Trump: I'm mentally stable and, like, really smart -- a very stable genius

I didn’t throw the “like” into the headline to be snarky. POTUS did. It’s a direct quote.

It’s crazy that some people thought that “gorilla channel” story was real, huh?

One thing you want to do when you’re accused in a bestselling book of being mentally unbalanced is to immediately hop onto Twitter and start sounding like Fredo Corleone with a head injury. Except, as David Frum points out, the Corleones at least had the good sense to keep Fredo away from power. Frum, no fan of Trump or his supporters, writes:

What sustains Trump now is the support of people who know what he is, but back him anyway. Republican political elites who know him for what he is, but who back him because they believe they can control and use him; conservative media elites who sense what he is, but who delight in the cultural wars he provokes; rank-and-file conservatives who care more about their grievances and hatreds than the governance of the country.

Eh. More than anything, what sustains him is the sense — true or not — that he’s outsourced his actual duties to more responsible actors. Ryan and McConnell write the bills; Mattis, McMaster, Kelly and the generals coordinate foreign policy. Occasionally POTUS pops up to say something provocative about North Korea or NATO’s obsolescence or a trade war with China but mostly he seems consumed with live-tweeting Fox News and settling grudges. With the “fake news media,” with his own Attorney General and former FBI director, and of course now with “Sloppy Steve”:

So long as he’s a figurehead president, Americans will marvel at his loose-cannon rhetoric but otherwise shrug it off. It’s the greatest show on earth. The stock market is stratospheric, the economy looks strong, ISIS is all but dead, Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, and most taxpayers just got a tax cut. If that keeps up, he can keep twitter-farting to his heart’s content. If it doesn’t keep up, if Honolulu ends up getting nuked because POTUS thought it’d be funny to accuse Kim Jong Un of having a micropenis, perceptions will change. Although ask yourself this: Given all of the successes I just rattled off, particularly the state of the economy, how much more popular would Trump be if he simply affected a more presidential demeanor? Subtract the rambling Twitter tributes to his own genius, the dong-waving about the size of his nuclear “button,” etc, and imagine him keeping a low public profile. What would his approval rating be? 50 percent? 55?

But that’s a silly hypothetical. This is who the man is. What good is it being the biggest star in the world if you can’t enjoy it?

One question about this morning’s tweets. Where did that odd stray “like” come from in the sentence, “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart”? You’d never include a gratuitous word like that in a piece of writing unless you were using it to deliberate effect, typically sarcastically. (“The president seems, like, really stable.”) Did Trump dictate these tweets to someone, possibly Dan Scavino, and then Scavino beamed them out verbatim without cleaning them up? If not, what’s up with the “like”? It invites mockery, especially since it comes in the course of him praising his own intelligence. Very strange.