Tuesday, November 24, 2020


As the president's efforts to subvert the election fail everywhere, his ongoing loyalty to Rudy Giuliani seems ... puzzling.
Trump is worried that his campaign’s legal team, which is being led by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, is composed of “fools that are making him look bad,” NBC News reported Monday....

But when asked why Trump doesn’t fire Giuliani and other attorneys who remain on the team, a person familiar with the president’s thinking gave a profane shoulder shrug of an answer.

“Who the f--- knows?” that person said to NBC News.
Appearing on Morning Joe, AP's Jonathan Lemire offered some theories:
... the president isn’t likely to cut Giuliani loose for one important reason, [Lemire] said.

“The thing that Trump cherishes and prizes most of all among his aides is the willingness to go on TV to defend him,” Lemire said. “That’s what many people close to him have said that, and Giuliani does do that. He did so in 2016, he did so most notably during the Russia probe, during the Mueller case. People close to the president say that, yes, that Trump has awareness that Giuliani led him astray during Ukraine, but that’s overshadowed by the sense from the president that Giuliani did some some good in the Russia probe, with his fog machine to confuse the issues and deliver attacks on Mueller that seemed to undermine the special council’s credibility. The president was willing to keep him in the orbit and we saw the role that Giuliani played in peddling baseless theories about Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He is not willing to cut him free, but certainly frustrated with recent days.”
Trump has built an apparatus that doesn't always work very well, but it does accomplish two goals fairly efficiently: It allows Trump to fight people incessantly and it coddles Trump's delicate ego. And when the fights don't work out, it gives Trump scapegoats to blame.

Giuliani never stops battling on Trump's behalf, even if he's terrible at it. Trump gets tremendous emotional satisfaction from watching people fight on his behalf, even if they're fighting ineptly. It's primitive and it's male -- it's no surprise that Trump has distanced himself from Sidney Powell but not from Giuliani, who's just as incompetent and prone to making wild, unsupportable statements, but who doesn't have a vagina.

Trump gets off on having men fight on his behalf, and it sometimes works, though it didn't work in this case. But hiring a crude brawler like Giuliani then protects Trump's ego because he can blame his failures on the ineptitude of the fight, rather than on himself for picking the fight in the first place (or hiring incompetent fighters).

So in a weird way, it's win-win for Trump, at least in his own mind -- even though he's a loser.

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