How very typical. According to Trump insiders interviewed by the Washington Post, it is not the callous, horrific, and obvious self-interest on display in the hearings that most bothers Trump. No, of all the evidence the Committee has mined and presented to the American people, Trump is most bothered by the number of “his people” that raised their hands to tell the truth and promptly said Trump lost the election fair and square and they all knew it.
It is simply more irrefutable proof that the sociopathic-narcissist isn’t bothered by the pain he inflicted on others, nor the danger to the country. His primary interest is surviving the narcissistic injury that has him in the psychological ICU on life support. He lost – but that’s impossible. It would make him a loser which is the same as being dead.
In a WaPo deep dive, an anonymous Trump insider says that Trump watches highlights of the hearings (probably cannot bear seeing it live, not knowing what might be revealed next), then calls his friends to get their thoughts.
“He has grown most animated about the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and urged allies to contest her account. He has been especially angered seeing some of his close associates on camera criticizing his actions or disputing his claim that the election was stolen, four advisers said”
Well, at least he’s able to comprehend the most damaging testimony, though Trump’s misogyny is surely also on display in being most infuriated by Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony. The courageous and poised Hutchinson delivered the most crucial evidence heard to date, and it came from a young, inexperienced woman and not some powerful man. Trump can’t process such a dynamic. Beautiful women like Hutchinson are playthings to Trump, not empowered equals with the intellect and integrity to bring him down.
He is still dangerous.
Trump has also urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others to push back more aggressively against the committee, and has complained there are no Republicans on television defending him. He has asked aides and advisers to attack the committee online, with his posts on Truth Social, the online platform set up by him and his allies, not getting as much traction as he once got on Twitter.
Last night, Josh Hawley appeared on stage at a Republican event and said that he’s not ashamed of January 6th and not going to apologize for it on bended knee, surely carrying out Trump’s instructions. (Ironically, Hawley said he’s not going to “run from it.”) This is where Trump’s MAGA defenders get particularly dangerous. He has already normalized throwing away election results and declaring oneself the victor no matter the numbers, destroying American faith in elections. Now there is a concerted effort to normalize violence when conservatives “know” they deserve the presidency.
MAGA-Republicans remain indefatigable in defense of Trump the man and his infallibility, and thus they support him strongly. But many of those exact same people now prefer that he not run again in 2024:
“You can see the effect of the hearings in the percentage of Republicans who want him to run again,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster. “A great many Republicans are protective of him and defensive of their support for him but increasingly of the view that he carries way too much baggage to be the nominee in 2024.”
It would seem to be good news, but it’s not, for two reasons. There will likely be at least five to ten people running against Trump in any primary. Promises to refrain be damned.
Biden is polling terribly, and surveys show that, though Democrats don’t see Biden as “addled” (a favorite GOP refrain), they do worry about him running again in 2024. The open door will be too much to resist for many Republican politicians. Ironically, the more candidates that run, the better it is for Trump, rather than a Trump versus DeSantis head to head. Only a small minority of GOPers wanted Trump at the beginning of 2016. He just kept clearing the bar with 22% or so in most states until all other viable candidates dropped out.
If Trump wins 25% of the primary vote in early states against ten other candidates, Trump likely wins that state and moves on. It is 2016 all over again, where 75% of the GOP hated Trump until they couldn’t anymore.
Or DeSantis wins. DeSantis brings all the MAGA – indeed, more effective MAGA, and yet none of the Trump baggage. If one looks at what DeSantis has done in Florida, quickly consolidating complete control of the legislature, shamelessly and ruthlessly changing the laws in his favor, and the same dynamic with the state supreme court, DeSantis’s control of Florida is Stalin-like. A similar effort at the federal level may bring about the same result. Fascist Florida becomes the fascist United States.
But for now, defeating Trumpism is priority number one, and Trump seems to understand that the hearings are devastating him. First, they are lighting a fire under DOJ, which looks derelict itself in comparison, but is now on the move. Criminal charges are possible if Merrick Garland proves strong enough. Second, the hearings have just served to remind Republicans why Trump is just too exhausting, too demanding, too much drama, too much about a big baby, and not the conservative paradise for which they’re fighting.
Trump knows this. Maybe he could deal with just being “president emeritus” and calling himself the boss no matter who is in the White House. But he cannot deal with being called a loser. He cannot hear that Joe Biden beat him fair and square. A national consensus that Trump clearly lost is like a dangerous clot almost loose in his narcissistic mind. A psychological stroke would leave Trump unable to speak. Nothing to say.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.