Captain Shitstorm | William Thomas Online | William Thomas

Captain Shitstorm

Captain "ahab" Trump



by William Thomas



Like some apocalyptic Ahab, the captain stands alone on the quarterdeck pursuing the phantasm of his own greatness through the turbulent tides of his infantile character and the latest rumours riling his demented “mind”. There is no one on the helm. The spokes of the ship’s wheel spin freely, first one way, then the other, tracing a drunken wake beyond all known landmarks.   


A president with ADD-like attention disconnects, the Donald “likes” single-page memos with lots of white space and eye-candy maps, charts, graphs and pictures. Lots of pictures. According to one source among many horrified staffers, National Security Council officials include his name in “as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned.”



Shitstorms often start, points out Robert Jervis, Professor of International Politics at Columbia University, with wishful thinking that can’t see obstacles and costs, and also neglect “the crucial fact that perception is strongly guided by the framework that observers bring to an event“ – which is why imperious captains of state “are so often are surprised when others interpret their behavior” differently than they figured.


“Trump can fire Comey by simply writing a letter, but the political impact of this move rests with how others see it, which is something the president can influence, but cannot control,” Prof. Jervis explains.

To paraphrase AlterNet’s Paul Waldman, as Captain Shitstorm prowls the quarterdeck during the dogwatch, “alone with his thoughts,” his wife and young son on a distant shore, the crew muttering in their sleep belowdecks, “it wouldn’t be surprising if Trump os becoming increasingly convinced that no one is loyal to him and there is no one he can trust.”

Refusing a Hitlerian “pledge of loyalty” and pursuing Russiagate against captain’s orders, Comey showed his disloyalty – the ultimate sin onboard any ship of state. “Look, he's a showboat, he's a grandstander,” Trump whined. On a baloney billionaire’s quarterdeck, Waldman worries, “there's only room for one of those.”


Trump is a standing joke on Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah show


Where will the weary captain find loyalty among a crew that, except for his kids, mostly came onboard only recently. He doesn't trust them. His administration leaks worse than the ship, which is foundering even as he ponders the contradictory jumble of half-read conspiracies, Sesame Street-level security briefings, and constant encouragement and jeers from teevee evangelists and late-night comedians. Thanks to all the freely flowing scuttlebutt, “infighting and screw-ups”, the captain appears increasingly as a lumbering buffoon.


Not even a dozen tweets and lashes keep the mutineers in check. Some jump ship. Others are pushed. “And things keep getting worse.”


“Trump is being perpetually stymied by… his clinical delusions, in which he believes certain things are real that clearly aren’t; his political ignorance; and, of course, his erratic kneejerk style of blurting gibberish and lies,” observers Bob Cesca for Salon. The captain’s inexplicable confession on NBC News that he fired Comey because he wanted the Russia scandal to end “screams out obstruction of justice.


Meanwhile, officers of the deck constantly attempt to channel their captain’s mercurial outbursts “by strategically passing along articles that play to his ego and deep paranoia,” reports Matt Shuham, managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. When shown two Time magazine covers – a recent issue describing global warming, and a 1970’s internet hoax warning of an imminent “Ice Age,” Politico reports – “Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy.”


Then, when a “conspiratorialist” named Charley blurted that deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh was “the source behind a bunch of leaks,” Walsh was put into a longboat and set adrift.



With the crew clandestinely casting the I Ching and reading entrails to divine intentions even their captain doesn’t know, his Orders of the Day are whatever seems to be happening on teevee. After former aides wrote an op-ed in the New York Times supporting a tax overhaul, the captain startled his own aides, Politico tattled, radioing in to AP to expect an immediate announcement “on taxes." 

Just in time for the hundredth day of mayhem, the wire service dutifully disseminated his back-of-the-napkin "tax plan” ordering enough corporate/billionaire tax cuts and public spending to chainsaw enough new holes in the hull to sink the ship.


“His own mood,” two of the crew report, “has become sour and dark.” The captain is “turning against most of his aides – even his son-in-law – “describing them in a fury as ‘incompetent’.” He should know.


“Rest easy,” say three deserters (in so many words). “Bored by security briefings, our guy is too clueless to leak anything serious to anyone.


Problem is, this know-it-all, clue-starved captain shows no interest in ship-handling, storm avoidance, safe navigation or all that vicious infighting in the hold. “To call Trump a con man is to insult hardworking, skilled con men and women the world over. Trump just recognized easy marks when he saw them, and told them what they wanted to hear,” comments Kali Holloway for AlterNet.


“And what they wanted to hear was that someone else’s suffering would help them get ahead. On the rare occasions, he shows up to work instead of golfing, Trump screws up with a frequency that can’t be measured by any currently available metric.”



If their own paranoia wasn’t bad enough, NATO is desperately trying to keep their most vitriolic critic and newfound fan entertained. To avoid taxing the Donald’s notoriously short attention span, reports Robbie Gramer, “the alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes. And skip the usual summary of “NATO’s latest strategic stance.”


“It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child – someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,” blabbed an anxious insider. “They’re freaking out. “There is a fear among some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers about leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.


When the captain proudly demonstrates his jaw-dropping ignorance – or simply loses the thread in gams with other captains of state – General McMaster’s attempts to “insert caveats or gentle corrections” into his impetuous non-sequiturs has earned him a grousing that McMaster “is a pain.”



Meanwhile, reports Shane Goldmacher for Politico, Captain Shitstorm’s chief of staff “has to tell staffers to stop giving Trump things to read, because he’ll believe anything that's put in front of him.”


In other words, Holloway harrumphs, whether ashore or all at sea, “the president doesn’t know, understand or care about one of his primary functions as president.


(One example:) Despite the Sierra Club’s findings that nationwide, “clean energy jobs outnumber all fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to 1; and they outnumber all jobs in coal and gas by 5 to 1," Trump is chopping renewable energy and energy efficiency programs by 70%. Now that’s taking command!

God only knows what this imposter will tweet next in pursuit of his White Supremacist (Male) Whale. One thing’s for sure, we won’t have to wait long.


“Trump not only forces his staff to adjust on the fly to his seat-of-the-pants decision-making, but then he also publicly contradicts the version of events they come up with as the best possible spin for what he's said. And then,” Chris Cillizza comments, “he grouses about how poor a job the communications staff is doing, complaints that inevitably leak to the press and undermine further attempts by people like Spicer to retain credibility.”



By nature, a lone wolf and provocateur, Cillizza adds, “Trump often says and does things for the reaction they elicit. But his actions also have consequences.” With his crew increasingly “unwilling to subject themselves” to daily abuse, the result is a “more and more isolated Trump, increasingly surrounded by people afraid to tell him when he's wrong. Even when there are great big drooling rocks dead ahead.


Whatever secrets Captain Shitstorm inveterately blurts to Russian intelligence officers dancing the hornpipe with him on the aptly-named poopdeck are legally and automatically declassified.


“But whimsical and boastful misuse of that authority, in the presence of an adversary power, is an extremely serious offense that requires immediate congressional investigation,” spoils Joe Conason, editor of the National Memo.


Sound General Quarters!


“Because he committed an act that would be considered criminal and perhaps treasonous,” Conason continues, “his apparent disdain for normal security and intelligence protocols represents an ongoing national emergency.


Not to worry. It’s only a matter of time – and probably not much – before Captain Ahab totally melts down on camera.


This will be even more fun than the movie.



Climate Change vs. Captain “Ahab” Trump’s USA 



*primary Main Circuit: ship’s intercom addressing all spaces


Writer’s Interview Clip:

After circumnavigating the Pacific Ocean under sail, William Thomas says he now regrets coming ashore. "If I ignored an oncoming line squall, or a container ship on a collision course, I’d be dead,” he says. “Along with my crew. But lubbers like Trump remain fixated on empty distractions, while ignoring dire threats. This isn’t just 'sad!’ It’s demented." 

Abandon Ship!

 发件人     William Thomas 2019