Archive for Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Opinion: A Trump prophet who nailed it

January 9, 2018


Anyone who cannot resist the temptation to offer public predictions about public events invites and can expect public ridicule.

Even pre-eminent 20th-century American columnist and public intellectual Walter Lippmann, who was courted by presidents and prime ministers, is regularly remembered for dismissing in print then-New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt for being “no tribune of the people.” Lippmann wrote: “He is no enemy of entrenched privilege. He is a pleasant man who, without any important qualifications for the office, would very much like to be President.”

Of the man who would integrate baseball in 1947 and win Rookie of the Year honors and eventually go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, New York’s most famous sports columnist, Jimmy Cannon, wrote that Jackie Robinson was a baseball player of only “ordinary ability” who would “never make the grade,” calling Robinson just “a 1,000-to-one shot.”

In this company, my own confident — and very wrong — call in the early fall of 2004 that soon-to-be-elected President John Kerry would not run for re-election in 2008 may not look quite so bad as it really was.

So rather than accentuate the negative about predictions, today it is time to celebrate a prophet who has not received anywhere near the honor he has earned. Not quite a year ago, this man, Dan Rottenberg of Philadelphia, whom I do not personally know, wrote, “As a financial journalist, I have followed Trump for more than 30 years — long before he aspired to the White House.” Based upon that experience, this now-75-year-old author, editor and reporter made the following unequivocal predictions:

“Trump will never release his tax returns. To do so would destroy his self-image as a successful businessman and generous philanthropist.

“Trump will never divest his businesses. They mean more to him than the presidency, because they’re central to his image and easier for him to control. (For that matter, Trump never really wanted to be president: As his first campaign manager acknowledged, Trump got into the race to raise his profile and enhance the value of his brand.)

“He will never give up his children as advisors, because he views them as extensions of himself; consequently, they’re the only people he trusts. (As Garry Wills astutely noted before the election, Trump literally has no friends.)

“He will resist holding press conferences, which involve confronting hostile questions. He will hold rallies instead, where he can bask in his supporters’ adulation.

“He won’t give up his Twitter account. For Trump, tweeting to his followers is not the means to some strategic end; it is the end. His need to vent transcends all else.”

The political prediction business is notorious about getting it wrong, especially when it comes to how a winning presidential candidate will act as president. The author of these prescient insights about our then-newly inaugurated 45th president wrote them for the Broad Street Review. Rottenberg, according to his bio, has also worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine and the Chicago Journalism Review and has written 11 books, including the memoirs of one of Philadelphia’s most honorable political leaders, Thacher Longstreth.

In an update this past September, Rottenberg, who attributes Trump’s behavior to a psychological condition called narcissistic personality disorder, wrote: “In any given situation, Trump will take the action that makes waves or creates headlines, even if it makes no moral, political, or practical sense. How else to explain his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, his decision to exclude transgender citizens from the military, his singular refusal to condemn with racists in Charlottesville, and his current attempt to deport 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants? From a narcissist’s perspective, how can you attract attention if you simply endorse conventional wisdom?”

The diagnosis may be from out of left field, but Rottenberg’s exceptional predictions of unpresidential behavior deserve a shoutout.

— Mark Shields is a columnist with Creators Syndicate.


Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

"a narcissist’s perspective"?

Anybody out there read "The Art of the Deal"? You really think President wants to deport Dreamers because he is a narcissist? The President wants an Immigration Package ... the Dreamers are his bargaining chip. The DEMs want the Dreamers, the threat to "shut down the government" is their bargaining chip. Which one reflects "Compromise"?

Bruce Bertsch 2 months, 1 week ago

It is obvious that the POTUS wants to deport as many of those people as possible because he just doesn't care about them. After all, if they aren't citizens they can't vote or contribute to his campaigns. His latest effort is to deport 200,000 Salvadorans that were displaced by earthquakes and will likely face death when returned to their homeland. Trump has him immigration program...deport them all.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

"because he just doesn't care about them" ... come on Bruce!

Immigration has many complex facets which need unemotional analysis. Trump wants a robust, enforceable nationwide immigration system that primarily identifies all foreign persons present within the U.S. ... our security demands it.

Interestingly enough there are forces on both the right and left that do not want to end illegal immigration, chain migration, anchor babies, etc. because with it comes cheap labor and a voter block dependent upon the government.

We have been caught in the surge/amnesty cycle that has gone on for decades. President Trump is using DACA to force a comprehensive solution.

The 200K Salvadorans were granted TEMPORARY asylum as a result of a massive earthquake. If they will "face death" upon their return, from something other than that earthquake, shouldn't the Salvadorian government be the one to assure their safety?

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program" - Milton Friedman

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

What's the matter, Gary? Does the truth hurt? Bruce is right.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

"Dems change tune on border wall, after backing barrier under Obama"

Makes one question the 'compassion" from the left.

DEMs know that if Trump gets Tax Plan and comprehensive Immigration before the mid-terms, they are toast! Obstruction and name calling is the name of their game. I'll bet that if you and I were asked to solve this issue you would trade a wall for DACA and an end to chain migration for 200K Salvadorians.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

Poor source again. Why don't you just use "Weekly World News" or the "National Enquirer" as sources? At least they are more factual than Fox "News." Propaganda isn't a source.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

What source do you need to see Richard ... how about Politifact or USAToday

The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico. Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19.

The "fence" was only 18 feet tall (doubled in many places) so I guess it does not count.

Even the liberal rags you seem to prefer all indicate Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act ... although they all try to spin it.

Bob Summers 2 months, 1 week ago

Oprah is not a "narcissist"

She is President material.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Personally, I would like to see a woman President and I love Oprah ... however, her heart is too big. I don't think we need a female version of Jimmy Carter in the White House anytime soon.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

No, you'd prefer a wacko dictator like Trump. If he starts a war due his mental instability, big deal. You've made that very obvious.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

Oh please. Not everyone knew about Weinstein. He is a predator. He didn't come on to all women. He could tell if they were vulnerable enough to be manipulated. Oprah is a strong woman. If he had come on to her, she would have done a talk show about it. I hope your ignorance about sexual predatory tactics is because you would never sexually harass anyone, but you need to educate yourself about it, especially if you have a wife, sister, daughter or granddaughter.

Sam Crow 2 months, 1 week ago

On 30 Rock in 2012, Tina Fey referred to Weinstein as a sexual harasser.

Announcing the Oscar nominees for best actress in 2013, Seth Mcfarland quipped: "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."

Everyone in Hollywood knew.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Indeed a strong woman ... a strength that apparently was molded by abject poverty and horrible abuse

That said, everybody knew about Weinstein!

Interesting potential unintended consequence of #metoo ... I believe Hollywood is the ultimate "closed society" ... meaning most stars and key players are children/relatives of stars and big players. "Outsiders" have little opportunity for admittance based upon raw talent or good looks alone. Now that the Director's Couch is closed for good, I suspect it will really become a closed society! Not a judgment ... just an observation.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

You sure haven't, Gary. It's just the Fox "News" over and over again. Your ambition is to be a parrot? But a parrot has a brain.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

Bob, it would be more intellectually honest for you to just give reasons for your silliness than to pretend you're posting something useful. Why is it that you can not attack, with logic and reason and FACTS, anything? Is it because you really don't understand, or is it that you just enjoy playground thinking? Oh, and by the way, what's the source of the photo? Just as a matter of fact-finding, you see.

Bob Smith 2 months, 1 week ago

Making a diagnosis of someone you've only seen on tv or read about is unethical to an extreme.

Sam Crow 2 months, 1 week ago

Officially it is called the Goldwater rule by the American Psychiatric Association. Some 1100 psychiatrists tried to do the same thing to him in 1964, causing the APA to formally address the ethics of its members.

The political playbook for liberals is the same as it was over 50 years ago.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

Just can't get past your "Liberal" bias can you? Everyone who disagrees with you is a "Liberal." What a simpleton!

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Sam, when writers share information Richard sees it has his role to comment ... never shares anything of interest or value ... just attack.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

Gary, you love to be foolish. A real clown who has nothing to say but empty words.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

And maybe you didn't realize that Goldwater LOST in one of the biggest landslides ever. Most of the public figured out that he was nuts. Over 50 years later you still haven't figured that out yet, Gary. That's way beyond SLOW.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

How much evidence do you need, Bob? Does he need to get people killed? The late Charles Manson and Dennis Rader have been on TV and in print news. Would you call them rational? But, I suppose that you would blow that off as long as they call themselves, "conservatives."

Michael Joseph Walsh 2 months, 1 week ago

Mr. Rottenberg is not a mental health professional, so his assessment is not unethical. And everything he said was accurate. You seem to have trouble focusing on the topic of the article.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 months, 1 week ago

" “In any given situation, Trump will take the action that makes waves or creates headlines, even if it makes no moral, political, or practical sense. "

That's why he was so successful in faux reality tv. It relies on drama. He is a drama queen and thrives on it. And if there isn't any there, he will create it.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Dorothy, President Trump is the man for the time ... ever heard of Contingency Theory?

Contingency theories put forth the idea that the success of a leader hinges on the specific situation at hand. Certain factors come into play that define whether a particular leader or leadership style will be effective for the given situation. Those factors include the task, the personality of the leader and the composition of the group that is meant to be led. Its basic assumption is that leadership – success or failure – is situational.

When the upper echelon of a democratic society clings to power so forcefully that it weaponizes elements of the government so as to maintain that power, its time to clean house. Elements of IRS, FBI, CIA, and DOJ clearly took steps to influence the power structure in DC.

The Clinton Foundation Investigation, the Clinton Email Investigation, and the FBI Investigation are identifying things that even you will have to admit were unhealthy! You are not seeing them because the MSM is not covering them.

October 2016 ... email suggests they knew about a Wall Street Journal article in advance. After Page alerted Strzok to the piece’s publication, Strzok responded:

“Boy that was fast. ... Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?”

Here is a thought ... Loretta Lynch meets with Bill Clinton ... allowing her to recuse herself from Clinton "Issue" ... which, in turn, acts as a buffer between the FBI "clearing" HRC and the Obama administration. Suggest to me that Obama administration clearly knew Clinton was in trouble.

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

Gary, you still don't have a clue about reliable sources do you? This is more garbage. Get a job spreading manure. You have much promise.. But, no hope when it comes to the truth.

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

There are so few reliable sources. .

Conversely, you seem to have little promise. Sum total of your many contributions are to attack everyone that is not echoing the liberal line!

“A second marked characteristic of the Liberal in debate with the conservative is the tacit premise that debateis ridiculous....Many people shrink from arguments over facts because facts are tedious, because they require a formal familiarity with the subject under discussion, and because they can be ideologically dislocative. Many Liberals accept their opinions, ideas, and evaluations as others accept revealed truths.” ― William F. Buckley Jr.,

Richard Neuschafer 2 months, 1 week ago

More brainwashed garbage. You can't get past this "if they don't agree with me then they are a liberal BS." Well, thanks to people like you liberal has become a better term than conservative. Get a psychiatrist, Gary. You aren't rational.

Greg Cooper 2 months, 1 week ago

"When the upper echelon of a democratic society clings to power so forcefully that it weaponizes elements of the government so as to maintain that power, its time to clean house. Elements of IRS, FBI, CIA, and DOJ clearly took steps to influence the power structure in DC."

Wow! You just described the current administration in spades! You really see no link from your citation to the Chump gang, do you? Can you say, "Turn a blind eye"?

Richard Aronoff 2 months, 1 week ago

Dorothy calling someone else a drama queen. Priceless.

Dick Sengpiehl 2 months, 1 week ago

There are a number of us who predicted Trump's behavior, too. The disturbing thing is that he still has his supporters. Thanks to them we have in office this disgusting man.

Michael Kort 2 months, 1 week ago

Yes, the description fits TRUMP .

But then lots of good Germans bought into HItler, the Japanese had their military leaders and the unseen, unheard emperor, plenty of Chinese bought into MAO, the Russians purchased Stalin,........why should America be any different, when it comes to making bizarre choices of whom will lead them down the "yellow brick road".

I don't know why people blame the Republican Congresses legislative doings ( the heavey lifting like taxes and the Supreme Court ) on Donald Trump, who is just a figure head rubber stamper who doesn't actually write or pass "real laws" but just signed them and claims them as his own..........when he is not writing executive orders as the then frowned on president Obama did as president, for which he was accused as bypassing the legal authority of congress ( not Donalds deal ) ( right ) .

Gary Stussie 2 months, 1 week ago

Do you ever listen to yourself?

Point out a President or candidate who is not narcissistic. I read these comments from you die hard liberals and all I see is "we hate Trump" ... no solutions, no ideas (but impeach Trump). What do you do then, shift your condemnation to Pence? Give it a rest!

Michael Kort 2 months, 1 week ago

Impeach Trump would not hurt my feelings...... Particularly over Russia's ties .

The congress does the work to present him a tax bill or their choice for Supreme Court........ and he signs it ...............and the media calls it his the trump solution to something?.

The Supreme Court and Taxes were congresses agenda and Trump was forced to grabbed a hostile 6 ton pen left by the giant from Jack in the bean stock (?) and force it to sign them, just as Bill Clinton had signed "welfare to work laws that were created by Republicans.......

Trump is an addman promoter and a con artist who won't release his taxes

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