Trump suggested at a speech yesterday in Ohio that his opponents were treasonous for not clapping at his State of the Union. Today Trump ordered the military to prepare a large parade on Pennsylvania Avenue complete with tanks and missile launchers. On one hand, he apparently wants to keep up with his reference group of dictators, including Putin and Kim, but on the other hand he wants to do whatever he can to enrage liberals.
Will he submit to an interview with investigator Mueller? Will he allow the release of the Democratic memo rebutting the Nunes memo? Will he hold DACA hostage in exchange for funding his border wall? Will he force the Democrats to shut down the government to protest his agenda?
Trump is sewing chaos and distraction, as he has done his entire career. It’s exhausting keeping up with the latest vile, graceless outrage that burbles from his lips or beams from his rancid Twitter feed. But that’s how authoritarians roll. If people become numb to their affronts it allows tyrants to carve out more and more power. But in Trump’s case, part of the chaos stems from his anxiety over the Russia investigation. His escalating rhetoric (treason! worse than Watergate!) seems in lock step with his fear of impending justice.
Mueller and the Dream Team know how to slowly tighten the screws and force their targets to squirm and make mistakes. And Trump has already made plenty. As Trump sounds increasingly like a dictator, and his children send out increasingly frantic tweets, and his advisers tell increasingly outlandish lies, and his party goes to increasingly absurd lengths to support him, they are playing into the hands of the FBI.
Trump’s hard-core supporters refuse to see his panic and dysfunction but the rest of America does, and their anger is growing. In solid-red Missouri yesterday a special state-house election was won by a Democrat in a district that went for Trump by 28 points. It’s encouraging–if a Democrat can win in a Republican district outside St. Louis, a Democrat can win in a swing district like NY-19. Our challenge is to repel Trump Fatigue and keep putting in the hard work necessary to ensure that Faso is replaced by someone who will stand against Trump, and stand with average citizens who want and deserve more than crumbs from the table of the plutocrats.