Under siege, malignant narcissists break down
Eye-rolling time: yesterday Trump approached his 19,000th presidential lie when expressing “surprise” at Dr. Fauci’s Senate testimony warning against premature reopening. Translation of Trumpspeak: “What a crock! How dare this turncoat bureaucrat doubt my genius?” For two months the good doctor has been a monotonous broken record (warning: analog reference), expressing caution when communicating the best professional pandemic science.
What would surprise sentient beings is a day (nay, an hour) without tedious Trump propaganda. Hey, Donnie: every state will have a second wave (if they finish the first): the only unknowns are the severity and morbidity of Act II. You can’t “disinfect” reality. He who scorns expertise (and Mother Nature) will sow his own destruction –while bringing down mayhem on national prosperity. Nothing like handing China a boost to global dominance.
Stupidity is not unusual in humankind, but exceptional in an unpopular president up for renewal. Usually, craven self-interest – especially post-egregious results – induce at least new rhetoric, if not new promises. Trump stands alone in the annals of assholery by capitalizing on failure and doubling down. Go for it! This is terrible for the country but not for impatient anti-Trumpers ready for change.
Good news: No president in my lifetime matches Trump’s obstinacy, nor open revelations about unshakeable delusions he’s always the smartest guy in the room. The opposite turns out to be far truer (in a world that values this rarity). Why else, instead of rallying around the leader, does the electorate award Biden more than enough purple states? Talk about blowing a crisis! Has anyone since Hoover (in fact a much smarter guy) made more unforced errors in so short a time – as if on a ceaseless quest to make himself unelectable? And rest assured: Trump desperation will amplify, spurring on new outrages. Siege mentalities really don’t well serve malignant narcissists, except to expose scarier dynamics.
Despite three years of Trump chaos, history may well settle on a simple obituary: here lies the first president felled not by opponents, war or economic blunders but a microscopic virus for which he had zero political immunity. By November, I expect centrist Republicans to flee Trump — defeated not by his own blatant cronyism, racism, sexism, corruption, machinations or lawbreaking but pathological resistance to scientific knowledge.
Trump not only willfully denied the spread of a raging pandemic – but worst of all still defies the extremely predictable sequences, or life spans, of all pandemics. Forgot rocket science; this is high school biology: a virulent virus has easy pickings in our room-bound, socialized, travel-driven life-styles. Irony alert: Trump’s maniacal obsession with getting re-elected, depending on his alleged economic payoffs, now endangers his political life. When have rising, avoidable death tolls ever helped any re-election campaign?
Swan diving into the swamp
Everyone figured Dismal Don would scoff at science, procrastinate, fail at management, then switch on the big con job. But where was this genius’ radar, especially since every medical expert verified the predictable sequence? A (abnormality) leads to B (blockheadedness) leads to C (calamity). Here’s Mr. Intimidation in fail mode – having bullied his way around beneficial Russian interference, neutralized the scandalous Mueller probe, and survived the Senate impeachment vote. Trump may avoid getting Covid-19, though not for lack of trying, but his presidency is diseased by rigid, suicidal misjudgments. Again, we find Trump his own worse enemy, the great grifter taken down by a viral foe without a lobbyist, one billionaire donor, or one corrupt fixer.
The polling collapse proves Trump has squandered in two months what his deranged propaganda had marginally sustained for three years. Give the con man his due: few others with his limited talents and lousy learning curve could have sustained enough approval ratings to retain backward party support. Trump is better at manipulating rightwing supporters than intransigent microbes that won’t take no for an answer.
One only wonders, as desperation mounts, what new pathways he will find to impair re-election chances. Clearly, he’ll never win over the disgusted 55% majority (and growing). The remaining variable is how many right-leaning centrists will this one-note, one-joke celebrity actor offend – and how much fierce majority opposition targets unfitness. No vectors I see are going his way. And brace for the next scatter-brain disinfectant whopper and the one after that.
“Obama-gate” the latest bust
On a good day against Biden, Trump conspiracy fantasy lies about the popular, insulated Obama are far too indirect. Even were there evidence, this legless dog won’t run, worsened by Trump malarkey “everyone knows” the crime. As Wash Post satirist Alexandra Petri quips, “Only [Trump] can reveal with stunning clarity the depth and horror of this intrigue, in which “some terrible things happened” and “it’s a disgrace that it happened,” which we know from “if you look at now all of this information that’s being released.” “And from what I understand, it’s only the beginning.” This is weak, even by the lowest Trump bar. Desperation reeks.
No doubt Trump will fall back on Pelosi and Schumer violations of everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to the Scout code of honor. Yawn. Neither is running for president – and both routinely prevail over Devious Don the Dim Bulb. And the one sensitive area – sexual allegations against Biden – are closed because of worse Trump sex crimes. The Donald must do better than making fun of “Sleepy” Joe when voters will take a half-awake Biden over an insane Trump hawking bad drugs, bad testing and fatal disinfectants.
Okay, one guess: Trump will start calling Biden an unstable, lying swamp dweller. After all, his automatic reflex is to project his sins on others. And no Democrat, not even the “co-conspiring” Michelle Obama, will be immune. Another faithless schemer. A desperate grifter is an ugly actor – and that ugliness will propel Trump’s exile from the White House – only to face a plethora of court houses. Yes, I’ve heard fears Trump, after refusing election results, will seize the WH – and won’t that be a comic farce in the making?
Let’s hope the ill-gotten Trump family assets are dissipated in endless litigation – for, like the virus, court reversals come with nasty side- and after-effects. Would there be sufficient solace if the Trumps (and Jared Kushner) end in bankruptcy court? I invite others to imagine what further Trump stunts will end his discredited public career. We’re not talking about whether but how Trumpism ends – not with a bang but a cosmic whimper. There may be no garbage dump large enough to hold the trashy fallout – maybe that’s why outer space beckons.