A Sad Case of Stockholm Syndrome

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The grizzled detective pondered the crime scene laid out before his eyes. He pushed back the brim of his hat, bent down, and reached out to touch the cooling body of one of the victims. He rolled the body over, and it was apparent that the victim had fallen upon his own sword. Same posture as all of the others who spread drying blood into the exquisite carpets of the cabinet room. The detective looked over to his assistant, who held a notebook and pen, awaiting the wisdom about to come from the veteran crime solver.


"It appears to be a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome," said the detective. "Notice how all of these Cabinet Secretaries, Senators, and Congressmen, all managed to off themselves with what was available to them." The detective pointed over to one of the victims, who obviously had a difficult time in completing the task. All he had was a letter opener, and it was clear that he had fallen repeatedly upon the less than sharp point until it pierced his heart.


The detective turned away from the scene in front of him in disgust. "We'd best go and take a look at the scene as it played out." Fortunately for posterity's sake, all of the meetings in the cabinet room were now televised live. The cameras ran unattended, which kept the lying media from having a presence in the room. The cabinet room's new nickname was Soundstage 3, befitting the experience of the resident of the house. For the resident understood a good show, and slowly his administration became the highest profile reality TV show ever scripted. You can assume a regal posture if you only have to be on your best while the cameras are rolling.


The scene was cued up for the detective to peruse. At first, nothing was different from many of the previous meetings in this room where both cabinet members, and Republican members of the House and Senate gathered. They each took turns heaping unadulterated mounds of fetid praise upon the personage of the resident of the house. One after another, each speaker offered their undying gratitude towards the resident, the whole session an attempt at one-upmanship, where the trick was to employ the most cloying and excessive adjectives and lay them at the feet of the resident. The resident sat in his chair in the center of the gathering with his arms folded against his expansive torso, and occasionally favored a particularly exceptional offering with a bit of a nod and a slight upward twist of his mouth.


Finally, the last person offered up his praise. As befitted the established tradition, that was the Vice President, who set a new record for the number of times he compared the resident of the house with the greatest humans who had ever set foot upon the planet. He extended his own record for the number of times he declared his undying gratitude at having the opportunity to serve the resident. With that, the resident of the house uncrossed his arms, and began to enunciate the reason for the meeting.


"I was just in a meeting, they were telling me, it was impossible to get to 270, but we did it, a massive thing even though there was no collusion, no collusion with the Russians, though the Democrats did have collusion, they got that dossier, they used it to spy on me, no way we had collusion with the Russians, but those Democrats, they took Hillary's e-mails and sent them to the server which they bleached. I mean, can you believe they poured bleach all over the server?" As he spoke, he picked up several ball bearings that were arranged in front of the resident, and began to turn them over and over in his hands.


He began to speak with more urgency. "Now, the Democrats want us to open our borders, want us to stop spending money for defense, they want us to surrender. SURRENDER!" He slammed his hand down on the table and the ball bearings scattered all over the table. Several people hurriedly chased after the rolling bearings, and gathered them and placed them back in front of the resident."And there's good people on both side, both sides, nothing wrong with being in favor of your race, those blacks have their own organizations." He looked up and down the table, watching the exaggerated nodding of the heads of the meeting participants. He really had them in the palm of his hand. He looked down where his hand had found the ball bearings and was twisting them around, again and again.


"We don't need those rapists, those criminals they are sending from their shitholes. No way they'll ever want to go back to their mud huts, we need more Norwegians here. And we can make it happen. Now my people have told me of something that happened a long time ago - long ago. They wanted the people sent back over to Africa, to Liberia. That's what we can do, get all of them sent back to Liberia or some other country over there. They won't be taking a knee while our anthem is playing if they're back home in Africa. We can do it!"


There was a stunned silence in the room. But slowly, a murmur began to emerge from the throats of the meeting participants. It swelled and was amplified as everyone joined the chant that became a coherent call. "We! Can! Do! It!" The chant echoed off of the walls, and soon even the staid Republicans were dancing around their chairs, arms linked as they circled around each other. The crowd was psyched. They were enraptured. They were prisoners of the resident, sharing in his delusions, unaware that what they had just committed their own political suicide. They had just been shown on live TV agreeing to a new proposal to forcibly re-segregate the country by expelling their fellow citizens.


There was one participant in the room who had thought this through. His voice called out to the resident. "Do you think maybe folks will think this is racist?"


The change that came over the resident's face was startling. A flush of red colored his visage, and his mouth extended forward as spittle flew from his lips as he shouted. "How dare you! How dare you question my plan! My plan is the greatest plan ever made. I am the greatest! And who are you to question me? You all can kill yourselves for all I care. Come along, Mike." The Vice President sprang to his feet and quickly followed the resident, who was storming out of the room. Soon afterwards, the cameras captured the images of the Cabinet secretaries, Senators, and members of the House all falling over themselves, searching for the tools to effect their own demise, which played on and on until there was no movement left in the room save for the slow spread of blood across the table and the rugs.


The detective turned off the replay of the scene, and turned towards his assistant. "I can remember when the resident started. There were Republicans who would stand up to him. They told him when his conduct was unacceptable. They claimed they'd never work with him. Then he won. And they slowly, slowly fell under his spell. You could see it with Graham. He'd been quoted as saying that he was a kook, was unqualified. But recently, he said the problem with the press was that they were calling him an unqualified kook. He'd been captured. It happened to all of them. They realized this was there one, best chance to implement their goals of cutting taxes, pleasing their donors. They never understood they were selling their souls in the exchange." The detective stood up, and got ready to leave the room. "No point in investigating further. It was obvious that these prisoners grew to believe whole heartedly in his mission, so much so that they were willing to follow his off-hand suggestion to its logical conclusion."


He left the room and the medical teams came in and started to remove the bodies inside of the cabinet room.


Originally posted on my blog at https://evenabrokenclock.blog


Flying Junior Added Jan 13, 2018 - 3:43pm
Dark satire to be sure.  But timely.  I enjoyed how you scripted the monster.  His jumbled, almost meaningless word salads, word salads.
Why not follow the other lemmings off the cliff?  They've been capitulating and humiliating themselves since day one.
Speaking of which, guess which immigrants are being targeted by USCIS for deportation today.  That's right.  The refugees from Liberia.  Time to go back home now, kids.
Maureen Foster Added Jan 13, 2018 - 5:57pm
What you witnessed in that “shithole” remark is the essence of what it means not to be PC.  We all know that some countries provide America with a countless supply of low-skilled and poorly educated people, who often come here illegally or have overstayed a VISA making them now illegal residents.  Meanwhile many countries have a supply of educated and skilled people who would like to legally come here and work.  It would be nice if we had a president that said all this in a PC way, but stating the obvious is a welcome change from the BS we heard when Obama was in the White House. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Jan 13, 2018 - 6:16pm
Oh dear, yesterday I found two articles on my German news blog about the word 'shithole'. My browser search function showed me that the word 'Merkel' was not mentioned once on the news blog frontpage. Only in democracies do the media report on the own government eventually.
Anyway, I liked it. Africa is a shithole. So is Haiti.
Flying Junior Added Jan 14, 2018 - 1:25am
Well there you have it Broken Clock.  It is a welcome change.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:10pm
FJ - ah yes, the refugees from Ebola. Glad you enjoyed the dark satire - I started writing a standard piece about Stockholm Syndrome and how the Republican establishment had been captured by the cult of personality that is Donald Trump, but somehow the image of Peter Falk as Colombo crept into the scene, and I found myself relaying images. I've personally been waiting for a moment about the strawberries - the two scoops issue came close, but not quite there.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:16pm
Maureen, I don't think the PC aspect of it is the primary issue here. I believe the issue is that we have not been able to have a rational discussion about immigration for decades. As such, we have developed a policy by default - we issue TPS for nations with humanitarian issues, but never put an end point into the discussion. Just these ongoing extensions. Well, now we have people who came here under TPS and now their children born here are graduating from high school. We should have the discussion on how to end a TPS issue, but to just issue an end date after decades does not seem like an optimal way to do things.
The meeting in the White House where the crude comments were made, was an attempt to present a true compromise. All of the items that Trump had laid out were addressed, and presented to someone who was shown in his hour of The Apprentice as saying he'd sign anything brought to him, no preconditions. Little good that statement was, like most of the utterances from him.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 14, 2018 - 12:21pm
Benjamin, the world is evolving away from PSS (Permanent Shithole Status). Nicholas Kristof had a good column around the first of the year saying that things aren't as bad as we think The tremendous poverty is lifting, but no, there are still places where people live in tarpaper shacks with sewage running along the side of the road. I used to live in Memphis and if you drove south along highway 61 you'd see those places in north Mississippi. Somehow we have to acknowledge that most places our forefathers came from would have been considered shitholes by today's standards.
BTW, agree with you on your Cain and Abel post about morals changing over time. This is another case where nationalities viewed disparagingly in the past are now held up as paragons of virtue in today's world. 
Thanks for your comment.
Sam Nowaczynski Added Jan 15, 2018 - 3:27am
In light of the fact Republicans and Democrats appear closer than ever before (sans 1986) in passing comprehensive immigration reform, I find this Trump bashing article incredibly disingenuous.  Back when the Democrats had the votes to pass anything they wanted, it wasn’t like they pushed immigration reform. 
You may see Trump as having all sorts of mental deficiencies, I see a man who’s operated at a higher intellectual level than the rest of us.  Think about what he’s trying to do, the Far Right is in a frenzy over illegal immigration and Trump is about to grant a form of residency to thousands of illegal immigrants.  From the “shithole” comment to the recent convenience store crackdowns, I think this is all part of his effort to soften the Right for doing the very opposite thing that he campaigned on. 
Flying Junior Added Jan 15, 2018 - 5:15am
Good Goddess Sam!
The bitches that torpedoed the last two efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform are more or less holding all of the cards right now.
What are you?  Some type of political satirist?
No.  I don't think so.  Are you completely out-of-touch with reality?
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 12:13pm
I see a man who’s operated at a higher intellectual level than the rest of us. 
Ah-huh. Means we will never understand his genius due to a lack of IQ. Is he working for and with MK Ultra ? LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 15, 2018 - 12:17pm
I tend to believe that you have made bad experiences in your native Poland (am I correct ?). But that does not mean that you have to applaud someone (the more if you, as we, don't understand his genius as well as you said) who is engaged to put the whole planet in turmoil with his actions.
But maybe that's the genius we all can't comprehend.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 15, 2018 - 1:36pm
Sam, thanks for your comment. I didn't realize I was being incredibly disingenuous. I thought I was being satirical.
Sam, I ask you to compare Donald Trumps words today with his words of 20-30 years ago. I ask you especially to look at the transcripts of his interviews and try to parse some of them into coherent statements. It is apparent to me that there has been significant deterioration in his ability to phrase his thoughts and provide complicated concepts. The guy obviously had significant intelligence, but it appears to be fading, and according to some, fading rapidly. What is left is the unmitigated ego and the horrendous insecurity that is driving his behavior. As many have noted, it is apparent that the best way to "play" Donald Trump is to flatter him obsequiously. Observe the cabinet meetings that I satirize. They are brown-nosing so as to enable themselves to maintain a working relationship that is not tarnished by abuse heaped by the leader.
No, there is no genius to the behavior and methods we are seeing from the President. There is only a flailing attempt at convincing himself that he is the greatest of all time, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. The economy and its animal spirited ramp upward is not due to his genius, it is due to the belief from business and investors that all of the "bad" things that protected the citizens from rapacious companies will be banished. Sometime soon, we will see reversion to the mean and then what will Donald Trump exclaim as his accomplishments.
Stone and FJ - thanks for your comments and support.
wsucram15 Added Jan 16, 2018 - 11:41am
EABC- GOOD ONE..made me chuckle a bit.
Well Well sam is back at bashing people again.  I wrote an article about a hotel stay and he bashed my politics, well now he is going to get my politics.
Here it goes..."In light of the fact Republicans and Democrats appear closer than ever before (sans 1986) in passing comprehensive immigration reform, I find this Trump bashing article incredibly disingenuous"  Tough "shithole"
The dems know they will lose so much support if they budge an inch on immigration, 88% of the country is against this deportation and want A clean DACA passed along with no further family separation.
What is happening is hateful and somewhat political.  Dems know this and if they support anything but immigration reform..they are done.   I have actually been on phone calls where this was conveyed to Representatives.   For now (next 6 months), this is a Republican issue, let them live or die by the sword of Trump.
Trump is an asshole. I can give you multiple reasons why that have nothing to do with him being President.  But he in his private life was ineffective as a leader (his team was good) and he marketed well. But his mouth and morals caused ALL of his problems legally for decades which is substantially documented both in court records and with the police.  Did you know he ran a tax evasion scam and got busted? Yeah.  Or that he tried to rip of the people of SC and they figured him out?
This latest thing is no surprise...why should it be.  He ran with mafia (part of construction business in NYC) also for decades and they hate anyone that is dark.  Come on. He hires the immigrants and poor to rip them off, unfortunately I had to study his poor cases, bad examples and why he lost those in labor law classes. His attorneys are even bad. Good with private deals but not in labor disputes  with experienced attorneys.
Now I tried to give him a fair shake when he took office, but he is just one continued phrase after another someone who disrespects everything I believe in.  I have pages and pages of research on this guy started because of another person on here. 
Also dont bring up Clinton with me..did not support her, not a talking point with me. If anyone did something wrong..they need to go to jail, end of story.
Try doing some research on all of this, you might agree with him like most of his base does, but you are not the majority and I think this woke up many who will be out in droves in the next few elections.   Both parties need to wake up..I dont think this is a safe path for Dems either...  
BUT..before voters put any Republicans back in office,  people will vote out all career politicians first, with very few exceptions.  Thats what  the "liberalists" are saying.  Plus there are a few outstanding issues yet for the election that may affect the outcomes. While the SC case has not had a decision yet on gerrymandering..NC case will weigh in on that...things are hopefullly going to change for Republicans, to the lawful and correct way of dividing the districts vote. 
Johnny Fever Added Jan 16, 2018 - 12:24pm
Regarding your response to Sam,
I see nothing wrong with Trump’s mental or physical capacity.  To be sure, I’m sure he’s not the same man he was 20-30 years ago, are any of us?  Speaking of capacity for the job, I wonder how many other times Hillary collapsed that weren’t on caught on camera. 
As for Trump’s intelligence, I agree with Sam, the guy is at another level.  You’re simply too partisan to objectively assess Trump’s mental or physical capacity for the job. 
Have you forgotten that this article is your satirical take on Trump and those meetings?  As any satirist well knows, reality is something different.  I will concede that Trump’s biggest vice is vanity.  However, the more I get to know Trump and his tactics, the more I realize how important vanity is to the job of POTUS.  Trump knows that if people like you, he can accomplish anything.
The reason I like him is that he’s proven to be a friend to business and industry, rather than hostile to business and industry.  It’s our businesses and industries that provide our superior way of life.  So I couldn’t agree more, it’s not his genius that caused the stock market and economy to rise, it’s simply the fact we finally have a capitalist in the White House. 
wsucram15 Added Jan 16, 2018 - 12:32pm
Johnny FEVER..Where have you been?   Wow its been so long since you have been on here.
Dave Volek Added Jan 16, 2018 - 12:46pm
I liked the start of this piece. But when it became obviously political, I somehow lost my enthusiasm. And I had a hard time connecting the meeting proceedings to the R's falling on their own swords.
I think you can take this concept to another direction. Create a new country with new political parties. Let readers come to their own conclusions about the symbolisim, especially when a political leader becomes a cult leader--in the minds of many of his her fervent supporters.
Mr. Trump will no longer be president one day, and USA will still be around. My fear is about the next leader or two, learning from the Trump experience. That leader could come from either party. That is why you should neutralize this story.
On another note is that Josef Stalin used to receive standing ovations that lasted for hours. He had his secret police document those who sat down first--and they were "dealt with."
Bill H. Added Jan 16, 2018 - 12:49pm
Welcome back Johnny!
Sorry, but I've always seen Trump as a ultra-narcissistic, egotistical, deceptive man-child who is only concerned about his fame, fortune, and self image, way before he even considered running for office (of which he never intended on getting elected to in the first place).
Trump does not have the ability to think or reason, he only reacts. He has NO compassion whatsoever, and seeks joy in both creating and observing chaos, division, and conflict, along with manipulating easily-convinced people to his advantage.
I worked under a super-narcissistic boss for over 12 years, and he was a clone of Trump in every way possible. When Trump came on the scene, I knew exactly what we would be facing. Once everyone sees beyond the smoke screen, it will become obvious.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 17, 2018 - 1:17pm
Johnny, you obviously have a reputation here that I'm not familiar with. I joined in May of last year. I would agree with you that having a capitalist in office is not a bad thing, but one of the many problems with Trump is that he has never in his life been accountable to an outside entity. If he had taken a company public and then had to deal with investors and a board of directors, I would have been more favorably impressed. But Trump has a long history of business failure as recorded through his multiple bankruptcies. His ascension to power is more a tribute to the strength of crony capitalism than it is a testament to his business acumen.
My technique in this post was indeed satire, and I recognize that exaggeration is a key part of satire. But the man has given much material that may be satirized, and perhaps not be too far off of the mark. The cabinet meetings that are adulation sessions are truly worrisome. The fact that those who work closest with this man have to kiss up so much in order to maintain a working relationship is frightening.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 17, 2018 - 1:20pm
Dave - sorry that I lost you on this one. It was a bit over the top, but it just wrote itself, so I'll let it stand as is. Next post that I do that is satire, I'll take your suggestions under advisement. You never know where inspiration is going to come from.
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 17, 2018 - 1:23pm
Bill H. - I agree with your assessment. I think I saw beyond the Trump smokescreen way back in the 1980's, and my perspective on his performance has never changed. I must say though, that he has met every expectation I ever had on his performance in office. That's good?
Geez, how fast a year can go by. At least the late night comics are knee-deep in material.
Johnny Fever Added Jan 18, 2018 - 12:52pm
The fact he’s always been on top and accountable to nobody is a product of his success and not something I would criticize him over.  While I agree there are things to criticize, I don’t see an excessive amount.
Besides, throughout his career Trump has been accountable to investors and bankers.  So the fact he doesn’t operate a publicly traded company is no reason to be critical of him.  I commend him for building such an enterprise without going public. 
To be sure Trump has a long history of business failures, what successful business man doesn’t?  Did I mention he’s worth $4 billion? Crony capitalism…based on what are you making that accusation?
In short, I think your list of criticism is rather pathetic.  Don’t mistake me, between the hair, his vanity and a few stupid tweets there is a lot of material on Trump. 
One thing we know he didn’t do is send $99,999,999.99, 13 times to a state sponsor of terrorism.  I think Obama left off the penny as a means to more easily hide the transfers from the American people.  Satirize that...not very funny, is it?
Flying Junior Added Jan 19, 2018 - 3:42am
One thing we know he didn’t do is send $99,999,999.99, 13 times to a state sponsor of terrorism.
Please provide the appropriate link to Russia TV, Johnny.
Johnny Fever Added Jan 19, 2018 - 8:25am
Flying Junior,
Are you doubting that under Obama’s direction 13 payments of $99,999,999.99 were made to Iran?  Before I do your homework, answer this: if you conceded it actually happened, would that change your negative opinion of Trump and positive opinion of Obama? I suspect the answer is "no."  If so, I have no interest in doing your homework, feel free to continue opining from a position of ignorance. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 19, 2018 - 11:02am
Johnny, we will have to agree to disagree on Donald's basic temperament as far as being suited for the position he holds. That's what makes a contest interesting.
I have read the Michael Wolff book this week (took over a week for it to come into our independent bookstore). While it is obviously not 100% accurate, the picture it paints, combined with the external view we've had of the administration, reveals a group of folks who are totally overmatched in terms of dealing with the realities of political life. Donald Trump clearly personalizes all criticism of his administration as being unfair to him, and then lashes out via his twitter feed.
Flying Junior Added Jan 20, 2018 - 2:32am
It's just I look into these things and learn how unimportant they are.  Then I basically forget them.  I have no idea what a bone it is for conservatives.
The same thing more or less happened with the fake uranium one scandal.  I'm like WTF are you guys talking about?  I forget how seriously you guys take all of this stuff.  I actually never had heard of it.  But it's really nothing at all to worry about to me.  The conservatives had a good laugh at my ignorance.
I guess I am ignorant of Obama administration scandals.

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