The White House Mess
Michael Wolff’s The Fire and the Fury (also, get it for your Kindle or get it on Audible) is the talk of the town and certainly the book of the moment. It jumped to #1 bestseller list from nowhere at about 11:00 p.m. last night, which has to make the publisher pretty happy. Some preview takeaways:
- No one, including Trump, thought Donald Trump would win the 2016 election. Trump had laid substantial plans for post-election ventures.
- Since no one thought Trump would win, no one thought hanging around with disreputable characters and engaging in shady transactions was going to matter. Which explains things like why Michael Flynn was kept close to the center of things, despite knowledge that he’d had some questionable dealings with the Russian and Turkish government.
- Having had no real plans to win, there were no real plans to govern.
- Having had no real plans to govern, even purported subject matter experts were reduced to doing things like looking up policy proposals within their own disciplines on Wikipedia.
- Also having had no real plans to govern, no one thought to ask why the hell Michael Wolff was just sort of hanging around the transition office and later the West Wing with no particular agenda, employer, role to fill, or apparent boss.
- The internal power dynamics of the first year of the Trump White House resemble nothing so much as a banquet hosted by King Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Pregnant with intrigue, full of people ready to stab one another in the back, and decided ambiguity about whether anyone is in any sort of control of the situation at all.
And, of course, there’s all sorts of questions about Wolff’s integrity, veracity, and reliability. This, I suspect, is a good indication that the author has touched a nerve and is telling at least something truthful that hurt the people yelping loudest about them.
So there you go. I’ma buy this book tonight, which is something I wouldn’t likely have done had Donald Trump not sicced his attorneys on the author and publisher to silence them. Having proven the validity of the Streisand Effect, I expect to be ready for a full discussion soon.
If you’ve read it, are reading it, plan to read it, or have read the preview that New York magazine published, I’m particularly interested to hear from you.