We are all Sam Nunberg

Let's get something straight. I am Sam Nunberg. You are Sam Nunberg. In a way, every American who feels disoriente...

Posted: Mar 6, 2018 4:05 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2018 4:06 PM

Let's get something straight. I am Sam Nunberg. You are Sam Nunberg. In a way, every American who feels disoriented by the bizarre reality of Trump World is Sam Nunberg.

A former Donald Trump campaign aide, Nunberg dominated a 24-hour news cycle with his wild rants about how he plans to defy special prosecutor Robert Mueller's subpoena -- a claim he later walked back from.

But earlier in the day, in an interview with Gloria Borger of CNN, he exclaimed, "Screw that. Why do I have to go? Why? For what?"

On one level, Nunberg might be seen as a man stripped of his power standing up to the most powerful. I mean, who hasn't fantasized about saying "No!" to a big demand?

But the key element of L'affair Nunberg isn't his response to Mueller's demand for records and testimony. It is the sad spectacle of a man whose torment appears to have begun when he got close to Trump.

Never an A-list political operative, Nunberg worked briefly for Trump but was fired in 2014 when he arranged for an interview that didn't go well for the boss. Trump then brought him back into the fold, only to fire him again when it was revealed that Nunberg had written a variety of racially charged social media posts.

The pattern is familiar. Trump dangles power and opportunity before a job candidate with few qualifications. He puts him under intense pressure and humiliates him when he fails.

After he was cast out for the last time, Nunberg apparently began to examine what happened and concluded that Trump "treated me like crap." He then argued that Trump brought the Russia investigation on himself. "Donald Trump caused this," said Nunberg on CNN, "because he's an idiot."

Nunberg isn't the only one who has experienced Trump's cruel leadership style. Trump has openly and repeatedly criticized his attorney general Jeff Sessions -- prompted by Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump has called Sessions' leadership style at the Department of Justice "disgraceful" on Twitter and reportedly called him "Mr. Magoo" behind his back.

But individuals aren't the only recipients of Trump's cruelty. Through Trump has claimed to love the Dreamers, he put them in legal limbo when he canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. And though he left it to Congress to fix, Congress has yet to succeed -- missing its March 5th deadline and adding to the anxiety of the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients.

In a similar way, Trump has toyed with survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting by supporting new gun-control regulations one moment and reversing himself in another. The pain experienced by the Dreamers and the survivors of gun violence is real and directly related to Trump's heedless way of operating.

The record of this behavior goes way back. Whether he was dragging his first wife Ivana through an ugly divorce that made tabloid headlines or yanking health insurance away from a sick grandnephew after the child's parents sued Trump, he has long demonstrated a remarkable ability to be cruel. With his social media attacks on the likes of Rosie O'Donnell and Ted Cruz's wife Heidi, Trump has shown he has no shame -- and rather enjoys indulging in it.

Comforted by his wealth and power and with apparently little empathy for those he hurt, Trump has made an art out of denigrating others and promoting himself. Along the way he has collected effective enablers and jettisoned those, like Nunberg, who didn't quite fit the paradigm Trump established. The same dynamic rules the White House, which explains the turmoil there, and it impacts every American who recognizes that Trump is at best, incompetent, and at worst, destructive.

Nunberg's response captured cable news' attention because most of us feel at least a little of the despair and anxiety he must feel as Mueller's subpoena brings him ever closer to the center of the storm. He's a bit player, lacking the resources to protect himself.

In one of his defiant interviews, he insisted to Erin Burnett that he hadn't been drinking. He then added that he was taking anti-depressants. The viewer's only reasonable reaction would be, "Of course he is," because anyone whose so close to the alarming mess that is the Trump presidency should be depressed.

Nunberg deserves our empathy. Yes, he brought some of the pain upon himself. However, he has also been abused and misused. He's a man who reached the end of his ability to cope with Trump. Most of us have an idea of how that feels.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10409104
Hinds10279202
Harrison7313112
Jackson6566128
Rankin5887106
Lee529496
Madison5014107
Forrest389786
Jones369088
Lauderdale3594147
Lafayette338253
Washington3246108
Lamar297850
Oktibbeha252362
Lowndes247064
Bolivar244384
Panola232653
Neshoba2249121
Marshall222851
Leflore208591
Monroe206778
Pontotoc204231
Lincoln197366
Sunflower192655
Warren180258
Tate177751
Union171926
Copiah167940
Pike165359
Yazoo160140
Scott159430
Itawamba157635
Alcorn155628
Pearl River155368
Coahoma152743
Simpson152653
Prentiss151331
Adams144752
Grenada143345
Leake139744
Holmes133461
Covington128639
Tippah128430
George128325
Winston125526
Hancock124341
Wayne121323
Marion119446
Attala119334
Tishomingo112443
Chickasaw109432
Newton108229
Tallahatchie98127
Clay94727
Clarke93653
Jasper85223
Stone80615
Calhoun78713
Walthall77629
Montgomery76926
Carroll74115
Lawrence73814
Smith73216
Yalobusha73128
Noxubee72717
Perry68326
Tunica62619
Greene61522
Jefferson Davis59017
Claiborne58916
Amite56615
Humphreys54719
Benton50018
Quitman5007
Webster46714
Kemper45018
Wilkinson40522
Jefferson37112
Choctaw3617
Franklin3555
Sharkey32417
Issaquena1204
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 252900

Reported Deaths: 3638
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33526501
Mobile20103365
Madison13723151
Tuscaloosa13366154
Montgomery12552236
Shelby1079677
Baldwin9051137
Lee787266
Morgan696451
Calhoun6598121
Etowah656167
Marshall647357
Houston541038
DeKalb498137
Cullman462443
St. Clair441956
Limestone440445
Lauderdale426754
Elmore421164
Walker3735111
Talladega370157
Jackson340423
Colbert332042
Blount306140
Autauga281842
Franklin257434
Coffee250015
Dale239054
Dallas231532
Chilton228939
Russell22663
Covington225034
Escambia202331
Tallapoosa187291
Chambers182750
Pike161514
Clarke161019
Marion144736
Winston137523
Lawrence133436
Pickens126518
Geneva12508
Marengo123424
Bibb120418
Barbour118911
Butler118642
Randolph105522
Cherokee105124
Hale98131
Fayette94616
Washington93219
Clay92824
Henry8896
Monroe83011
Lowndes80929
Cleburne78814
Macon75522
Crenshaw72230
Bullock70119
Lamar7018
Conecuh70014
Perry6916
Wilcox64818
Sumter58622
Greene43518
Choctaw43114
Coosa3664
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