In the week since his sham acquittal, Donald Trump has been acting pretty much exactly like he always acts. He’s firing good people out of pure vengeance. He’s corruptly meddling in the criminal prosecutions of his co-conspirators. He’s tweeting menacing things. He’s not “emboldened,” because none of this is new. But because everyone is watching him right now to see how he behaves post-acquittal, everything he does at the moment is magnified.
The beautiful part is that he’s self destructing right on schedule. He’s continuing to do precisely the kinds of corrupt, inept, absurd, bonkers things that he’s always done. He’s proving the Democrats and Mitt Romney right. He’s proving that the Republican Senate shirked its duty when it had the opportunity to remove him – and he’s doing it with all eyes on him.
Imagine if Trump were acting perfectly reasonable, normal, sane, and conciliatory right now. That kind of behavior might give him a chance at winning over some fence-sitters and boosting his weak approval rating. If Trump were willing or able to play the part, we’d have a much harder time defeating him in November. Instead, he’s handing us a huge gift. Maybe it’s because he’s afraid of losing his base if he acts too normal. Or maybe he’s just too far gone to be able to control himself. Either way, it’s a gift, and a timely one.
Some of you get this. But at large, almost no one does. Right now we’re seeing some Resistance members coming up with some of the most histrionic and hallucinatory fatalist scenarios yet. Some folks are even imagining∂ doomsday scenarios in which Trump magically cancels the election. If only the Resistance were better at understanding what winning and losing actually looks like. Trump is aggressively punching himself in the face repeatedly right now. Will the Resistance mistakenly cower in fear while muttering fatalist hallucinations, or will the Resistance step up over these next several months and finish him off? Trump is trying to hand us a win. Will we invent reasons to pout and cry, or will we step up and seize the opportunity?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report