Most Americans spent the Christmas holiday weekend trying to unplug themselves from a tumultuous year for the country, while giving thanks for the fact that Donald Trump hasn’t yet gotten us all killed. Trump himself proved that he has no such ability to unplug himself from his chaotic haze of anger, feuds, conspiracies, insults, vitriol, and self congratulatory delusion. As incoherent as some of his outbursts were, there are some things we can learn from Trump’s lost weekend.
For starters, Trump is clearly rattled. Of late the media has largely begun portraying him as a “Teflon Don” who’s going to magically get away with everything by firing Robert Mueller and shutting down the FBI as his own party glowingly fawns over his every word. But it turns out even the ever-narcissistic Trump isn’t fully buying into that narrative. His desperate attacks on Andrew McCabe alone are enough to reveal that he’s trying to fight the battle with words because he can’t figure out how to win with actions. It also reveals he doesn’t know whom he’s fighting.
Trump keeps attacking McCabe, who holds an influential position as FBI Deputy Director, but who has no authority over the Trump-Russia investigation. This tells us that Trump is settling for lashing out at people he personally resents, in order to make himself feel better. So long as he’s engaging in the wrong battles with the wrong people, it gives cover for his real adversaries like Mueller to continue quietly carving chunks out of him. But the real reveal from Trump’s lost weekend may have come from his final tweet.
On Christmas evening, Donald Trump took a moment to congratulate himself: “I hope everyone is having a great Christmas, then tomorrow it’s back to work in order to Make America Great Again (which is happening faster than anyone anticipated)!” In reality, he’s the most unpopular first-year U.S. President in the history of polling, and his list of accomplishments is extraordinarily short. In other words, when it comes to how badly he’s failing, he’s deeper into denial than ever. That tells us he’s not equipped for what’s about to happen to him as the Trump-Russia investigation closes in on him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report