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On “The Resistance,” Olbermann insists that Trump is genuinely mentally ill; in person, he says that his psychologist friends, despite never having treated the president, have remotely “diagnosed” Trump with any number of mental illnesses, up to and including psychopathy.The argument feels wishful and familiar, bringing to mind challenges to Obama’s birth or religion from fearful, frustrated or opportunistic voices on the right.Only a few scattered voices (Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” Michael Moore’s documentaries, Al Franken’s books) were breaking through, and some grand plans (like the Air America radio network) struggled to make an impact anything like their right-wing counterparts.It was Olbermann — the anchor whose five-year stint at ESPN’s “Sports Center” helped bring a wry, freewheeling humor to sports news — who answered the question of what a fiery liberal television commentator might look like.Back then, less than a decade after the debut of Fox News, the political right had already created an enormously profitable and influential universe built on partisan news and, more centrally, white rage.Liberals were scrambling to figure out what a left-leaning response to it might look like.(The Trump White House declined to comment.) This, Olbermann told me, is why he thinks Trump is mentally unfit for office: He can’t reconcile the man he knew with the one who ran for president, and is unnerved by the difference.The Trump he knew, he claims, had “no bluster.” Accounts from others who have known Trump for decades say his personality has been entirely consistent — even if it makes him prone to professing different beliefs depending on the situation.
It goes like this: Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was a Roman consul and military leader until 460 B.
“I think I helped open a door for criticism against Bush and particularly the politicizing of terror in 2005, 2006, 2007,” he told me.
These were the years during which Olbermann had a prime-time cable-news show, millions of loyal viewers and a salary to match. During the last week of April, he appeared as a guest on the first episode of “The President Show,” a Comedy Central program hosted by a Trump impersonator. It’s a symbiotic relationship.” It was hard to know quite what to make of the interview — hard to tell how seriously the impersonator was taking Olbermann, and hard to tell how seriously to take Olbermann’s own self-mythologizing — but very easy to recall that “The Resistance” will lose its reason for being the instant Trump’s presidency ends.
George Washington has often been called the American Cincinnatus; he retired to Mount Vernon immediately following the Revolutionary War and stepped down as president after two terms.
Cincinnatus’ legacy has also been invoked more recently: There’s an echo of it in the Trump family’s frequent argument that their patriarch doesn’t to be president and is sacrificing a life of unworried luxury for the good of the country. “Sports.”Before Trump was Olbermann’s nemesis, Trump was Olbermann’s landlord.