The Donald is So Predictable

Surround a narcissist with sycophants, and you get the sort of thing the Daily Beast is reporting about the Donald’s pas de deux with Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI who now serves as special counsel investigating the possibly illegal conduct of various members of the Donald’s campaign, now including the Donald himself.

Two days after reports that Trump was thinking of firing Mueller, which he does not technically have the authority to do, his staff’s apparent belief to the contrary notwithstanding, the Daily Beast now reports that his staff appreciates better than the Donald himself what a huge political catastrophe would ensue were he to fire Mueller. But even as persons both inside and outside the administration do their best to signal reality to the so called president, there is no guarantee that the message is getting through. A story in the Washington Post claiming that Mueller is now specifically looking at the Donald’s own conduct for possibly having obstructed justice can only aggravate the situation. Allegedly, since the rumor emerged, the so called president has foregone an opportunity to comment on it. The claim is that he thinks leaving Mueller hanging will scare him into exonerating the so called president.

This sort of…one hesitates to call it “logic”… thought process (?) is the sort of thing one should now expect from the Donald in that it reflects a really quite stunning inability to evaluate matters of law, politics, and basic human psychology. Mueller is a highly respected former prosecutor and director of the FBI. By taking the special counsel position, he is essentially doing the public a huge favor. The job must pay much less than the one he had immediately before he took it. Presumably, either he has so much money in the bank that money is not much of an issue for him, or he just places a significant premium on public service. Either way, the idea that the Donald has any hope of intimidating him is ridiculous in the extreme.

The Donald seems not to understand that a man like Mueller got where he is in part by conducting actual investigations in a mostly fair and serious manner, going where the evidence he finds led him, not allowing the egos or opinions of others to get in his way.

Trump’s alleged hope that he can intimidate Mueller is a highly specific manifestation of one of the biggest problems with the Donald as president, and one that was entirely predictable. In addition to his gross ignorance of and indifference to law and politics as civilized people practice them in the United States, he also has a vastly exaggerated idea of the powers of the presidency. He seems to think that, in holding the office of President of the United States, he is a king of sorts, who should be able to order anyone who works for the federal government around at will.

Of course, this is completely false, but it is one major source of the problems the so called president, as the Daily Beast reports, creates for himself with his hamfisted approach to his new job. The Donald seems not yet to understand that his own behavior has caused the pickle he now finds himself in and apparently is very angry about. His attempts to elicit statements from the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency stating that he was not personally under investigation, plus his firing of Comey, have backfired badly and are precisely why he is now himself under investigation for obstruction of justice. Being a good “conservative,” he suffers badly from the failing of thinking that anything becomes true simply because he says it is. Indeed, the Donald’s cognitive insularity epitomizes this debility, and it is precisely why he keeps taking actions that only make the situation worse.

One hesitates to wish that he would fire Mueller, except that doing so would likely push him much closer to impeachment.

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