February 8, 2017

Donald Trump has a weird relationship with Sean Spicer:

... the devastating “Saturday Night Live” caricature of Spicer that aired over the weekend -- in which a belligerent Spicer was spoofed by a gum-chomping, super soaker-wielding Melissa McCarthy in drag -- did not go over well internally at a White House in which looks matter.

... it was Spicer’s portrayal by a woman that was most problematic in the president’s eyes, according to sources close to him....

"Trump doesn't like his people to look weak," added a top Trump donor.

Trump, as we know, sent Spicer out the day after the inaugural to insist that Barack Obama's inauguration crowds were no larger than Trump's; subsequently, The Washington Post reported this:

Many critics thought Spicer went too far and compromised his integrity. But in Trump’s mind, Spicer’s attack on the news media was not forceful enough.

And we were told by The New York Times this week that Trump "almost always makes time to monitor Mr. Spicer’s performance at the daily briefings, summoning him to offer praise or criticism."

I think when Trump looks at Spicer, he sees himself. (To Trump, press briefings must look a lot like campaign rallies.) And when Trump reacts to Spicer, I bet he's channeling his father. (The Times reports that "the only family picture on the shelf behind Mr. Trump’s desk is a small black-and-white photograph of that boss, Frederick Christ Trump.") Michael D'Antonio, a biographer of Donald Trump, has written this about Fred Trump:

... Trump’s basic philosophy of living, instilled by his fiercely ambitious, workaholic father, ... is fairly simple and severe: Life is mainly combat; the law of the jungle rules; pretty much all that matters is winning or losing and rules are made to be broken.

I'm sure Donald was taught early on that there's nothing worse for a male than to appear female. I'm sure he's passing on that lesson right now to his surrogate son.

I agree with Atrios's suggestion that if Trump thinks it's abhorrent for a man to be portrayed by a woman, then someone like Meryl Streep should take over from Alec Baldwin as Saturday Night Live's designated Trump. On Twitter last night, I said that Melissa McCarthy could play Trump; in response, there was a better suggestion:

A black woman as Trump? And the woman who was harassed by Milo Yiannopoulos's goons? I really like that idea.

****

UPDATE: Rosie O'Donnell is offering to play Steve Bannon on SNL. Interesting, although Bannon doesn't seem to crave Trump's approval (in fact, he seems to think Trump ought to crave his), and he probably wouldn't care if Trump suggested that he'd been emasculated by the portrayal. Better to stick with surrogate son Spicer. Or hire a woman to play Trump himself. Or, maybe even better, hire women to play Eric and Donald Jr. -- that might get a rise out of the president.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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