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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 4:06 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.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22464

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7540565
Ramsey2610103
Stearns198412
Nobles14883
Anoka126259
Dakota118244
Olmsted57510
Washington56230
Kandiyohi4751
Rice4112
Clay40625
Scott3792
Todd2960
Wright2691
Sherburne2192
Mower2161
Carver1852
Benton1692
Steele1480
Martin1265
Blue Earth1221
St. Louis11513
Freeborn970
Pine850
Winona7815
Nicollet747
Carlton730
Cottonwood650
Otter Tail620
Unassigned6110
Goodhue603
Watonwan590
Polk592
Crow Wing571
Itasca537
Chisago501
Dodge460
Chippewa441
Meeker440
Le Sueur431
Morrison400
Douglas390
Jackson390
Becker370
Murray360
Lyon360
Isanti330
McLeod290
Waseca240
Rock210
Swift170
Pennington170
Mille Lacs171
Fillmore171
Wabasha170
Brown142
Faribault130
Beltrami130
Sibley130
Cass122
Norman110
Wilkin113
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Pope80
Wadena80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Renville50
Mahnomen51
Red Lake40
Traverse30
Big Stone30
Clearwater30
Redwood30
Grant30
Lac qui Parle30
Houston20
Lake10
Hubbard10
Roseau10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18342

Reported Deaths: 496
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3876115
Woodbury265831
Black Hawk171343
Linn93876
Marshall87815
Dallas87317
Buena Vista6820
Johnson6058
Muscatine54741
Wapello5384
Crawford4882
Tama40026
Scott34610
Louisa33610
Dubuque33016
Jasper25716
Pottawattamie2277
Sioux2100
Washington1858
Wright1240
Allamakee1194
Plymouth1191
Warren1140
Story961
Poweshiek888
Mahaska888
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines581
Boone560
Taylor480
Cedar461
Guthrie443
Clarke400
Benton391
Jones360
Iowa360
Monroe354
Shelby350
Clayton313
Buchanan310
Osceola310
Marion300
Webster291
Hamilton280
Madison261
Fayette260
Monona240
Lee230
Cherokee230
Winneshiek230
Cerro Gordo221
Davis200
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Lyon190
Grundy190
Floyd181
Sac170
Mills160
Hardin150
Butler150
Delaware150
Humboldt140
Ida140
Keokuk140
Hancock140
Appanoose133
Jackson130
Dickinson130
Clay130
Greene130
Howard120
Audubon121
Winnebago110
Cass110
Page100
Van Buren90
Franklin90
Carroll90
Pocahontas90
Chickasaw80
Emmet80
Unassigned80
Kossuth80
Adair70
Adams70
Lucas70
Union60
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Decatur10
Wayne10
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