One of the unspoken rules in political punditry is that you’re not allowed to admit Donald Trump is stumbling blindly through all of this and has no idea what he’s doing. Whatever Trump does – no matter how absurd or nonsensical – you have to come up with a narrative for how it’s somehow part of his 2020 strategy.
Take, for instance, Donald Trump’s decision last night to cancel a planned visit with Denmark because it’s refusing to sell Greenland to him. We all know this is just Trump being an ass because he got humiliated, but as a pundit I’m supposed to tell you that Trump is using this as a genius distraction from his other scandals.
When Trump tweeted this morning that he’s the “King of Israel,” after insisting last night that American Jews are “disloyal,” it was obviously because someone must have reminded him that most Jews voted against him in 2016. When Trump declared himself the “chosen one” on the White House lawn today, it’s clearly because he’s cracking under the pressure and he’s going down in a blaze of delusion. But as a pundit, I’m supposed to spin this as all part of some master plan to win in 2020.
Sure enough, as I poke around today, I’m finding some pundits from some major news outlets trying to spin Donald Trump’s deranged idiocy over the past 24 hours as part of some secret evil genius strategy that even they admit they don’t understand. Can we stop with this nonsense now? Trump sees his 2020 poll numbers in the gutter, and he knows that he’s headed to prison if he loses, and he’s throwing an unhinged series of tantrums accordingly.
There’s no strategy here. Trump just gave up on the 2020 election, at least in terms of trying to speak and behave in a manner that might allow him to continue having a chance at competing in the election. Instead we’ve reached the point in the movie where the villain realizes he’s not going to survive this, and gives up all pretense of pretending he’s not the villain. This arguably makes Trump even more dangerous than ever – but there’s clearly no strategy here. The pundits do us a disservice by pretending there is one.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report