WAre you afraid of Donald Trump? All of us, according to CBS News correspondent Major Garrett, who thinks we're expecting his next tweet with "terrifying fear". The screaming baby with the nuclear toy box would be satisfied with Garrett's words, and indeed by Bob Woodwards Fear: Trump in the White House (Simon and Schuster £ 20) takes his title from Trump's claim in an interview that power depends on scary people.
But in Woodward's minuscule reports of office intrigue, the president's men do not seem to tremble with fear. What they mostly feel is contempt for Trump or pity for his ignorance and the "teenage logic" of his compulsively insulted abuses. Hence her skillful "administrative coup d'etat": by stealing documents from Trump's desk or slowing down his excessive commands, his advisors effectively occupied him.
This fits in with her lazy boss, who is free to watch TV, eat hot dogs and sip Diet Coke, which is glossed over by his diary writers as "Executive Time". Periodically he is postponed to sign bills he has not read, jagged writing resembling an over-excited seismograph but "authoritatively black-magic-marker". Told by his ideologues that he is a populist, he criticizes the word and says, "I love that. That's me, a popularist."
Woodward's book actually suggests that power is not fear for Trump, but obscenity. The discussions that Woodward's sources have helped him reconstruct are foully clunky or grossly sexual. Debates about politics are conducted in force. The nuclear contract with Iran, according to Trump, was "crappy". Other issues are categorized as "bullshit" or "horseshit," while arguments are "ripshit."
Trump mocks the Obama administration for its sexless bathrooms and looks to a world sullen by "shithole-lands" whose inhabitants do not look Norwegian. Unable to use a computer, he defends himself against "cyber-shit".
"My guy does not speak in the code," warns Trump's lawyer some geekige colleagues. No, he talks in curses and phallic insults. Trump describes Obama as "a weak tail," and HR McMaster answers with a rhyme, calling Trump "a prick" himself. Steve Bannon testifies that "I stretched out and sucked Reince Priebus's tail" – metaphorically, I suppose. Engagements with opponents are sweaty homosocial. "Man against man, me against Kim," Trump grunts, before bragging in a pompous capital letter that he has "a bigger nuclear button" than "a little Rocket Man." "We messed up," he complains of a Chinese trade agreement. He bans pre-op transgender troops and rages, "What the hell? They're being chopped off," Woodward explains as a "rough allusion to the sex change."
Trump tells Mueller's investigators to fuck himself, and bombs Syria to say "fuck you" to Assad. Putin, I suspect, could mumble his obsequious "fuck me": He's almighty on Twitter, where his threats are disappearing into the air, but shakes when faced with the despots he adores as true Alpha men.
If he yells, "Take the damn thing out!" Is it a relief to learn that he is referring to a missile defense system? Despite Woodward's title, Trump seems to be frightened – of a task he can not do, of the advisers who outwit him, and of immediate legal consequences.
The antidote to fear is disgust. The two were inextricably linked by satirist Hunter S Thompson, whose spirit summons Ben Fountain in his glowing nonsense of Trump's rise, Burn beautiful land again (Canongate £ 12.99). While Woodward does not try to characterize Trump, treating him like a shapeless chaos, always "in both directions," Fountain spits the man by fixing his half-human physical rejection: he has a head like "a Terminator battering ram" that knows rimmed eyes of a ranting raccoon and the skin that consisted of "oven colors – brick red, pink, burnt orange, a palette bound to its flamethrower hair lock". Trump is later defined as a "moormonster", the product of America's "masturbation fantasies," which have prevailed because "fear is the herpes of American politics."
In contrast to this outbreak of poetic rage, Sean Spicer in The briefing (Biteback £ 20) gives a masochistically weak account of his few hapless months in the White House Press Office. He does not even accuse Trump of strictly excluding him from the Vatican audience when the ardent Catholic Spicer hoped the Pope would bless Olive Wood Rosary for his poor widowed mother. He beautifies the myth of the orange ogre by comparing it to a unicorn – a tribute to Trump's fabulousness or a way to interpret that he is indecently horny?
Spicer, a Republican hack who has made a career as spokesman for the unspeakable, says as little as possible about his former boss and has little interest in saying anything else. Invited to join Trump's fighter plane, he examines the "flawless brass accents" of the Boeing 757's decor and then focuses on determining its height. "We raised ourselves, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 feet," he writes in the most stupid sentence in an empty book. At least, this confirms Spicer's ability to count, which seems to leave him when he claims that "the 14th floor of the Trump Tower was just a staircase above the fifth floor." I blinked and then searched. Yes, Trump has cheerfully eliminated eight lower levels so that the top floors of his tower could have higher numbers, allowing him to increase the rent; and, when referring to the building, he also usually adds 10 additional floors to compensate for the height of the atrium, which is as high as his teased hairdo. Even in architecture, the man is an unregenerate liar.
Spicer claims to suffer from "Catholic guilt," so after the months he lied to Trump, he must live in fear of the fiery flames. Maybe his flushed face and nervous stuttering in the press room showed both spiritual torment and embarrassment. Aware that his immortal soul was in danger, he read a daily excerpt from "the book Jesus is calling"Before he faced the reporters, he also conscientiously chewed orbit cinnamon gum in his briefings – a chewed Ave Maria to cleanse a mouth that was the channel for so many damn untruths?
He is more fearless than Spicer and Trump's helper Omarosa Manigault. Newman sips Unhinged (Simon & Schuster £ 20). Despite outrage over Trump's racism, her quarrel with him is not ideological. Her book is an assassination that is all the more assassinated when Omarosa – whom Trump's confused lawyer calls Rudy Giuliani Amarosa, which is definitely a misnomer – has learned about treason by interrogating Trump. As a villain in his reality show The Apprenticeshe designed herself as "a female version of him". Trump, from the point of view of this rampant alter ego, is both infantile and senescent, a pampered creature of uncensored It whose brain has barely developed before it has been rotted off by the 44,000 doses of Cola Cola that he has previously panned. "Mental decay," as Omarosa judges, is accompanied by moral weakness: she calls Trump "Twitter Fingers," then he sees his little hands on Ivanka's hips "insanely lost." Has he, after breaking all the rules of state decency, extorted a primary taboo?
Omarosa's slander has a righteousness: she has recently received religion and is now an ordained Baptist preacher. "God be the glory!" Is the last line of her book. I suppose the glorification she refers to is the glitter and glitter of her celebrity status, with gains as evidence of divine favor. When she leaves her flock for a "total trump detox" Celebrity Big BrotherShe enjoys being "cut off from the world": she ignores the omnipresent cameras and makes Big Bro's panopticon sound like a convent.
Even with the machinations of the devout Mike Pence, who interferes as Michael d & # 39; Antonio and Peter Eisner, the deity is stealthily at work The shadow president (St Martins Press £ 16.99) influences humility as he counts the days leading up to the removal of Trump and his own membership. Pence's religiosity, an old acquaintance, is an alibi for his devilishly determined ambition. in the Mr Trump's Wild Ride (All points books £ 22.99) Major Garrett observes that Trump's legal dangers and legislative impotence mean that his supporters are left with nothing but "mania-the last, inexhaustible commodity." Trump is basically a nihilist who is now ranting about a possible impeachment to speed up the drama of his downfall. In contrast, Pence is a cold-blooded, principled person, or what d & # 39; Antonio and Eisner call "evil principles," fixated on the transformation of dissolute, freedom-loving America into a theocratic police state. "Be scared, be very anxious," whispered Omarosa to a Big Brother Familiar, anticipating Woodward's refrain as she contemplated the threat to the deputy she called "Stepford Veep."
Garrett recalls Newt Gingrich, another hypocritical political lunatic who quotes Rilke to justify Trump's antics: "If you take my demons away, will the angels go?" The same supernatural powers play in Woodward's book, where Bannon describes "the hand of God" in Trump's choice, while Priebus describes the lonely bedroom in which he makes his unattended tweeting "devil's workshop."
Ben Fountain accuses America of schizophrenia as red and blue states or white and black races tear the union apart; I would say that the country, as always, is entangled in a Manichean battle between Eden and Armageddon, Puritanism and Decadence, with Pence and God on one side and the seven deadly but delicious capitalist sins that Trump embodies. Dear the devil we know, as the holy hypocrite next in turn?
• Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward is published by Simon & Schuster (£ 20). To order a copy for £ 17.20, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK shipping over £ 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p & p from £ 1.99
• Burn beautiful land again by Ben Fountain is published by Canongate (£ 12.99). To order a copy for £ 11.17, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK shipping over £ 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p & p from £ 1.99
• The briefing by Sean Spicer is published by Biteback (£ 20). To order a copy for £ 17.20, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK shipping over £ 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p & p from £ 1.99
• Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault Newman is published by Simon & Schuster (£ 20). To order a copy for £ 17.20, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK shipping over £ 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p & p from £ 1.99
• Mr Trump's Wild Ride by Major Garrett is published by All Points Books (£ 22.99). To order a copy for £ 19.77, go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK shipping over £ 10, online orders only. Phone orders min p & p from £ 1.99