Politics

The New Story is the Same Old Story – Assessing Fire and Fury

But the “fire and fury” from the new book reminds me of quote from Macbeth: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

A new book, Fire and Fury, launched late last week and is creating quite a stir among Washington insiders. The author, Michael Wolff, claimed that this is “25th amendment…stuff,” meaning that his book contains information that would cause the removal of Donald Trump. Some of the tabloid tidbits include Trump getting bored during a briefing on the Constitution, Trump being called an idiot by most of his senior advisers, Trump exhibiting signs of deteriorating mental health, and a toxic yes-man mentality.

These accusations have been denied by Trump officials and many of the people supposedly quoted by Wolff. I don’t have enough knowledge to comment on their truthfulness, but as a historian, I assess and analyze sources all the time. This seems like tabloid garbage that repeats talking points that critics usually create for Republican presidents.

Going back to Ronald Reagan, there are recycled criticisms of Republican presidents. Reagan hated gay people and passed tax cuts for the rich that exploded the debt. Even though his successful policies helped end the Cold War, at the time, he was accused of increasing the risk of nuclear war. He was considered an actor with little political skill or knowledge; he was just good at mugging for the camera and was an out-of-touch old man.

George W. Bush was accused of passing tax cuts for the rich and being a reckless cowboy who relied on unilateral actions. He is famous for his “Bushisms” where he mispronounced or even made up words. He took decisive action after 9/11 but is blamed for lying about WMDs in Iraq, and even though the war was won by the end of his term, President Obama squandered the victory and Bush still receives blame for that supposedly reckless adventurism. The rock band Green Day and many other Hollywood elites endlessly called him a fascist.

Like Jim Mattis, I wish the rest of Washington was too busy doing their jobs to read and even celebrate juicy gossip.

So when the usual crowd in the same snooty publications and media, Hollywood, and other elitists call Trump a fascist, say his tax cuts are robbing the poor to give to the rich, and claim he is mentally unstable and increasing the risk of nuclear war, I tend to think that at best they are the boy who cried wolf.

In the famous story, nobody believed the boy when the wolf actually showed up. But I look at the good news following the tax cuts, the start of serious negotiations with a nuclear North Korea, and other policy achievements such as the remarkable roll-back of red tape and regulation, and I believe this is more of the same noise from implacable critics of Republicans.

I think Trump could use more tact and thoughtful reflection before speaking to the media, and I still think he should abstain from Twitter rants that often cause more harm than good. But the “fire and fury” from the new book reminds me of quote from Macbeth: “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Like Jim Mattis, I wish the rest of Washington was too busy doing their jobs to read and even celebrate juicy gossip.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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