Tuesday, October 16, 2018

My Conversation With Max Boot About Why the Republican Party Needs to be Burned Down to the Ground

Max Boot is the author of numerous bestselling books including The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today and Invisible Armies: The Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present. His newest book is entitled The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right. In addition, he is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the Washington Post and CNN.

Dr. Boot and Chauncey discuss the "Never Trump" movement and why so many "traditional" and "principled" conservatives continue to support a dangerous and radically deranged and authoritarian Donald Trump and Republican Party. Dr. Boot also explains why it took him so long to acknowledge and confront his own Republican Party's long history of racism, bigotry and other authoritarian tendencies. Dr. Boot and Chauncey also ponder if the Republican Party in its present form can ever be salvaged or should it instead be burned down to the ground. And Dr. Boot offers his thoughts on if Donald Trump is a traitor who has committed treason.

During this week's podcast Chauncey reviews another sick week in Donald Trump's American dystopia where 5-year-old children are forced to sign court documents surrendering their rights, the Republican Party keeps black and brown and young people from voting across the country in order to steal elections, and how Trump's ICE Border Immigration thugs have been robbing, raping, kidnapping, and murdering people.

Chauncey also "connects the dots" about why Donald Trump's USA Today op-ed was not really about "healthcare" but instead was another threat and encouragement of violence by the Great Leader against the Democratic Party and anyone who opposes Trump's movement.

At the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares a story about a wonderful human animal friend hero who saved lives during Hurricane Michael.

This week's podcast with Max Boot can be listened to or downloaded here.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Real Purpose of Donald Trump's Vile and Full of Lies USA Today Op-ed: To Threaten Violence Against the Democratic Party and Its Voters

In a democracy, the free press has a sacred responsibility. It must hold the powerful accountable, and provide the public with sufficient information to make informed political decisions.

During the 2016 presidential contest the mainstream American news media almost wholly abandoned that responsibility. Instead of reporting that Donald Trump was clearly and obviously an authoritarian in waiting, the American news media gave him an estimated $5 billion in free coverage. It was, and largely remains, verboten to call Donald Trump a fascist even though he exhibits, repeatedly and enthusiastically, almost all of the necessary traits.

He is a professional liar of the grandest kind -- the Washington Post estimates Trump has publicly lied at least 5,000 times since he entered the 2016 campaign. Yet it took the American news media almost a year into Trump's presidency to acknowledge that he would not "mature" or "pivot" and grow into his responsibilities as president.

Too many voices still refuse to call him a liar, preferring instead to say that the president uttered "untruths" or "inaccuracies," or that he was "mistaken."

Donald Trump has repeatedly shown himself to be a racist, a nativist and a misogynist. Again, too few voices in the American news media have the courage to describe him in plain terms as such.
After Trump's election some members of the fourth estate have finally realized that Donald Trump, the Republican Party and their voters are an existential threat to American democracy. It may be too little too late.

Donald Trump has his own state sponsored media in the form of Fox News and other agents of the right-wing echo chamber, playing much the same role that Pravda once played in the Soviet Union.

USA Today has decided to play along as well. This week the newspaper published an op-ed purportedly written by Trump, which may set a record for the most lies told by a sitting president ever published in an American newspaper.

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of such a piece of propaganda. Trump's USA Today op-ed, entitled "Democrats 'Medicare for All' plan will demolish promises to seniors" is so absurd that it could be featured in a new version of Mel Brooks' fictional musical "Springtime for Hitler" -- but instead starring Donald Trump in the featured role.

Monday, October 8, 2018

A Conversation with Anthony Bourdain's dear friend Joel Rose about their friendship, his passing away, and their final project "Hungry Ghosts"

Joel Rose is the author of such acclaimed novels as Kill, Kill, Faster, Faster and The Blackest Bird. He is also a dear and close friend of the late, great and very much missed Anthony Bourdain. Their friendship was also a creative partnership. Together they co-wrote The New York Times bestselling graphic novel Jiro Dreams of Sushi and its prequel Get Jiro! Blood and Sushi. Joel and Anthony's final project together is the new graphic novel Hungry Ghosts.
Joel and Chauncey reflect on Anthony Bourdain's life and why he is so beloved by legions of fans around the world. Joel also explains Bourdain's life philosophy, how they met and became such close friends, Bourdain's strength through vulnerability and what they learned from each other.
Joel and Chauncey also bond over their shared working class origins and present, appreciating their fathers' wisdom and examples, as well as navigating through financial insecurities and fears.
During this week's podcast Chauncey explains, again, why it was no surprise that Brett Kavanaugh and the Republicans were able to win the Supreme Court and con and intimidate the Democrats and so many others in the news media and among the public. Chauncey also cuts a promo on cowardly and weak Democrats such as Cory Booker and other people who actually believe that we should love Donald Trump's voters and other Republicans because they are our "fellow Americans".

At the end of this week's podcast Chauncey shares a very important essay from The New Yorker which details in precise terms how Donald Trump is a political magician and illusionist.
This week's podcast with Joel Rose can be listened to or downloaded here.

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Conversation With Psychiatrist Justin Frank About How Donald Trump is a Man-Child Adult Baby President Whose Greatest Power is Hatred

Dr. Justin Frank is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center and a physician with more than forty years of experience in psychoanalysis. He is the author of the bestselling books "Bush on the Couch" as well as "Obama on the Couch". Dr. Frank's new book is "Trump on the Couch". Dr. Frank's work has appeared in Time Magazine and at the Daily Beast. He has also been an expert commentator and guest on such media outlets as MSNBC, CNN and PBS.

Dr. Frank and Chauncey discuss Donald Trump's various mental pathologies, how they are rooted in his childhood and the fact that Trump is the first American president who is an adult baby. Dr. Frank also explains how Donald Trump's greatest power is the permission he gives his followers to hate their enemies and to show disgust and contempt towards civilization and normal society. And Dr. Frank warns the American people and the world that Donald Trump exhibits signs of sociopathy and will never change his temperament or behavior.

Chauncey's friend and one of the co-founders of this very blog, the once-named "We Are Respectable Negroes", also stops by the virtual bar and salon. Gordon Gartrelle shares his thoughts on Bill Cosby the now convicted sex criminal, the weaknesses of the Democratic Party, and Donald Trump the circus freak. Gordon also updates Chauncey on his various food adventure travels around the world while they both celebrate the greatness that is the King of the Hill TV show.

Chauncey also makes an announcement: There is now a voicemail number for The Chauncey DeVega Show where you can leave a kind message, ask a question, just say hello, do impressions, confess your love for him, read a poem or just share the power of The Love Train!

(262) 864-0154

During this week's podcast Chauncey reviews how America's rape culture was put on trial by the United States Senate. The result? Brett Kavanaugh and rich white elite male privilege won--again.

Never forget. In the tumult of chaos that was Kavanaugh's elite white male privilege temper tantrum before the world Chauncey also reminds everyone about how the Republicans passed another 3 trillion dollar tax scam bill and more then 10,000 Hispanic and Latino migrant and refugee children are still in Donald Trump's concentration camps.

This week's podcast with Dr. Justin Frank can be downloaded or listened to here.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Dear Republicans: Would You Trust Your Daughter, Wife, Sister, or Mother Alone With the Alleged Rapist and Sex Assaulter Brett Kavanaugh?

Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination featured America's rape culture put on full display.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave credible, careful and entirely convincing testimony that Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge sexually assaulted and attempted to rape her in the early 1980s when they were all high school students.

Kavanaugh -- who is not a random citizen but a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court for Washington, D.C. -- was full of rage and self-pity. He said he was the victim of a political conspiracy by Democrats, although Ford's supposed role in this conspiracy remained unclear. Kavanaugh is also an obvious right-wing partisan who does not possess the temperament or wisdom to be a Supreme Court justice. His judicial record, writings and other behavior collectively make clear that he is an entitled elite white man who will not even pretend that the law should be blind and fair to all. For Kavanaugh, there is one set of rules and justice for men like himself, and another set for everyone else.

As happens all too often in America, Thursday's hearing showed, again, how the country's rape culture makes women and girls who are victims of sexual assault and other forms of violence into defendants. By comparison, the men who victimize them are depicted as sympathetic and somehow the real aggrieved and wronged parties.

This was literally true for Christine Blasey Ford. She was interrogated by Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor who acted as a stand-in for the 11 Republican men who needed to be convinced that Ford was telling the truth. But for these same Republicans it is clear that there is literally no evidence that will ever convince them that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Ford.

Regardless of what happens with Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, America's rape culture has won again.

At the time of writing, it appears likely Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite Thursday's hearing. But even if Kavanaugh is stopped, he will just be replaced by another judge who comes with the blessing of the Federalist Society and other right-wing groups. Kavanaugh's successor will likely vote to take away women's reproductive freedoms and other human rights, as he will almost surely do. Republicans and the right-wing media will enthusiastically support this new candidate because, compared to Brett Kavanaugh, this person will look like a saint.

Appeals to reason will not persuade Senate Republicans to vote against Brett Kavanaugh. The allure of controlling the Supreme Court for a generation to come, whatever befalls their party in electoral politics, is too strong for most of them to resist. Installing a justice who will very likely protect Donald Trump from Robert Mueller's investigation is an intoxicant as well.

All that remains is a claim on human decency. Thus I pose a question.

Dear Republican senators: Would you trust Brett Kavanaugh alone with your daughter? Or your wife? Or your sister? Or any other woman you loved?

He has been accused of forcible sexual assault and attempted rape by Christine Blasey Ford and at least three other women. This includes the allegation that he participated in gang rapes of drunk and otherwise incapacitated girls and young women while a student at Georgetown Prep in suburban Washington.

While an undergraduate at Yale, Kavanaugh joined both a fraternity and a "secret society" that were notorious for their excessive drinking as well as sexism, misogyny and reported violence against women and girls.

Could such a question such as the one I pose turn Republican voters against Brett Kavanaugh, and in turn force Republican senators to vote against his confirmation? A new poll from NPR, PBS NewsHour and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion suggests that the answer is no: A majority of Republicans (54 percent) responded that Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the high court even if the accusations against him prove to be true.

This is not entirely surprising. Research shows that Republicans and other conservatives lack empathy for those people they consider to be outside their social and political tribe. This includes women, nonwhites, LGBT people and immigrants, as well those individuals they view as "liberals," "Democrats" or "progressives."

Because Republicans and conservatives also hold increasingly authoritarian views, they tend to be extremely deferential to their political leaders. Today's Republican Party and conservative movement is also extremely hostile to women's full and equal rights with men. This is all amplified by the exaggerated influence of right-wing Christian evangelicals, who are a relatively small group in our society but a dominant force within the Republican Party and conservative movement.
The enduring support by Republicans for a nominee accused of multiple sex crimes reflects something else as well. Today's Republicans are extremely tribal and only care about "their team" winning: decency, democracy, freedom and the common good are inconveniences to be trampled upon in the pursuit of total power.

Ultimately, it may be impossible for Republicans and other conservatives to imagine how they would feel if the women they love became victims of crimes like those Brett Kavanaugh and his friends allegedly committed. This is an act of empathy and imagination that the minds of contemporary conservatives cannot comprehend.

This emotional deficit is emblematic of the way today's Republican Party and conservative movement have become an ideological force more similar to a radical religion than a group of people and interest groups participating in "normal" politics. Its members are willing to sacrifice the safety of their own daughters, sisters, and wives if it means securing more power into the indefinite future. This a chilling indictment of America's political culture. No healthy system could have produced such voters, or such leaders.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Conversation with Dr. Bandy Lee About How Donald Trump's Mental Health Continues to Worsen and the Nuclear Threat He Poses to the World

Bandy Lee is a professor at the Yale School of Medicine and one of the principle editors of the New York Times bestseller The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.

Dr. Lee and Chauncey discuss how Donald Trump's mental health continues to worsen, how insiders from the White House reached out to her last year--well before the recent New York Times anonymous op-ed--with concerns and fears about the president, and how authoritarianism is a type of collective mental illness. Dr. Lee continues to sound the alarm about how Donald Trump is a very dangerous person, who because of his mental health issues, may start a nuclear war.

And Dr. Lee explains how Trump and his followers are stuck in a relationship based upon collective narcissism--and how this shared pathology has led to violence--which will only continue to worsen.

During this week's podcast Chauncey highlights Brett Kavanaugh and toxic white (predatory) masculinity and how such behavior is encouraged among white elite men in America. Chauncey also explains the role of classism in the excuses being made for elite white men like Brett Kavanaugh by Republicans, conservatives, and his other defenders.

This episode with Dr. Bandy Lee can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Conversation with Professor Carl Hart About America's Failed "War on Drugs" and How Everything You Think You Know About Drugs is Wrong

Carl Hart is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. Professor Hart is also the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Professor Hart has published numerous scientific and popular articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology and is co-author of the textbook Drugs, Society and Human Behavior (with Charles Ksir). His most recent book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.

On this week's show, Carl and Chauncey discuss the myths fueling the racist and classist "War on Drugs" in America, untruths about America's supposed "opiate addiction crisis" and Donald Trump's white "working class voters", why illegal drugs should be made legal, and basic questions of human agency and freedom.

Carl also shares how the 1980s crack baby myth came into existence and the way that movies such as New Jack City fueled the War on Drugs and its many lies about "urban crime.

Alasdair Stuart also stops by the virtual bar and salon this week as well. He tells a story about going to this year's Worldcon convention in San Jose and the right-wing wannabe "alt-right" Nazis he encountered there. Alasdair and Chauncey also talk about all manner of popular culture including Henry Cavill and Superman, the failures of The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and Patrick Stewart's return to Star Trek.

During this week's podcast Chauncey reflects on American dystopia, Donald Trump, and the alleged sex crimes of United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. And Chauncey also shares an email from a reader/listener about if America under Trump is becoming like Nazi Germany.

Spoiler alert! There is some bonus Predator themed content at the end of this week's show.

This episode with Carl Hart and Alasdair Stuart can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Donald Trump is right: Hurricane Maria was an incredible success — for disaster capitalism

Hurricane Florence is on a collision course with the southeastern United States and should reach landfall in the Carolinas sometime on Thursday. Meteorologists have warned that it could be one of the worst disasters in recent American history.

On Tuesday, during an Oval Office briefing on Hurricane Florence, Donald Trump said that he and his administration's response to Hurricane Maria --which devastated Puerto Rico last year -- was "an incredible, unsung success."

On Wednesday, Trump continued with his obsessive self-congratulation on Twitter:
We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!
For any human being who lives in the world as it actually exists -- as opposed to a fantasy world of their own creation -- and who possesses even a small amount of empathy and human decency, Trump's comments about Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria are anathema. As is so often the case with this president, these appear to be words and beliefs of someone with no moral compass and who may be mentally unwell.Ultimately, Trump's statement that his administration's response to Hurricane Maria was any kind of "success" is but one more example on an endless list of inexcusable behavior by a man who has shown himself unfit to be president. Trump is incapable of providing positive moral leadership and has showed disdain and contempt for the basic responsibilities of the office, which in a time of crisis is supposed to include protecting and attending to the common good and the general welfare.

It is estimated that as many as 5,000 people died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria and the Trump administration's near-total abandonment of the island.

Donald Trump's malignant narcissism prevents him from feeling any empathy or compassion for anyone but himself and perhaps the most immediate members of his family, along with those others who fawn over him and validate his delusions of greatness.

Donald Trump also sees no value in those people -- the American citizens of Puerto Rico included -- who are not white. Trump and his administration have put brown, black and Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees in concentration camps along the southern border and in other parts of the country. In his own words, Trump has described Hispanics and Latinos as "vermin," "snakes" or "rapists" -- an "infestation" that is "breeding" out of control.

Trump's belief that Puerto Ricans are inherently lazy and did not do enough to help themselves recover from Hurricane Maria is an extension of a racist narrative in which nonwhites -- especially black people -- are viewed as being the undeserving poor who want to "cut ahead in line" and take resources away from "hard-working" and "deserving" (white) people. This stereotype was born during slavery and then Reconstruction and exists centuries later in post-civil rights America and the age of white backlash.

Trump and his administration have shown their contempt for the lives of black and brown people who have been harassed, abused, killed, and otherwise denied their basic human rights by America's police and other law enforcement officers. The president has also shown his contempt for nonwhites, Jews, Muslims, gays and lesbians and other marginalized groups when he said that neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members were "very fine people" after the latter ran amok in Charlottesville, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens.

There is still an ongoing debate about whether Donald Trump is "ideological" or possesses any political sophistication, one fact is undeniable: Trump's guiding life philosophy is cruelty.

But whatever Trump's intent or motivations were in his comment that the relief efforts in Puerto Rico were an "incredible, unsung success," he unintentionally revealed a different truth.

Hurricane Maria and the near-destruction of Puerto Rico (which is still recovering one year later) was in fact a great success for the disaster capitalists who, encouraged and empowered by Donald Trump, his administration and the Republican Party, made billions during the aftermath of the hurricane.

Puerto Rico's power grid is being privatized. This is worth billions of dollars.

Whitefish Energy Holdings, a small Montana-based company with no experience doing the type of work necessary to restore power to Puerto Rico, was awarded a contract worth almost $300 million, apparently because of the owner's financial connections with the Republican Party and Donald Trump. After public outrage this contract was eventually rescinded.

Industrialists, venture capitalists, cryptocurrency millionaires and billionaires and other members of the 1 percent are moving to Puerto Rico to profit from Hurricane Maria and the rebuilding efforts.

Puerto Rico's public lands, including beaches, roads, ports, water systems, ferries and even parks are also being threatened with "privatization," meaning they may be taken from the people of Puerto Rico and sold to private profit-seeking interests who will deny access to the public.

Writing at Truthout, Mark Karlin explains how disaster capitalists are preying on the people of Puerto Rico:
The Financial Oversight and Management Board was created by Congress in 2016 to oversee the reduction of more than $70 billion worth of debt in Puerto Rico. It consists of seven people with presidential appointments, but only one of them lives in Puerto Rico. The board has authority that supersedes the Puerto Rican State House, particularly on economic affairs and debt repayments. It has gained increased power to favor Wall Street, hedge funds and the super wealthy, and to impose austerity measures on the populace. ... 
[T]hose who live on the island do not have any representation in Congress and cannot vote for president unless they live on the mainland. The economic decisions are being made as they would be in a colonial relationship. 
Unlike a state, Puerto Rico cannot declare bankruptcy. Instead, Congress and the Financial Oversight and Management Board treat the island like an experiment in Ayn Randian economics. The wealthy and corporations get huge tax breaks, plus vulture capitalism and privatization opportunities. The 3.5 million people of Puerto Rico get austerity.
Disaster capitalism also reflects a right-wing ideology whose adherents such as the Koch brothers want to destroy the very idea of government as a force that can do good and that intervenes to solve problems too large for any one person or group to handle alone.

In the interests of advancing this agenda, government is hobbled and made to look incompetent and illegitimate in the eyes of the public, whose basic needs are not being met. But all along, the rneoliberals, libertarians, and other gangster capitalists have created the very disasters and problems they in turn use as a evidence of government's defects, and proof that it must be replaced by private capital.

There is another, even more sinister element to this ideology as well. As applied in Puerto Rico and other parts of the world, this right-wing ideology -- which in many ways has taken over the Republican Party and movement conservatism -- is a form of social Darwinism. The strong survive and the weak are left to fend for themselves and die.

Last weekend veteran journalist Bob Woodward warned the world about Donald Trump, saying, “You look at the operation of this White House and you have to say, ’Let’s hope to God we don’t have a crisis.'"

As shown by his behavior, intelligence and temperament Donald Trump is most certainly not capable of competently guiding the United States through a national or global crisis. But what if that is not his administration's goal? For Donald Trump and other gangster capitalists the real golden rule is "profits over people." If they can profit from human misery they will do it -- and if they must make more people miserable or put them in harm's way to maximize their profits, then Trump and his gangster capitalist allies will do that as well.

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Conversation with Safiya Noble About How Google and Other Algorithms Reinforce Racism and Other Types of Social Inequality

Safiya Noble is the guest on this week's edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show. She is a professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication and the author of the new book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.

On this week's show, Safiya and Chauncey discuss how algorithms such as Google as well as "artificial intelligence" are actually making social inequality worse in America and around the world, the misplaced faith in such technologies, their threat to democracy, and why so many people use social media and other types of digital distractions to find meaning in their otherwise lonely and unfulfilled lives in an age of economic precarity.

During this week's podcast Chauncey reflects on the New York Times op-ed from an anonymous Trump senior staff member and how psychiatrist Bandy Lee shared with him, first, how she was contacted last year about Trump's apparently failing mental health. Chauncey is also upset that MSNBC did not mention his name, again, and also blurred out his name when talking about Dr. Lee's conversation with people at the White House regarding Donald Trump's mental health.

Dr. David Reiss, who is one of the contributors to the bestselling book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, also stops by the virtual bar and salon this week to explain why Donald Trump is so mentally unwell that he would likely not qualify to be a police officer--never mind having the authority to order the destruction of the world with nuclear weapons.

At the end of this week's podcast, Chauncey shares a warning from history--this time from a Holocaust survivor who also fought the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto--about the perils America and the world are experiencing because of the rise of Trumpism and other right-wing authoritarian movements around the world.

This episode with Safiya Noble and David Reiss can be downloaded from Libsyn and also listened to here.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Mad King: Psychiatrist Bandy Lee Tells Me That Officials in the Trump White House Told Her Last Year That He Was "Unraveling" and They Were "Scared"

It would seem that matters are far worse than even Donald Trump's fiercest critics have suggested. As the entire world has noticed, on Wednesday the New York Times published an op-ed that is without precedent in American history for what it suggests about a sitting president.

Assuming this is not part of a gaslighting campaign or an effort to uncover Trump's "enemies" in his inner circle — which is not out of the question — what the Times op-ed reveals is terrifying.

An anonymous "senior official" in the administration writes that "Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. . . . The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."

Many Trump appointees, including the writer, he or she reports, "have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office."
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims. 
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be 
There is also more evidence that Donald Trump's mental health is likely impaired:
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
Bandy Lee, the Yale University psychiatrist who edited the bestselling book "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President," explained to me in an email conversation that these "revelations" about Trump seem entirely predictable based on his public and other behavior.

According to Lee, the revelations about the Trump White House found in the New York Times article and Bob Woodward's forthcoming book "Fear" suggest "how deeply the troubles run and what effort is required to protect the nation from what are obviously psychological symptoms."
The senior official makes clear that the conflict is not ideology but the lack of "any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. ... [Trump's] impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back." And: "There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next." These are illustrations of emotional compulsion, impulsivity, poor concentration, narcissism, and recklessness that would normally require an evaluation, since they affect decision-making capacity and potential for violence. 
None of the behavior that came out in the Bob Woodward book — as in the Michael Wolff book ["Fire and Fury"] ... is a surprise, since it is all consistent with the psychological signs we observed and warned against 18 months ago. Mental health is a science-based field of serious conditions that have predictable patterns. We foresaw the course of this presidency, based on our knowledge and clinical experience, and were concerned enough to put our warnings into a book. We now warn that things will rapidly deteriorate and that the president should submit to an urgent, independent mental health evaluation by an appropriate specialist, as is warranted. We may be delayed, but it is still not too late. The 25th Amendment is a political decision, but it would set in motion the proper treatment of an individual showing his signs of instability: restraint, limit-setting, and removal from access to weapons.
Lee also told me that these worries about Donald Trump's mental health by staffers and those other people in the president's inner circle predate Wednesday's Times op-ed.
Two White House officials actually contacted me in late October, stating that Trump was “scaring” them, that he was “unraveling.” Not wishing to confuse the role I chose, as an educator of the public, and a potential treatment role, I referred them to the local emergency room without inquiring much further.
Psychiatrist David Reiss, another contributor to "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," told me by email that the president likely would not qualify to be an Air Force officer entrusted with a nuclear weapon:
Every psychiatric Fitness-for-Duty evaluation involves assessing the problem-solving ability of the person, relevant to specific job duties; which includes gaining an understanding of the thought processes that are used in the process of problem-solving. 
Trump’s public statements have provided little, if any, transparency to his inner thought processes. Extremely frequently and most typically, Trump will begin with a statement regarding his perception of a situation (a perception that may or may not contain verifiably false information) and then proceed to providing a conclusion or an opinion regarding the “necessary” course of action, with little verbalization of the logical analysis or thought processes that led from “point A” to “point B.” 
Often, rather than providing any information as to alternatives that he considered and reasons for accepting or rejecting those alternatives, any “explanation” of Trump’s process of problem solving will be nothing more than a (frequently rambling) discourse regarding his feelings, his emotions and his (frequently grandiose) perceptions of his abilities. Thus, there is significant suggestion that Trump’s thought processes are inadequate to the position of being president of the United States.
If the implications of the New York Times op-ed are accurate, there would be strong evidence that Trump could not pass a psychiatric Fitness-for-Duty examination appropriate to his position.

Richard Painter, who served as chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, also agrees that Donald Trump should not have access to nuclear weapons. In a phone interview, Painter said, "Trump's mental health puts the country at risk," and suggested that if Trump were to order the unprovoked use of nuclear weapons, "the vice president could invoke the 25th Amendment and very quickly try to gain control of the situation, along with a majority of the Cabinet."

Psychologist John Gartner, who has been a leading voice about the perils of Trump's presidency and the dangers he poses to the United States and the world, described the New York Times op-ed, in an email, as an "extraordinary document by any standards."
Essentially, the White House staff have de facto informally invoked the 25th Amendment, recognizing among themselves that [Trump] is incapable of carrying out the duties of the office. Knowing that he is dangerously mentally unbalanced, they are seeking to provide ballast to keep him from capsizing the ship of state. This is a madness of King George situation. Or perhaps we should say the emperor's new clothes, where everyone can see the emperor has no sanity, even though no one is allowed to say it aloud.
The anonymous senior staff member who authored the New York Times article writes with the tone of someone who believes that he or she, along with others in Trump's White House, is a patriot acting in the country's interest. "Americans should know that there are adults in the room," this person writes. "We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t."

This is not just "cold comfort," as this anonymous author puts it, but no comfort at all. In reality these aides and others in Trump's orbit are enabling his regime and the harm he is causing. They are not heroes. Moreover, the anonymous Trump staffer and those other people who know how dangerous the president is but choose to stay on could actually be considered cowards. Like so many other Republicans and conservatives in the Age of Trump, they are putting party over patriotism and the well-being of the United States.

They bemoan Trump's authoritarian and fascist behavior, yet continue to support him and his policies. They wish that Trump would not lie so often and act with such gross contempt toward the truth, yet continue to support him and his policies. They may describe Trump's attacks on freedom of the press are "concerning" and "worrisome," but they continue to support him and his policies.

Ultimately, this anonymous senior staff member appears more concerned about the mark history will put next to their name for working with the Donald Trump than with saving the United States from a president who they know to be dangerously unqualified and perhaps unsound of mind.

The anonymous Trump official concludes his or her article by calling on "everyday citizens" to rise "above politics," reach "across the aisle" and "shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans." Times op-ed as follows:

If this person really believed that and was willing to put the welfare of the nation first, perhaps he or she and the other "adults in the room" within Trump's White House would resign as a group, hold a joint press conference and tell the world the grave threat posed by Donald Trump.

Of course that will not happen. Forcing a calamitous and destructive version of conservative policies onto the American people -- which most of them do not support -- is more important to this supposed whistleblower than protecting the country's democracy from its enemies. Even those in the Oval Office.