Trump has entered the Querencia Phase of his presidency


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Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 17, 2018 - 06:27pm PT
Trump knows the end is near. He knows his ludicrous facade of denials is crumbling.

So, Trump has shifted into a more aggressive, belligerent and sociopathological mode. Trump's one-last-stand against reality is upon us, and it will become uglier, more unpredictable, and more hazardous for anyone he deems to be "The Enemy".

Trump has entered the Querencia Phase of his presidency.

Just last week, Trump sued porn star Stormy Daniels for $20 million. He then fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, 26 hours short of retiring with his pension. Trump's lawyers have demanded an end to all investigations into White House malfeasance.

These intimidation moves are the desperate actions of a madman who has been backed into a corner. Wild-eyed and crazy, foaming at the mouth, Trump is grasping at something - anything - to stave off the inevitable. He is attempting to distract, confuse, intimidate and stall his pursuers, hoping that some sort of Deus ex Machina miracle - as seen on TV - will magically materialize, and lift him from the bottomless pit of turpitude he has dug himself into.

To borrow a metaphor from a sport as barbaric and bloody as modern D.C. politics, Trump has entered the Querencia Phase of his presidency. This is when a bull in a ring realizes that the matador is finally closing in for the kill. At this point, the bull will retreat to an area of the ring that he deems a safe haven, so that he can regroup, rethink, plan, and muster the last of his strength to prepare for the epic, final battle that he knows he cannot win.

This is when the bull is most unpredictable and dangerous. A bull in the Querencia Phase of the fight must be handled very carefully, or disaster will ensue. One misstep, mistake or misjudgement can give the victory to the bull.

A querencia is a place the bull naturally wants to go to in the ring, a preferred locality... It is a place which develops in the course of the fight where the bull makes his home. It does not usually show at once, but develops in his brain as the fight goes on. In this place he feels that he has his back against the wall and in his querencia he is inestimably more dangerous and almost impossible to kill.

 Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon (courtesy

Make no mistake: Trump has no intention of going down without taking out the matador and as much of the audience as he can. His self-image, as a godlike entity, requires a heroic and cataclysmic final act to punish those who have challenged his divinity and omnipotence.

Nixon had the decency to resign, for the benefit of the nation, when he entered his own unavoidable Querencia Phase. Trump has no such decency. And neither did Saddam Hussein, who burned the Iraqi oil wells on his way out.

The TV scene that plays over and over in Trump's mind these days is that of James Cagney, going down amid gunfire and flames:

Made it, Ma! Top of the World!


This topic is climbing related, because Trump is trying to climb out of the bottomless pit of turpitude that he has dug himself into. But, the walls of that pit are like a Fisher Tower in the rain: the consistency of wet sugar.


Mar 17, 2018 - 06:34pm PT
OK . . Tom wins the internet for the month of March . . . hands down.


Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Mar 17, 2018 - 06:49pm PT
Tom! Great writing & good insight on your post.

I'm tempted to agree with eKat on her thoughts:

OK . . Tom wins the internet for the month of March . . . hands down.

But the month ain't over.

As the (supposed) ancient Chinese curse reads:

May you live in interesting times.

Mar 17, 2018 - 06:56pm PT
Incredible writing.

I had to hand my MacDaddy to Blanchard and make him read it. Told him it was a post on TheTaco . . . and I suffered a WhatAreYouKiddinMe look from him . . I had to promise him it had nothing to do with climbing.


Granted, March isn't over yet . . . and I'll eat my words if Tom doesn't win for the month . . but . . ten to one, I'm not gonna hafta!


Ice climber
Mar 17, 2018 - 07:00pm PT


but trump is too much a coward to go down inflames. He is more likely to inflict what damage he can and then skulk off with his "wealth" and a convenient cover story

New Yorkers who've known him forever are advocating this as a likely scenario


Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Mar 17, 2018 - 07:17pm PT
Trump will submit when Stormy releases the picture of him wearing the Little Bo Peep get up...
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 17, 2018 - 07:20pm PT
I hope he goes down in flames.

The Wastelands
Mar 17, 2018 - 07:26pm PT
yes, Tom should get a Pulitzer for his writing on this thread.....

Social climber
Mar 17, 2018 - 08:39pm PT
So you all want Pence?
The Warbler

the edge of America
Mar 17, 2018 - 08:43pm PT
We are fortunate to be witnessing this history making slow motion train wreck

Hopefully no atomic weapons will be deployed in the process, and the economy doesnít take a bush style hit.

Human drama just doesnít get any better, and Iíve got a feeling the whole trainís going to go off the rails for our entertainment this year


Ice climber
hartford, ct
Mar 17, 2018 - 09:01pm PT
Oh Good! Another politard thread! Awesome.

right here, right now
Mar 17, 2018 - 09:09pm PT
Querencia: also a book (something of a memoir) by Stephen Bodio.
Stephen Bodio writes like Pavarotti sings. He is a master. No one who loves the West should miss this book.
 Tony Hillerman

Mar 17, 2018 - 09:40pm PT
my favourite part is the editorís note at the end... ha!

methinks itís high time we got a ďdonít taze me cmac broĒ donation button on this site that throws a fiver into cmac and rjís beer [or maybe kombucha] fund... then when someoneís spidey senses begin to tingle and they sense a midnight thread killing spree on the horizon a few folks can throw some hopefully conciliatory beers/kombuchas cmac/rjís way...


Mar 17, 2018 - 09:48pm PT
Weíre going to have to be right about this one of these times! Arenít we? To hell with that gamblerís ruin fallacy! Talk is cheap, but the glory of being right is eternal, so looks like a good bet to me. In retrospect itt will be almost like prescience. Or just wrong again.
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2018 - 10:49pm PT
Trump is an insecure, vindictive little man-child, up with whom any decent, rational climber would not put (see how I kept it climbing-related?).
Tom Patterson

Trad climber
Mar 17, 2018 - 10:51pm PT
So you all want Pence?


My hope is that he's caught in the dragnet, as well.

Hopefully, after the 2018 midterm elections, the balance of power will shift to the Democrats, and we won't have to deal with the possibility of the sycophantic Ryan, either.

Make no mistake: Trump has no intention of going down without taking out the matador and as much of the audience as he can. His self-image, as a godlike entity, requires a heroic and cataclysmic final act to punish those who have challenged his divinity and omnipotence.

I don't know, Tom...maybe you're right. I do wonder. He has to control the narrative that he's a "winner," and that leads me to believe he'll bail before he's impeached. You saw this same attitude with the Golden State Warriors, and how Curry dissed him, and he said, "Invitation withdrawn." It was an after the fact "I break up with you!" after he'd already been broken up with.

There was a 1989 documentary on Trump that only recently got released on YouTube. At the very end, a reporter for (the then) Spy Magazine said, "There are only two possible outcomes for Trump: either he lives out his days in a villa in Panama, shuffling around in his bathrobe, growing his finger nails long, and storing his urine in jars...or he is king of the world" (paraphrased). And this was back in '89!

I work with the guy who wrote every word of "The Art of the Deal," and he is definitely concerned about what a cornered Trump will do, because of his obvious emotional and psychological instability and neediness. He considers him a complete sociopath, and would prefer that his book be called simply "The Sociopath."

But I still wonder if Trump's greediness (which is also clearly profound) will outweigh his taking a chance of destroying it by some other action that would threaten his bank accounts or holdings.

Whatever happens, we clearly have a very unstable child in the Oval Office.

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Mar 17, 2018 - 10:58pm PT
Excelllent post, Tom.

Querencia, for sure. A war is almost certain, thatís the only thing that can save him.

ďA state of emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to perform actions that it would normally not be permitted. A government can declare such state during a disaster, civil unrest, or armed conflict. Such declaration alerts citizens to change their normal behavior and orders government agencies to implement emergency plans. Justitium is its equivalent in Roman lawóa concept in which the senate could put forward a final decree (senatus consultum ultimum) that was not subject to dispute.

States of emergency can also be used as a rationale or pretext for suspending rights and freedoms guaranteed under a country's constitution or basic law. The procedure for and legality of doing so vary by country.Ē


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:05am PT
Well, Trump's querencia has just been subpoenaed...

Credit: healyje
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Mar 18, 2018 - 02:29am PT
Good point Moose. Trump is in the process of getting rid of all the adults in the room, McMaster and Kelly and replacing them with yes-men who will not oppose him. The mid-terms are the only thing that will stop this comedy from becoming a tragedy.

Big Wall climber
San Luis Obispo CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 18, 2018 - 03:04am PT

Section IV of the 25th Amendment provides for the Vice-President and majority of the Cabinet to remove an incapacitated President from office. If Trump tries to invoke a contrived national emergency to stay in power, there is a direct and simple mechanism to get rid of him.

But, if a majority of the Cabinet remains loyal to him, it could be real trouble, unless the Democrats gain control of both Houses of Congress.

Presidents Nixon and Clinton both got into serious trouble for lying and trying to deceive investigators. Their underlying crimes were relatively meaningless.

Now, we have Trump. He has concocted an intricate maze of lies, producing an inescapable trap for himself. Even his lawyers can't keep the story straight anymore.

As Warbler mentioned, it is truly astonishing to witness these unprecedented and historical events.

In a parallel universe, they would play out on the silver screen as a Woody Allen movie called Take The Election And Run.

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