Showing posts with label DonkeyHotey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DonkeyHotey. Show all posts

June 1, 2023

Does the GOP choice boil down to being between a psychopathic fascist or a sane one?

 By Hal Brown, MSW, Caricatures by DonkeyHotey

Click above to enlarge. 
The DoneyHotey caricatures show DeSantis looking sane
 and Trump looking more or less unhinged.

I use Creative Commons DonkeyHotey (pronounced Don Quixote) caricatures for many of my blogs. You can read more about him here and look at his website here.

Of course because I am one of the less acclaimed experts on Trump's psychopathology (scroll down to bottom of page for some of my articles), I was going to write about this Salon article which says what I've been writing about Trump since 2016:

Trials and triggers: Psychiatrists warn Trump's psychosis will grow "as he becomes more desperate"

The article is by Chauncey DeVaga, a Salon columnist who has written about Trump's psychopathology numerous times, and interviewed mental health professionals on the subject. He has, as far as I'm concerned, earned himself an honorary advanced degree in a clinical mental health profession.

His article begins with the Memorial Day Trump Truth Post:

I wrote about this post in "The malignant megalomaniac's Memorial Day message" here. Below is the DonkeyHotey caricature I superimposed over Trump's post for my illustration

In the current article, DeVega interviews two prominent psychoanalysts, Justin Frank and Lance Dodes, both of whom he has interviewed previously, and who have themselves published articles or books about Trump's dangerous psychopathology.

Here's the warning from Lance Dodes:

When a person has a chronic illness, we all know to expect recurrence of symptoms of that problem. Donald Trump is a permanent, chronic psychopath who has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to be empathic with other human beings, a frightening need to dominate, control and destroy others, an inability to tolerate criticism or accept any defeat, an utter disregard for facts and the truth, endless lying, and clear delusions, insisting things are true that are demonstrably and unquestionably false. As with other permanent conditions, these aspects of his psychopathic personality will not change.

Trump's behavior is worse now but that's only because we're seeing a peeling away of his façade as he becomes more desperate; his actions and speech will continue to show more of what he really is. He's already saying he will call out the National Guard to suppress dissent, as dictators have done forever, and it would be no surprise if eventually, like Saddam Hussein when he was finally put on trial, he shouts that he is the one true ruler and any effort to hold him accountable is illegal and immoral.

Unfortunately, nations being taken over by psychopathic dictators is common in human history. It happened in Germany, in Iraq, in Russia, and for centuries earlier all over the globe. It could certainly happen to us unless enough people recognize that Trump is psychologically just another Hitler, Stalin, Saddam or the other malignant tyrants throughout history.

It is important to consider, as DeVega does in the conclusion to his article, the following points, with my bold added for emphasis:

  • The picture is clear: As the 2024 presidential campaign begins in earnest, Donald Trump will become more dangerous, violent, threatening, unhinged, and his true horrible self, further unmasked and unleashed if such a thing is even possible.
  • Unfortunately, because of its horse race coverage and other failed norms and approaches to the news and politics in a time of democracy crisis and ascendant neofascism, the American news media will continue with its failed fixations on the "heroes" and "villains" and "winners and losers" of the week, month, and election cycle. In practice, this means that the American mainstream news media will desperately try to find a "normal" Republican character to juxtapose with Donald Trump's increasing extremism and radical threats to American society and democracy.
  • As of now, the mainstream news media has decided that the more "reasonable" and "sane" and "traditional" Republican is Gov. Ron DeSantis. In reality, DeSantis is as least if not more dangerous than Donald Trump. Both are neofascists who want to destroy America's multiracial pluralistic society. The choice between them is a false one because the outcome will be the same: the American people will be made to suffer even more as the fascist fever dream nightmare and its culture of cruelty takes hold even more and threatens to become permanent.

As national candidates there are two opposite personality rather than policy factors which would make it difficult for Trump and DeSantis to defeat President Biden. 

  1. Trump is crazy
  2. DeSantis is boring

While Trump and others want to depict President Biden as doddering and dull he is really anything but. His embracing the moniker Dark Bandon really reflects who he is. Read NPR article.

I think Biden in his Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses, the same glasses Tom Cruise wears in his Top Gun movies, makes him look like the badass he is.

With Trump it is what is described in the DeVega article. He is, to use colloquial terms, unhinged, unmoored from reality, and a tantrum throwing toddler. He is more likely to behave in increasingly abnormal ways as the primary season progresses. If this happens it will gradually lead some of his current supporters to see DeSantis as less risky choice fearing Trump will decompensate even more especially if he feels he is losing what he thought was his iron grip on the nomination. 

DeSantis will pounce of this weakness and try to out-Trump by adopting a vicious manic style of grandiose narcissism and braggadocio. He is well aware that Trump is a showman adept at riling up his cult with what passes for performance art.

DeSantis knows he comes across and stiff and unlikable. I predict he won't bother trying to change this because he knows that while personally boring his war on woke is the most exciting thing he has to offer. 


In the psychological weeds, explaining sociopath and psychopath, the two words often used to describe Trump and DeSantis.

The current official diagnosis for those who used to be called sociopaths and psychopaths, and still are by most people, is anti-social personality disorder. In common usage psychopath is used to describe someone worse, more brutal, than a sociopath. The current definition of antisocial personality disorder is as follows. I put a T for Trump and a D for DeSantis after the deceptions I think are applicable to each off them.

  • Clinical criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersFifth Edition [DSM-5])

For a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, patients must have

  • A persistent disregard for the rights of others (T and D)

This disregard is shown by the presence of  3 of the following:

  • Disregarding the law, indicated by repeatedly committing acts that are grounds for arrest (T)

  • Being deceitful, indicated by lying repeatedly, using aliases, or conning others for personal gain or pleasure (T)

  • Acting impulsively or not planning ahead (T is impulsive)

  • Being easily provoked or aggressive, indicated by constantly getting into physical fights or assaulting others (With T using verbal aggression)

  • Recklessly disregarding their safety or the safety of others (T and D)

  • Consistently acting irresponsibly, indicated by quitting a job with no plans for another one or not paying bills (T not paying bills)

  • Not feeling remorse, indicated by indifference to or rationalization of hurting or mistreating others (T and D)

Also, patients must have evidence that a conduct disorder has been present before age 15 years. Antisocial personality disorder is diagnosed only in people  18 years.

Patients with antisocial personality disorder may express their disregard for others and for the law by destroying property, harassing others (T, in writing and verbally), or stealing. They may deceive, exploit, con, or manipulate people to get what they want (eg, money, power, sex). (T) They may use an alias. (T did this)

These patients are impulsive, (T) not planning ahead and not considering the consequences for or the safety of self or others. As a result, they may suddenly change jobs, homes, or relationships (T with marriages and affairs). They may speed when driving and drive while intoxicated, sometimes leading to crashes. They may consume excessive amounts of alcohol or take illegal drugs that may have harmful effects.

Patients with antisocial personality disorder are socially and financially irresponsible. They may change jobs with no plan for getting another. They may not seek employment when opportunities are available. They may not pay their bills, default on loans, (T) or not pay child support.

These patients are often easily provoked and physically aggressive; they may start fights or abuse their spouse or partner. In sexual relationships, they may be irresponsible and exploit their partner and be unable to remain monogamous. (T)

Remorse for actions is lacking. (T and D) Patients with antisocial personality disorder may rationalize their actions by blaming those they hurt (eg, they deserved it) or the way life is (eg, unfair). (T) They are determined not to be pushed around and to do what they think is best for themselves at any cost. (T)

These patients lack empathy for others and may be contemptuous of or indifferent to the feelings, rights, and suffering of others. (T and D)

Patients with antisocial personality disorder tend to have a high opinion of themselves and may be very opinionated, self-assured, or arrogant. (More T, but to a lesser extent D)  They may be charming, voluble, and verbally facile in their efforts to get what they want. (T)

You can see that Trump meets the criteria more than DeSantis does.


Click images to read a sample of articles I published from Capitol Hill Blue (list) where I was a columnist, from Daily Kos where I was a community poster (list of some 1700 posts not all about Trump), and from my own blog.

Daily Kos, June 16, 2020

December 19, 2022

Tales told by two idiots full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Tales told by two idiots full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
By Hal Brown 

Archives on Right >

DonkeyHotey, background from InPixio

One of the two specimens shown above in the DonkeyHotey caricatures was a threat to American democracy. Hopefully we will soon know how close he came to turning our country to a fascist dictatorship and whether justice will prevail so he pays a price for this.

With Trump, putting him in  certain perspective, he's a tragic comic figure. He's a pure idiot who stumbled into a position of power by malignant guile and grift which was enabled by the gullibility and fears of his base. Add luck to that and we have the spectacle of a grandiose narcissist that began his presidential campaign riding down a golden escalator being cheered on by people who were paid to be there and who survived the "I could grab them by the pussy" incident. 

All this could have been the subject of the exploits of comic strip character.

The other, who like Trump belongs on a petri dish in a CDC lab where highly contagious microbes are studied is Elon Mush (typo or Freudian slip) Musk. He's not a garden-variety idiot. Rather, he is a rare breed because he's an idiot savant with a reported 155 IQ. 

When it comes to having a human version of hoof-in-mouth disease (which can be fatal in animals) he's just as much of an idiot as Trump. Both have recently engaged in a self-defeating crime spree against themselves. Anyone reading this follows the news so I don't have to list what they been doing.

Giving credit to caricaturist DonkeyHotey, a name meant to be pronounced Don Quixote, for leading me to think of this comparison: both Musk and Trump remind me of the Cervantes character:

From Wikipedia:

In the course of their (Don Quixote and Sancho Panza) travels, the protagonists meet innkeepers, prostitutes, goat-herders, soldiers, priests, escaped convicts and scorned lovers. The aforementioned characters sometimes tell tales that incorporate events from the real world. Their encounters are magnified by Don Quixote's imagination into chivalrous quests. Don Quixote's tendency to intervene violently in matters irrelevant to himself, and his habit of not paying debts, result in privations, injuries, and humiliations (with Sancho often the victim).

Trump has had several "squires" (aka sycophants) who we could say have been akin in their loyalty to him Sancho Panza was to Don Quixote. Musk has none. The reason for this difference between the two of them is fodder for psychohistorians. 

I'd hazard a guess that Musk never mastered the ability to put aside his obnoxious authoritarianism with people working under him. Trump has the need to be worshiped up close and it appears that Musk only is comfortable wielding power without letting anyone get close to him. It may be possible to gain some insight into his personalities by analyzing his three marriages and why the first two ended in divorce. From YaHoo News:

Excerpt: His first marriage was to author Justine Wilson in 2000, ending in an acrimonious divorce in 2008. In an article for Marie Claire in 2010, she claimed: “Elon's judgement overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking.

"‘I am your wife,’ I told him repeatedly, ‘not your employee.’ ‘If you were my employee,’ he said just as often, ‘I would fire you.’”

From Cervantes to Shakespeare's Macbeth and the title the of my blog today. Here's the actual version of the altered quote in context:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 I can't envision Trump or Musk uttering something like this on their deathbeds. They are both as shallow as the puddle left on the street after a light summer drizzle which will fast evaporate when the hot sun comes out. 

Deep people, those we consider to be self-aware and introspective, live their lives informed by knowing they are mortal. They consider that when they die their legacy will be the good that they have done for their children and for those who were in a position to do so, for society.


This excerpt is relevant to today's blog:

Donald Trump may be very wealthy, but he's rapidly turning into a sad and pathetic figure. According to this report in the Washington Post, the former president tends to wander aimlessly around Mar-a-Lago, bored and lethargic, depending on his attendants to call around to allies to ask them to deliver "affirmations" and cheer him up. One former adviser characterized his new life as sad, saying he wanted to replicate the grandeur of the White House but it's more like "a Barbie Dream House miniature." Ouch.

This is not a picture of someone gearing up for an arduous presidential campaign. It's a picture of an old man trying to grapple with the fact that he's retired and doesn't have much of a purpose anymore.

December 14, 2022

Is there a vaccine to inoculate America against the smart and sane fascist anti-woke Ron DeSantis?

Is there a vaccine to inoculate America against the smart and sane fascist and anti-woke Ron DeSantis? The hypocritical culture warrior, fascist, and overall  P.O.S.  just did a 180 on Covid.

By Hal Brown

Archives on Right >

Preface: A big thanks to DonkeyHotey

The caricaturist who goes by the name DonkeyHotey (pronounced Don Quixote) has already provide writers with numerous illustrations for articles about the man who is looking like he will be the GOP candidate to president in 2024.

Click image to enlarge

I have used his caricatures numerous times as have many well known websites. Here's a story about his best 2021 caricatures. 

DeSantis is in the upper right corner

You can follow DonkeyHotey on the sites below:

Today's story

Ron DeSantis is Trump without the stupid red MAGA cap to cover up is male pattern baldness. He has full head of hair. He still believes that to make America great it has to go back at least 100 years.

We know DeSantis will take any position, and change any of them, if he thinks it will help him achieve his political ambition to be president. Here's an example from the news today.

This was then: DeSantis recommends getting vaccinated


Democrats can't do a damn thing about which Republican ends up running. Most of them who I've read or heard believe Trump would be the easier candidate to defeat. They can wish Trump would be the candidate, but the various iterations of the saying "if wishes were fishes..."  applies here.

It will be interesting where never-Trump Republicans will come down if the candidate is DeSantis. By now it is a political trope to say that DeSantis is an intelligent and sane version of Trump. He's not about to cozy up to the likes of Ye and Fuentes. He won't tweet barely coherent paranoid rants.

Pundits are not only saying he is more likely to win against Biden or any other Democrat should Biden not run than Trump, but polls support this: 

My impression from reading and listening to never-Trump Republicans is that most of them want to see a tradition conservative run rather than someone who is waging culture warfare and wants to be an anti-woke autocrat.

Nicholas Kristof was on Morning Joe this morning discussing his NY Times column from Dec. 10th Trump Struggles but American is Still Feverish.

Excerpt addressing whether the defeat of Trump endorsed and Big Lie supporting Republicans means the fever has finally broken:

But I may be wrong — and I worry that it’s premature to argue that the national fever has broken. We as a nation still face arguably the greatest peril since the end of Reconstruction, for three reasons.

First, remember that this extremism goes beyond Trump and even beyond the United States. Italy has just installed a far-right prime minister whose party has its roots in neo-fascism, a reminder that the fever persists globally.

Second, even when Trump broke bread with Holocaust deniers and then urged a suspension of the Constitution, congressional Republicans mostly looked the other way. When leaders of one of our major political parties struggle to defend the Constitution or condemn neo-Nazis, America still feels feverish.

Third and most fundamentally, our political dysfunction is driven in complex ways by a broader economic and social dysfunction and despair, one that we fail to grapple with effectively.

If DeSantis runs, and wins, I think it will demonstrate that like the chicken pox virus does, it went dormant in the body and then emerged as a horrible case of shingles. 

There's a vaccine, Shingrix, to deal with that. It requires two doses several months apart to be effective. If you have had it or know anybody who has, you are well aware of how bad it is.

If we extend this metaphor, and I haven't met many metaphors I'm not willing to extend if they make sense, we can say that America got the first dose of anti-fascist conspiracy theory destroying vaccine to deal with the disease of Trumpism. Now they need the second dose to prevent infection with DeSantisism.


By every measure, Ron DeSantis’ newest Covid gambit is a tragedy

If Covid-19 were capable of feeling emotion, it’d likely be delighted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' latest public health moves.

Excerpt: Imagine Covid-19, eager to infect as many people as possible, was able to hire its own lobbying team. Then imagine the dangerous contagion’s lobbyists, eager to help their client infect as many people as possible, began pressing politicians on what to say and do with regard to public health policy.

In this fanciful hypothetical, we could probably imagine what the politicians would be told to say and do by Covid’s lobbyists. Officials would be encouraged to, among other things, question the efficacy of vaccines, while rejecting the findings of public health authorities.

Or put another way, if Covid-19 could hire its own lobbying team, it’d be delighted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his latest announcement.

Thanks to A. my partner and percipient proofreader for reminding me of this.

There is one outcome we can hope for, though we can't to anything to make it happen. This is that Trump loses the primary, whether to DeSantis or anybody else, and decides to run as an Independent. His psychopathology strongly suggests he would do this. He doesn't have any loyalty to the GOP or anyone in it with the exception of his dwindling number of sycophants. 

Doing this keeps him in the public eye until Tuesday, Nov. 7th 2023 when he splits the vote assuring an easy Biden win. He can have his rallies and spew his hate speech and paranoia to his cheering cult.

October 19, 2022

The vicious "art" of political photoshopping

By Hal Brown

One of my favorite illustrations is below. I showed Trump during his hour long outside time in prison playing golf with his little putter. Since I doubt he'd be in the general population I assume he'd be in a segregated cell but he'd still be allowed outside once a day for exercise

It took longer to find the perfect photo of a prison yard which actually had a fenced in area with some grass in it than it did for me to find a picture of Trump putting and add it. I could have tried to put him in prison orange pants but as you can see in the second picture that didn't come out very well.

When I was a kid too old to really read the articles in The New Yorker, which we subscribed to, I always looked forward to each issue to look at the cartoons. Charles Addams was my favorite. This probably says a lot about my personality. I aspired to be a cartoonist when I grow up, but alas I couldn't draw well enough. I remember drawing a cartoon of a severed head floating down a river singing "I ain't got no body." 

It was only when easily to learn inexpensive photo manipulation software became available that I was able to put hopefully better ideas into illustrations. Before I was banned from posting on Daily Kos I was the only one who regularly posted their own illustrations for stories they pit on the website.

Frequently when I end up writing on a political topic I think of an illustration to create to use before I give much thought to what I'm going to write.

I enjoy writing but there is an element of work in this since I have to not only try to come up with an original perspective on an issue in the news, but compose grammatical and coherent sentences and also try to be clever and snarky. Making the illustrations is pure enjoyment. It may take as many as 10 steps to put together an illustration but it never feels like work.

In addition to the simple things I can do on my laptop screen I use two inexpensive programs, InPixio and BeFunky. I don't use Photoshop itself. Years ago Kleenex became cleanex and referred to any facial tissue.Google used to mean any Internet search and now it's a verb, to google. Photoshop is still a product but "photoshop" is often used lower case to mean any image manipulation.

I used InPixio to add a football to a photoshop somebody else made:

Click to enlarge

In yesterday's blog story I also used someone else's image to make my own. I took this image...

and using both BeFunky and InPixio created this one:

Because that story was about Judge Cannon as well as Trump I made this image of her to go with this caption: 

Judge Cannon's reputation among what appears to be the vast majority of legal scholars seems to be in ruins. Does she care? My impression is that she couldn't care less even though she is in dire need of the legal version of a visit to the emergency room.

I often post my images on Twitter:

A caricaturist who calls himself DonkeyHotey (to be pronounced Don Quixote) allows anyone to use his pictures with credit. I often use them, for example the numerous caricatures of Trump which I used to make this one adding the playing cards:

I used BeFunky to change Trump's face and InPixio to add the vomit to this image:

Sometimes I just make an image to post as a comment to an article on RawStory since they allow pictures in the comments section. I used this in an article about Marjorie Taylor Greene. I used BeFunky to turn a color photo of her into the black and white version below, and InPixio to put her in front of an old time KKK rally.

Here's how I turned a Trump frown upside down and a Judge Cannon smile into a frown:

I found the secret stamps online and a stack of file folders and added them to the photo of Mr. Spock. It takes an extra step to copy just his fingers so they seem to be holding the documents.

I added the hot air to this and put the caricature of Musk into space next to his Tesla.

I used these in one blog story:

Even if I could draw I'd be hard pressed to be as creative as the most well-known political cartoonists. For example, Ann Telnaes is a political cartoonist for The Washington Post who creates some of the best in the genre. You can see some of them if you don't subscribe on Twitter. Here's a recent one, click below to animate it.


I have to take a break now. If I have time I'll find some of what I consider my better illustrations. 

Compassion doesn't count ballots: Biden does the moral thing on immigration and it will hurt him with many voters. All Trump needs now is his own Willie Horton. by Hal Brown, MSW

In the news today a top story  (read article)  is that President Biden has once again demonstrated that he has a heart and good sense when i...