Quick Takes: Obama Weighs In

* As we all know, Barack and Michelle Obama are taking a much-deserved vacation right now. But with Trump’s executive order on immigrants and refugees, the former president has weighed in via his spokesperson Kevin Lewis.

President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.

Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith.

* Unprecedented times perhaps call for unprecedented measures. So I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear more like this:

John D. Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist who taught psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, minces as few words as the president in his professional assessment of Trump.

“Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president,” says Gartner, author of “In Search of Bill Clinton: A Psychological Biography.” Trump, Gartner says, has “malignant narcissism,” which is different from narcissistic personality disorder and which is incurable.

Gartner acknowledges that he has not personally examined Trump, but says it’s obvious from Trump’s behavior that he meets the diagnostic criteria for the disorder, which include anti-social behavior, sadism, aggressiveness, paranoia and grandiosity. Trump’s personality disorder (which includes hypomania) is also displayed through a lack of impulse control and empathy, and “a feeling that people … don’t recognize their greatness.

“We’ve seen enough public behavior by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably,” says Gartner. His comments run afoul of the so-called Goldwater Rule, the informal term for part of the ethics code of the American Psychiatric Association saying it is wrong to provide a professional opinion of a public figure without examining that person and gaining consent to discuss the evaluation. But Gartner says the Trump case warrants breaking that ethical code.

* On the incompetence demonstrated by Trump’s executive order about immigrants and refugees, one has to wonder whether or not the administration considered things like this:

* Sports reporter and columnist Sally Jenkins came up with an interesting assessment of the Trump administration’s first 10 days.

* It gets exhausting trying to track Trump’s lies. Johnathan Chait gives us four he’s told on his immigration executive order alone.

1. President Obama did the same thing.
2. Only 109 people were detained.
3. There were some big problems, but it was caused by Delta’s computer system.
4. The premier president loves surprises. Possibly the most interesting defense is that the administration was unable to use the normal interagency review process because it would have tipped off the terrorists.

On that last one, he points to this tweet from Trump:

But that leads to another lie:

* Finally, there has been some talk about whether or not there will even be a White House Correspondents Dinner this year. Even if it doesn’t happen, there will be this:

“Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee is planning to hold her own dinner the same night as the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, TBS announced on Monday.

The “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will take place April 29 at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C…

All proceeds for “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner” will go to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.