Thursday, November 12, 2020


People who regard themselves as savvy believe that the president is continuing his futile efforts to contest the election because he's hoping he can cut a deal to avoid lawsuits and/or criminal prosecution in exchange for an orderly departure from the White House.

I'm inclined not to believe that because Donald Trump always thinks good fortune is on his side -- and really, why shouldn't he? He's an inept businessman who's lived like a billionaire his entire adult life. He consorts with criminals, but he's never been convicted of anything. He's a political ignoramus who was elected president of the United States and came fairly close to being reelected after being impeached. He's an obese septuagenarian who was hospitalized with COVID-19 and seems to have bounced right back, with no aftereffects. If he likes his odds in the courtroom -- or in several courtrooms -- do you blame him?

Also, every report on his mood that I've read since the elections portrays a guy who's taking this very, very personally. It seems to me that he's much more concerned about being seen as a loser than he is about going to jail. Here's a CNN story:
How much longer President Donald Trump continues waging battle over an election he lost remained in question Thursday as more of his advisers voiced doubt his gambit to contest the results would succeed. One person who spoke to him called him "dejected" over the ordeal.

Trump himself was waffling by the hour and day between a pugilistic desire to keep fighting and a more resigned attitude that his efforts will ultimately fail, people who spoke to him said.

... surveyed by CNN, nearly everyone close to Trump said they believed it was only a matter of time before he finds some way to acknowledge he will not be president come January 20 -- and said he was likely to pin blame on his baseless claims of a rigged election.
Of course, he doesn't think the claims of rigging are baseless. He's the president of the United States, but he's also a typical elderly white male Fox viewer, so he believes every half-baked story he hears about evil Democrats. According to an earlier Washington Post story, White House aides say Trump went into this fight with "no real plan to overturn results." Of course not. Trump simply believed that Democratic voter fraud would be as self-evident to judges as it is to regular Fox viewers. He didn't need to marshal any evidence because the evil would be obvious.

What the CNN report tells is pathetically sad, or would be if it didn't involve the most repulsive person in America:
... staffers feel obliged to continue their work and even celebrate Trump's perceived victory while the President largely discontinues his own official tasks.

As Trump was in the White House residence last week, watching his path to a second term slip from grasp, his staffers were holding a premature celebration next door....

The ill-timed celebration was another reminder of how the Trump administration is operating as if a second term is in the offing, even as many officials say they are just waiting on the President to publicly accept reality. Budgets are being drawn and staff told to stay put, even though nearly everyone knows the gig will end eventually.
This isn't happening because Trump has a realistic understanding of the situation and is hoping to finagle a deal. It's happening because he's a tyrant with the emotional maturity of a toddler, and he needs to be mollified.
For Trump, the days since the election have been a dark stretch. While aides say he has thrown relatively few angry fits -- most people in the building were fully expecting them -- he has seemed downcast....

The President went for three days without leaving the building before making the trip to his golf course in Virginia on Saturday....

In the days since, Trump has spent ample time in front of the TV watching coverage of Biden's transition, including his public remarks describing Trump's reluctance to concede an "embarrassment." He was thrilled when he saw Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mention a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration" during a news conference on Tuesday, one person who spoke to him said.

But he has been dismayed to see foreign leaders, including those he considered friends such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, move swiftly toward congratulating Biden.

He has spent much of his days on the phone, describing his strong view the election had been stolen from him and his disbelief at losing to Biden. But throughout his conversations this week, Trump has appeared cognizant that his legal efforts aren't likely to reverse the results of the contest and that he will depart the White House in January.
What we're not being told is that Trump is consulting with lawyers about his likely legal troubles. He doesn't seem to be doing that. He just seems to be whining about how he got robbed and hoping someone will tell him what he wants to hear.

And we're told in this story and others that Trump seems serious about running in 2024.
Several ... people, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, said they expected Trump to tease a 2024 run when he does finally acknowledge the results. Those sources expect Trump to dismiss the 2020 race as fraudulent and while hinting that he's running again in four years.
If he's planning to run again, he obviously doesn't believe he's going to jail or the poorhouse.

In other words, he's Donald Trump, the world's most insecure egomaniac. He's exactly who we thought he was. He may be, as everyone says, "transactional," but the salient point right now is that he's pouty and butthurt. He has to get past that before he starts thinking about deals.

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