Donald Trump keeps humiliating himself with increasingly desperate and farcical legal antics that merely serve to underscore what a sore loser he is. These antics are cementing his legacy as an unfunny punchline. But he’s just doing this so he can fundraise money off it – right? He’s not so far gone that he’s humiliating himself out of pure spite, is he?
That’s a question we’re about to get answered. Trump can surely find some suckers to donate to his lost-cause election battle all the way up until the day he leaves office, so he has a logical basis for continuing the farce all the way until the end. But now he faces a different quandary.
Trump publicly threatened to veto the entire U.S. military budget unless Congress adds a provision that would allow him to punish Twitter. This is a bridge too far even for the Republicans, who don’t want to be seen as screwing with the military, for fear it could be used against them when they’re up for reelection.
Accordingly, the military budget is set to land on Trump’s desk, without his precious anti-Twitter provision, and with enough bipartisan votes to override a veto. There’s no reason to expect that anyone who voted for the military budget the first time will vote against it the second time. So if Trump does veto it, he’ll be doing it out of pure spite, knowing he’ll lose the battle, humiliating himself in the process, and gaining nothing at all from it.
If Trump does take this step, it’ll be time to conclude that he’s now willing to humiliate himself for the sake of spite and spite alone, which would mean he’s shifted into a new headspace that’s acutely self destructive. It would suggest that once he leaves office, he’ll spitefully destroy himself in rather swift fashion.
That said, if Trump doesn’t veto the budget and instead quietly swallows it, then it’ll suggest that he’s still in the same old mindset as ever: making big threats to see if they’ll work, and then meekly backing down whenever he sees that they’re not going to work.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report