I’ll confess that it’s getting harder and harder to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to Donald Trump soundbites these days. Literally everything he says is some combination of crazy and delusional.
It used to be that you could “explain” (if that’s what you want to call it) his bombast by reference to either his inherent narcissism or his penchant for habitually lying every time he opens his mouth.
But more and more, the things he’s saying (out loud, to people with ears, mind you) are so detached from reality that it’s not entirely clear whether he’s in full possession of his faculties. Listen to what he just told reporters:
The fact that virtually all of that is lies isn’t what’s surprising and/or alarming. Rather, it’s that he seems to want to believe it. His body language suggests he knows he’s lying, but he sounds less like he’s talking to the public and more like he’s giving himself a pep talk in the mirror.
He doesn’t, for instance, have “great relationships” with Senators. Not even Republican Senators. Remember what Bob Corker told The New York Times earlier this month? To wit:
Look, except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here. Of course they understand the volatility that we’re dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road.
Right. “Of course” most Republicans understand what they’re “dealing with.” How could you listen to this person and observe his behavior on a daily basis and not understand?
I mean did you catch that on health care? He thinks Republicans and Democrats are now “meeting” to discuss health care because “of what he did” with Obamacare subsidies and then he said that otherwise they’d be “having lunch and enjoying themselves.” On that latter point he’s probably correct – no one has an appetite and no one can “enjoy themselves” because Trump has just unilaterally thrown the entire national health care system (as flawed as it most certainly is) into total disarray. He finishes by saying that Obamacare is “dead” and “gone.” But that’s not true. It’s not only not dead and gone, it’s the law. Again, he sounds like he’s trying to convince himself more than he’s trying to convince the nation.
And what’s with the “I’m not going to blame myself” thing? You can justifiably point to partisan bickering and inexcusable gridlock as an aggravating factor, but he is absolving himself of any and all responsibility for anything and he’s the President of the United States.
And finally, notice what he said in that clip about Steve Bannon and his effort to field challengers to GOP incumbents. Trump has heard Bannon’s message loud and clear. Remember what we said over the weekend after Bannon supposedly “endorsed” Trump? Here’s a reminder:
Bannon is reminding Trump that what got him elected is the same thing that propelled Moore to victory in Alabama despite Trump’s endorsement of the opposing candidate, Luther Strange. Bannon is effectively giving Trump another chance to get back on board with that agenda and doing so means getting aggressive when it comes to using any and all means available to implement the campaign promises that The New York Times correctly notes Trump is not fulfilling.
If you’re tempted to try and explain away bizarre ramblings like that which you just listened to in the embedded clip above, just remember what Corker said about the need to be honest with yourself, even if you’re a Republican:
I don’t know why the president says things are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it.