Friday, January 10, 2020


This doesn't surprise me at all:
Days after authorizing an unambiguous act of war backed by a shoddy rationale, the president of the United States began this week by reiterating a threat to commit war crimes by bombing cultural sites in Iran. With the peculiar logic of an employee tanking their performance just before asking for a raise, he ended the week complaining about not yet receiving the Nobel Peace Prize:
“I made a deal. I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace prize for saving the country. I said ‘did I have something to do with it?’ Yeah. But you know that’s the way it is. As long as we know, that’s all that matters. I saved a big war, I saved a couple of ‘em.”
That was at a Trump rally in Ohio last night. It's not clear what country he's claiming to have saved or what real or imagined winner of the Nobel he's referring to. But he wants the Nobel, and while this is a sign of his all-consuming narcissism, the fact that he still believes he's Nobel-worthy isn't evidence of dementia or delusion. A favorite phrase among conservatives whenever there's a Republican president is "peace through strength." Predictably, we're hearing it again. I assume that at least one right-wing pundit will soon publish a column earnestly recommending that Trump be awarded the prize.

Let me repeat something I've said before: If there's a second Trump term, it will be horrible in many ways -- more brutality toward immigrants, more rejection of climate science, an even fuller takeover of the federal judiciary -- but the president might not do some of the truly awful things we expect him to do if he's reelected. He might not actually destroy what's left of democracy. He might not assume dictatorial powers.

He might just devote his days (as I wrote last year) to ensuring his legacy. He might wake up every morning with the same thoughts: Where's my Nobel Prize? How do I get on Mount Rushmore? Do I have to be dead before they put me on money?

He really might marshal all the resources of the Executive Branch in an effort to get himself that damn Nobel. It might be the second-term initiative he spends the most time on.

Unless he's trying to finagle the system so he can win a third term. That might be the only thing that distracts him from Nobel dreams.

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