Quick Takes: Babysitting the Mad King

* Apparently Trump’s campaign staff have some pointers for White House aides whose job it is to babysit the mad king.

President Donald Trump’s former campaign staffers claim they cracked the code for tamping down his most inflammatory tweets, and they say the current West Wing staff would do well to take note.

The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.

* Ezra Klien suggests that “Donald Trump is dangerous when he’s losing.”

In the aftermath of Trump’s election, I spoke to top liberals terrified that Trump would outflank them, and quickly. If he had given a conciliatory inaugural address, named some compromise candidates to key posts, filled his administration with competent veterans of government, and began his term by working on an infrastructure bill that Chuck Schumer could support, he would be at or above 60 percent in the polls, the media would be covering him positively, and the Democratic Party would be split between those who wanted to work with Trump and those who wanted to resist everything he did. In that world, Trump might be a big fan of America’s political institutions right now.

Liberals aren’t afraid Trump will outflank them anymore. He launched his presidency with a series of speeches, appointments, and executive orders that have made him radioactive among congressional Democrats. He’s running an understaffed, inexperienced government even as he provokes our enemies and alienates our friends. Trump is burning both political capital and time. It is significantly less likely now than it was a month ago that he will be able to replace Obamacare or pass a tax reform bill.

This is the hard part about failure in American politics: It feeds on itself, perpetuates itself. Trump’s low poll numbers make it harder for him to win Democratic support on, well, anything. The inability to get anything done feeds his low poll numbers. The same goes for how Trump runs his White House. The Trump administration is a chaotic, leaky place, and that leads to negative press coverage of the Trump White House, which leads to more chaos and leaks as scared aides try to push blame for the disaster onto their rivals.

It is easy to imagine Trump, in a year, cornered in his own White House, furious at the manifold enemies he blames for his failures, and cocooned within an ever-smaller and more radical group of staffers and media outlets that tell him what he wants to hear and feed his grievances and resentments.

* Those two articles remind me of one of the points psychiatrists made about the fact that there are no good options when it comes to dealing with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

There are only two ways to deal with someone with NPD, and they are both dangerous. There is no healthy way of interacting with someone with this affliction. If you criticize them they will lash out at you and if they have a great deal of power, that can be consequential. If you compliment them it only acts to increase the delusional and grandiose reality the sufferer has created, causing him to be even more reliant on constant and endless compliments and unwavering support.

* Trump has been fond of blaming the Democrats for delays in confirmation of his nominees. But there’s much more to that story.

There are 549 key positions in President Donald Trump’s administration that require Senate confirmation. Trump has yet to nominate anyone to 515 of them. According to Max Stier, the CEO of the nonpartisan Center for Presidential Transition, when it comes to political appointments, Trump is lagging behind almost every recent president — and he has a long way to go.

* Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an amazing capacity for hypocrisy.

Nearly 1,000 people jeered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he drove to a speech Tuesday where he told local business leaders that “winners make policy and the losers go home.”

That comes from the same man who did everything he could to rally the “losers” to obstruct anything the “winners” in 2008 attempted to accomplish.

* We have conflicting reports on whip counts for the DNC Chair race, which will take place this Saturday. First there’s this from The Hill.

The Hill has identified the stances of 240 DNC members, either through their private responses to a survey circulated over the past week or from public endorsements.

Out of those who responded, Ellison leads with 105 supporters to Perez’s 57. The remaining major candidates have less than a dozen supporters each, while more than 50 DNC members remain undecided.

* The Associated Press reports a different tally.

Perez, who was encouraged by Obama administration officials to run for the post, has emerged as the front-runner with the backing of 205 committee members, according to independent Democratic strategists tracking the race. The strategists spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to discuss the voting publicly. Ellison, backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters, has the support of 153 members.

* Finally, for some cathartic relief, go check out Phillip Bump’s “Yell-O-Matic.”

On Tuesday, a number of elected officials held town halls and a number of constituents yelled at them. Clips of the yelling spread quickly online. Since one of the secondary joys of people yelling at elected officials is watching people yell at elected officials, we decided to make a little tool that facilitates that vicarious thrill.

Pick a politician on our YELL-O-MATIC™ and watch them get yelled at — by one person or many, recently or years ago…Yelling is part of the American political system, one that should be embraced and savored.

As is schadenfreude.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.