If you look back at any public figure’s downfall, you can usually pinpoint the moment it was over for them. That moment tends to be when they stop trying to fight the actual battle that’s taking them down, and instead give up and settle for focusing on the delusional fantasy that they’re going to be rescued from their current situation by some magic carpet ride. If you want to pinpoint this moment for Donald Trump, look no further than what happened last night.
We’ve all watched Trump get caught stealing classified nuclear secrets, then lose his court battle to try to stall the federal criminal case against him, and then lose his Supreme Court appeal. At long last he has no remaining path for escape, and on some level, he knows it. We know this about him because he’s no longer even trying to fight and win the battle in front of him. Instead he’s moved on to trying to convince himself that magic carpet ride is coming.
Trump and/or his legal team somehow got CNN to run an article last night about how Trump might “allow” the Feds to come back to Mar-a-Lago and conduct a search of the premises that would be “supervised” by him. No really, this article happened, and is somehow not from The Onion. Even setting aside the disturbing fact that CNN is rapidly turning into The Onion, the real upshot here is that Trump is now banking solely on magic carpet rides.
Moreover, Trump’s rescue fantasy not only magically gets him off the legal hook, it also involves him having limitless power. In Trump’s delusional fantasy, he’s powerful enough that he gets to decide whether the Feds will be allowed to search his home again. Not the federal court system that signs off on such warrants, but Trump himself will now be the decider of these things. And because Trump is graciously allowing the Feds to carry out a search warrant of his home, he’s going to “supervise” the whole thing, because he’s the President of the United States. Except wait, no, he isn’t. He hasn’t been for the past two years, except in his own imagination.
The timing of Trump’s leak suggests that he’s expecting bad news very soon. But even setting that aside, the idea that he would leak something so grandiose and delusional, something that’s so far removed from the situation he’s in and the power he does or doesn’t have, points to a 100% break from reality for him. Not only does Trump know it’s over for him, he’s given up even trying to save himself. He’s moved on to embracing the bedtime story that he’s going to keep reciting in order to comfort himself as the Feds finish him off.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report