The Brutal Seriousness of Brendan Gleeson’s Trump in “The Comey Rule”

Will Leitch
5 min readOct 8, 2020
Showtime

Americans have become downright exhausted of this president. The endless drama of the last five years of American life, Trump’s dogged, relentless obsession to be at the center of every conversation every person is having every single day, is a wave that appears to have crested in the last week. Politico reporter Tim Alberta captured it well:

It’s impossible to quantify how tired Americans are of this presidency. … They feel trapped inside a reality TV show and are powerless to change the channel. They want a break, even if they don’t want a new program. … weary of their social media feeds and kitchen table conversations being dominated by Trump, voters may resent that he turned a sympathetic situation into yet another showcase of administrative incompetence and self-celebrating bravado.

Alberta is breaking down Trump’s political prospects, but that’s less interesting, particularly now that it increasingly looks like he may be toast. Trump, especially in what appears to be his final stages in office, resembles less a president than an aging and desperate starlet who once enraptured audiences but now performs on his own private stage, for only himself. Unfortunately, that stage is the Oval Office, which is making all of us feel less like American citizens than inmates locked inside the asylum with him: It’s an Escape Room with a desperate madman who will not … stop … talking.

This is a difficult sensation to describe, not just because Trump has already been so omnipresent for five years but because he’s so inherently, viscerally ridiculous. We know he’s dangerous, we know how many people he has hurt, we know how incompetent his administration has been, but it’s still difficult to wrap your mind around all of it because he’s such a cartoon. The hair, the skin, the obvious lack of curiosity about anything outside of himself, the constant bullshittery … he’s so difficult to take seriously as a human being that it’s impossible to imagine anyone taking him seriously as a boss. Who would follow this…

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Will Leitch

Author of six books, including “How Lucky” and "The Time Has Come." NYMag/MLB.. Founder, Deadspin. https://williamfleitch.substack.com