Quite often you see a powerful man (or woman, let us give credit afore my wife does something to me) looking like a fool and what is worse, stubbornly carry on with whatever wrong track he chose. From the outside, it makes no sense unless you understand how it is done.
Presidents don’t deal with best case scenarios but always the worst case and the devil you do or the devil you don’t. Whatever decision he makes has to do with re-election, future history, and his re-election above all. They also tend to be highly prejudiced, highly overconfident regarding their own smartness and exposed as human beings. They are easy to play and mostly held in contempt.
Long before a candidate becomes President he is studied by the intelligence agencies. Whatever his worst traits are would be thoroughly abused by them. Should he have a weakness for something, supply it abundantly to curry favor. I.e. an abnormal admiration for Military Generals? Well, give him the Generals that will say what you want them to say. I assure you that they are all open to this type of thing. In fact, most senior officers are the greatest arse lickers you have ever seen and were so since they joined up. In my experience, the best officers seldom go beyond colonel rank.
As an example of how the system works, Ronald Reagan was known to like visual presentations. Therefore, he would be briefed by videos put together by the CIA and whoever else briefed him. And that is where the shenanigans start. The briefer knows exactly what the President wants to hear and what will make him agree to whatever he wants him to do without, of course, him waking up to the strings tied to his feet, hands, tongue, and head. What you do, is to tell the truth to cover your own ass, yes, but you leave out what is not in your interests to tell him. That you dismiss as not confirmed / speculation / etc. Therefore, the President breaks the first rule of justice, the Audi Alteram Partem Rule of hearing both sides. Yep, he gets one side no matter what it might look like from a cursory glance. He hears what you decide he must hear.
Still, he must be nudged. So you always give him options to choose from. And you make sure that he will take the middle one which is the most measured and what you want him to do. But sometimes the fellow takes the way-out option and all hell breaks loose as did with Mr Trump’s decision to murder Iranian General Soleimani with the rest that died on 3 January 2020. (It is said that many senior officials were surprised that he chose that one.) Yet, that can be changed if you should wish to do so. If a bad decision is made, that is against your ideas, say to withdraw your forces and bring them home as promised during the election, you simply delay executing the order, throwing red tape until he forgets. If not, well, execute the order and let him be blamed. What you do is to pressurise him all the way to get a quick response. Yes, the same as a loathsome salesman will do. This goes something like “Mr President, we are locked and loaded, you simply need to say yes... Mr President, the strike is already on their way and almost in radar detection range... Mr President, our soldiers need an answer... Mr President, this is a unique opportunity...” And so it goes on. Chances are good that he will relent to what he should know is stupid if he had time to think things over. Especially when grim looking bemedaled Generals are wisely nodding in the background.
Ah, and then you make sure that he continues with his bad eating habits as much as possible. Cheeseburgers, meat, chocolate, and alcohol will lower his resistance even more. I wrote an entire chapter in VOICES – War Crimes USA, on what the effect is on the human brain when given food that is not good for your discernment capabilities. No less than 1 out of every 4 US servicemen (and women) are classified as obese. It helps too when the fellow is under constant negative attacks from outside through a hostile media. Leaks will assure this state of mind. After all, he is human, and it will affect him. Yes, he will then form a lager and have only those that he sees as friends close to him. You will now be able to control that little bubble where only yes-men are allowed. The bubble is only pricked when someone from the outside appears. Example, yes, when Donald J Trump called off a strike on Iran in June 2019 after a US drone was shot down. An outsider, a Fox News anchor, happened to be close by to tell him to wake up to what he is being fed. Without that around, and you can control this through security measures and a workload that will kill other men, the bubble will continue.
You also tell the President that what he is doing (what you want) is “the right thing to do, is Presidential, is the American way, etc.” This is called the “Moral Card.” Then the History Card – “Mr President, in history, President Whoever did this and that (which just so happens to be what you want) ...” This makes it legal, it was done before. The Legacy Card – “Mr President, we should consider your legacy if you let Whoever get away with whatever... Mr President, our country cannot afford to be shown to be weak...” And you become his best buddy, best friend, the one that has his back, by flattering – “Mr President, you have a job that no other man can do... Mr President, you are chosen by God Himself to be this... Mr President, the American people will love you... Mr President, it is such a privilege to serve you...”
There is no way that a President can resist for years unless he is wise to what is happening. That is why he looks stupid, bubble living will do that to you. He hears nothing else and thus does stupid things. A good leader will never fall for such crap.