Donald Trump’s delusional endgame meltdown is about to create a huge midterm headache for the Republicans
Deep down, Donald Trump has to know as well as anyone that he’s going to end up criminally indicted on serious federal charges not too long after the midterms. Trump is cornered and defeated and has no hope of survival, so now he’s resorting to comforting himself with delusional fantasies about how he’s more powerful than ever and is somehow magically going to just take over.
Of course even someone as delusional as Donald Trump has to go through the motions in order to help keep his fantasy intact, and we’ve been seeing evidence of that over the past week. First Trump leaked that he was trying to decide whether to “allow” the DOJ to search his home again, as if Trump has any say in the matter. Then Trump finally got his long-broken plane fixed, so he can fly around and hold rallies that are supposed to be for midterm candidates but are really just him giving speeches aimed at convincing himself of how powerful he supposedly is.
Now we’re seeing Trump’s most aggressively delusional move to date. He’s reportedly decided to “challenge” the midterm results in Pennsylvania and other places. If you find yourself laughing out loud at the absurdity of that last sentence, it’s for good reason. First, Trump appears to be presuming the Republican candidates in Pennsylvania will lose. That’s remarkable, given that these are close races. Democratic activists will surely be working to get out the vote in Pennsylvania right through the last day. Yet Trump is essentially telling Republican activists in Pennsylvania not to bother, because the Republicans are supposedly going to lose anyway.
So this is yet another instance of Trump sabotaging the Republicans in the midterms, in order to carry out his own idiotic agenda. By all means, Democratic activists (that means you) should take this as a sign to ramp up your last minute efforts in Pennsylvania, because Trump may have just handed us the advantage there that we need – if we’re willing to put in the work these final two weeks.
But the real kicker here is that Trump isn’t a midterm candidate. He’s planning to mount legal challenges to… other people’s election results? This is nothing short of comical. Trump appears to be rooting for the Republicans to lose midterm races in swing states, so he can then put on a big show about how those races were supposedly “rigged” and “stolen.”
The mainstream media and pundit class will no doubt react to this news by yelling the word “damage” over and over again, while trying to convince us that we’re only being “vigilant” if we sit around and cower over Trump’s every dumbass move. But in reality, Trump is making a huge mess for the Republicans, both in 2022 and 2024.
Not only is Trump currently signaling to Republicans that they shouldn’t bother voting in the 2022 midterms because they’re going to be “stolen” anyway, his post-midterms antics will just signal to Republicans that they shouldn’t bother voting in 2024 either. It’s a pretty basic tenet that people don’t bother to vote if their own side has convinced them that it’s “rigged” and their vote won’t count anyway.
So why is Trump doing this? Because as what’s left of his broken life continues to collapse, he’s more desperate than ever to pretend that he secretly won the 2020 election. Given how pathetic his life has become since he was forced to leave office, and how close he is to being indicted and rotting in prison, the narcissistic fantasy that he secretly won in 2020 is probably the only thing keeping him going.
Moreover, it’s becoming more clear by the day that whether Trump ever does announce a “2024 campaign” or not, he’s not taking a serious approach to winning. If his strategy is to start off by insisting the 2022 midterms were rigged against the Republicans, that’s the end of him right then and there. He’d be turning himself into a complete punchline right out of the gate in the eyes of voters in the middle, and he’d be telling his base that voting in 2024 won’t matter.
That’s not an attempt at winning; it’s the precise opposite. But Donald Trump knows his time is very short. He’s become politically irrelevant, his favorability numbers with independent voters are at a five year low, and now he’s about to be criminally indicted for espionage. He’s not trying to get himself elected in 2024. He doesn’t have that kind of time left. He’s just doing what desperate people do when it’s all over for them and they can’t accept that reality: he’s frantically kicking up a dust storm so he can comfort himself by pretending that his self-defeating panic moves are somehow going to magically save him. In the process, his behavior is creating an opening for the Democrats in the midterms – if Democratic activists like you are willing to spend these final two weeks phone banking, donating, knocking on doors, and putting in the work that always decides the outcome of close elections.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report