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: 352891

Reported Deaths: 7597
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24704451
DeSoto23619283
Harrison21395335
Jackson15984255
Rankin15957294
Madison11224227
Lee10952180
Jones9316171
Forrest9136163
Lauderdale8211244
Lamar736590
Lowndes7253152
Lafayette6658125
Washington5681140
Pearl River5396155
Oktibbeha506598
Bolivar5022134
Warren4828128
Panola4823112
Marshall4759106
Pontotoc455773
Neshoba4487181
Hancock444488
Union441479
Monroe4390138
Lincoln4247116
Pike3771114
Leflore3696125
Alcorn362474
Tate356188
Sunflower351794
Adams350690
Scott349177
Yazoo344877
Copiah333569
Simpson329191
Itawamba318581
Tippah316569
Coahoma316385
Covington305584
Prentiss304163
Leake291976
Marion291882
George285851
Wayne282345
Grenada272488
Newton269264
Tishomingo241670
Stone240038
Winston238484
Jasper236248
Attala229974
Chickasaw222760
Clay204654
Holmes204374
Clarke190480
Tallahatchie185842
Smith184936
Calhoun184632
Yalobusha174241
Walthall151249
Lawrence146426
Greene144735
Amite140144
Noxubee137635
Perry137038
Montgomery134644
Carroll127531
Webster125132
Jefferson Davis121334
Tunica116627
Benton108425
Claiborne106131
Kemper105029
Humphreys102533
Franklin88724
Quitman86819
Choctaw83619
Wilkinson79632
Jefferson72328
Sharkey52018
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 595816

Reported Deaths: 11561
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson865251591
Mobile50436872
Madison37905534
Shelby27652260
Tuscaloosa27422465
Montgomery26428628
Baldwin26175329
Lee17414181
Calhoun15549334
Morgan15265291
Etowah15106372
Marshall13248236
Houston12297294
Elmore11006220
St. Clair10903252
Limestone10867158
Cullman10643206
Lauderdale10374255
DeKalb9603193
Talladega9032188
Walker7873288
Autauga7635114
Blount7463140
Jackson7450117
Colbert6780142
Coffee6515132
Dale5803117
Covington4864125
Russell483543
Chilton4828117
Franklin465681
Tallapoosa4591156
Escambia457583
Chambers4007125
Dallas3756164
Clarke374663
Marion3490107
Pike336979
Lawrence3280100
Winston301973
Bibb293766
Geneva293083
Marengo263867
Barbour254361
Pickens247962
Butler243672
Hale236979
Fayette228565
Henry218845
Monroe206941
Randolph203844
Cherokee201748
Washington189439
Macon172252
Crenshaw171758
Clay167659
Cleburne161845
Lamar152638
Lowndes146555
Wilcox132731
Bullock126542
Conecuh123032
Coosa119729
Perry111228
Sumter110933
Greene99937
Choctaw64525
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Columbus
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