agreed to be his acting chief-of-staff! Over the past two years, the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has fired or otherwise isolated anyone who has ever told him no. Repubes who don’t walk in lock-step with the Tea Party and the party faithful get primaried from the right.

All of these tendencies squash any kind of debate about decisions and choices. No one voices their concerns so it appears that there is near unanimous consent for every decision like continuing the shutdown.

When Bad Tendencies Get Worse

The Repubes have effectively ignored any and all expert opinion and advice on every freaking issue that they’ve encountered over the past few years. They eschew anyone who isn’t an old withered white Christian, so there is no variation in goals or means of achieving them. They ignore information that contradicts their point-of-view and preferred solutions to the few problems they choose to address. They only accept what Fox News and other conservative news outlets produce as factual. So, their “leaders” have the answer that they want, so the only option for Repubes is to be sickophants and try and fake enthusiastic agreement until the Kool-Aide kicks in and they start to believe.

Seriously. Groupthink is going to fuck us all in the heinie and by the time we realize it, it will be too freaking late. At this point, we cannot move fast enough to remove the Ol’ Pussy Grabber because the Senate won’t convict him no matter how convincing the evidence and the Cabinet won’t 25th Amendment him. Christ, the undecided voter will probably turn against anyone contemplating impeachment believing that it will cause too much chaos and consternation like what we have isn’t chaotic and consternating enough!

Yeah. We know how bad it is, but it seems like there ain’t a damn thing we can do to stop it from happening. That’s what being a student of psychology will get ya.

Call Your Senator

If you’ve read this far. Please please please call your senators and tell them to open the government and override any veto! Tell them that every freaking senator should stand up and move that the senate consider the bills to open the government and begin debate.

  • Call My Congress: Uses your zip code to locate your Congressional Representative and your Senators. And, it returns phone numbers, tweeter handle, party affiliation, voting record, and link to C-Span appearances!
  • Call Your Rep: Uses your address to give you your representative and senators but with their local and DC addresses and phone numbers.
  • The Capital Hill Switch Board: (202) 224-3121.

8 replies »

  1. keep up the good work…….I am getting really tired of the bullshit in the govt…. How much longer do we have with the idiot?? no , don’t tell me….. I”m already too pissed….. sigh…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Francese!

      Increasingly, I’m thinking that the only person who can take Trump out is Pence. He’s the only person in the admin who cannot be fired. He can lead the move to 25th amendment him out of office. But, Pence is not bold enough to do it. None of them are because of groupthink.

      In the same vein, McConnell can end the shutdown. Both the House and the Senate have the votes to override a veto. Again, he doesn’t do it because of groupthink. He can’t see the possibility. He’s too fixated on his own goals.



  2. The shutdown of OUR government by the 45thoccupantofthewhitehouse is his way of dealing with the new Democratic controlled House. This is his way of negotiating/or not. The 45thoccupantofthewhitehouse has declared bankruptcy many, many times. It does not bother him to declare bankruptcy and shut down the Big Casino and lay of hundreds (of thousands) of employees no matter how much it will hurt and damage them. Mitch McConnell (who has a vastly oversize ego) is playing just as big a roll in this as the 45thoccupantofthewhitehouse. Perhaps you could psychoanalyze our over manipulative speakerofthesenate at some date in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Jerry!

      My analysis frequently leads me to McConnell being the real problem with the GOP and our government. I’ve thought about diagnosing him, but it would take some time to research. Luckily, Chinese New Year is coming up, so I’ll have two weeks off from work. I might could do it then. My preliminary thought is that he is a psychopath.



  3. And, Trump is supposed to be making an announcement about the Southern Border (No, not the Mason-Dixon Line.) this afternoon, after he pretends to care about the troops killed in Syria by the totally defeated I.S. (I resist using the name for that organization that sullies the name of a rather charming ancient Egyptian goddess.). That can only be either another spewing of his apocalyptic fantasies about immigrants, and, or a State Of Emergency Declaration intended to let him bypass Congress and build his wall. In that case, will he agree to sign Appropriations bills without Wall Money? I’m guessing not. He still needs (see: Narcissistic Wound) to get Nancy and company to surrender to his will, needs that desperately and deeply. Maybe he will just threaten the SOE if they don’t come “negotiate”. Or. maybe he will just close the border, stop all traffic. That’ll show them. Any good decisions there? Nope, not a one.

    Then, there’s the Buzzfeed report on Subordination of Purgery, which the Mueller team has disputed as “inaccurate”. My guess is that the inaccuracy is that it is not not the Mueller team that has the evidence but the Southern District of New York team. They’re the ones who went and got the tapes and documents from Cohen’s files and have been handling his prosecution.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      Those were my thoughts, too, on the Mueller objection to the Buzzfeed report. The dispute seems to be around the documentation of the “order.” Trump famously doesn’t use email or text messaging or computers. He likes Twitter because it appeals to his executive dysfunction. Cohen, equally as famously, made audio tapes of conversations he had with lots of people including Trump. So, ergo ipsofacto et cetra, Cohen has a tape of Trump “ordering” him to perjure himself.

      That said, and now that the speech has been made, Trump has made a good PR move. He is offering something that the Dems will reject. But, their reasons, while legitimate, are complex. The offer can be phrased by saying, I’m giving them DACA, but now they don’t want it, even though, he’s not offering DACA. He’s offering a temporary extension of DACA status which the courts are giving anyway. That’s the “brilliance” of his move.

      We’ll see how it plays out.


      Liked by 1 person

      • The feature of the “offer” (which he had to know would be rejected) that will be lost on many is that he offers a temporary reprieve in exchange for a permanent wall. Or, rather, a down payment on a wall for which he will later demand more. It is a typical narcissist’s deal, “2 for me, 1 for you”.

        Liked by 1 person

Howdy Y'all! Come on in, pardner! Join this here conversation! I would love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.