In politics it’s commonplace to lower expectations if you think something isn’t going to turn out well for you. For instance, if you don’t expect your candidate to perform well in an upcoming debate, you leak that your debate preparations are going poorly. That way, if your candidate turns in a mediocre performance, the public might end up seeing it as a positive surprise over the expectation that the candidate was going to bomb.
The Trump regime has never really shown that it has this club in its bag, probably because an insecure narcissist like Donald Trump can’t handle the idea that he might be less than perfect at anything. But as Trump continues to slide toward senility, and his political operation starts to resemble something more like Weekend at Bernie’s, we’re now suddenly seeing Trump’s handlers working hard to lower expectations.
First the Trump regime leaked last night that it expects a sufficient number of Republican Senators to vote in favor of having witnesses at the impeachment trial. This was a clear attempt at getting out ahead of bad news. Now the Trump regime is leaking to the Los Angeles Times that Trump’s lawyers are “scrambling to assemble their legal team and draft opening statements.” Really? They didn’t know that Trump’s Senate impeachment trial was coming up? They forgot to set a calendar alarm or something?
Considering the vast and often cartoonish level of incompetence that comes out of the Trump regime, and the fact that Donald Trump himself is increasingly asleep at the wheel, it’s possible that his barely-existent legal team really doesn’t have its stuff together when it comes to the impeachment trial. But this leak is a clear attempt at lowering expectations. Team Trump is hoping that by announcing they’re likely to completely botch the trial, they might get credit for turning in a half-adequate job. The real upshot, though, is that Trump isn’t ready for what’s about to happen to him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report