Mainstream conservatives fervently hoped that Donald Trump‘s address to Congress was the ‘pivot’ that would stick. They were disappointed. Trump is back on his tweet pipe and the bile is flowing freely. His latest twitter storm absurdly cast President Obama as a schemer wiretapping Trump Tower. In one burst of inanity, Trump thrust Nixon, Watergate, and McCarthy to the fore – while weeping over the threat to the ‘very scared’ election process.
Trump is the last person who should bring up Nixon. The press hate and paranoia comparisons are already coming regularly – he should refrain from validating them. Or not. Politics is the new disaster movie.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) makes a useful point. Either there was wiretapping – which needs approval from a federal judge. Which means there is some there, there. Or Trump is paranoid. (I would add that if Trump is only crazy-tweeting to distract from the Russian thing, that means he knows there’s something to it)
Lindsey Graham walked a similar dichotomy. He weighed in on Trump’s Twitter madness during a meeting with his constituents. In his words: “I’m very worried that our president is suggesting that the former president has done something illegal”. Adding, “I would be very worried if, in fact, the Obama Administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about Trump campaign activity with foreign governments.”
In plain English, Lindsey is saying that either Obama ordered an illegal wiretap (scandal). Or the wiretap was legal – in which case, there was probable cause (also scandal).
Graham apparently is too decent a man to consider another possibility, that Trump’s tweet is a cynical ploy (see above). Or even that Trump is just nuts.
Trump is trying to justify Jeff Sessions‘ Russian contortions with the ‘everybody’s doing it’ defense. He has demanded that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi be investigated for their meetings with Russian officials. I agree. Let’s investigate everyone. Trump can start by telling Congress to appoint a special prosecutor. And let him/her start with the administration.
Trump has also decided that the Russian ambassador visiting the White House 22 times is worthy of note. Which raises two questions. One, isn’t that the Ambassador – and the President’s – job. And two, did Obama deny it?
Fox News’s Chris Wallace asks why Trump keeps “breathing oxygen into a story he doesn’t like”. The answer, of course, is that Trump cannot help himself. He is not a man driven by logic. He is a man whose psyche demands that every slight is answered in kind – no matter how self-destructive. It is the lack of sophistication found in children and the mentally damaged.