“An attack on our country.”
.. But a lawful raid on his attorney’s office and hotel room is what prompted the president to use those immensely weighted words. They’re a signal — make that a siren — of how cornered he feels, how monstrously large his belief in his own persecution has grown and what a perilous situation America is in.
.. Some unrelated swipe at perceived enemies or random assertion of potency by a man who cannot bear any image of impotence and is always ginning up distractions, as both a matter of strategy and a function of temperament?
.. He was telling us, yet again, not to trust our own government. And he was reminding us, in shocking fashion, about his readiness to sell (and buy) fictions if they serve his self-interest, which he reliably puts before all else.
.. Even though Cohen is the apparent focus of their interest, Trump, too, must feel hideously exposed. This is a man who refused, despite intense pressure, to release his tax returns
.. Now information that may be much more private, and much more damning, is in strangers’ hands.
.. Trump, during a meeting that was supposed to be about Syria, went on and on about the “disgrace” (he used that word seven times) of Mueller’s investigation
.. It was the full martyr complex and all the greatest hits in one meltdown. Mike Pence sat stone-faced on one side of him, John Bolton without much expression on the other. It’s hard to imagine either of them having the rapport with Trump to calm him down.
.. There is no Hope Hicks anymore, no Rob Porter, no Gary Cohn, no H. R. McMaster: The ranks of people who either gave Trump a sense of comfort and stability or sought to steer him away from his most destructive impulses have thinned. He’s more alone than ever. He must be more frightened, too.
But not half as scared as the rest of us should be.
The purest expression of this shrug lies in the word “bof.” It conveys the contemptuous French dismissal of, say, a politician’s affair, and is the best retort I know to the hyperventilating, nasty outrage that has become the lingua franca of the social media age.
.. Kim also noted, “A frightened dog barks louder.” This was interesting. The question always arises with Trump whether he is more coward than bully. You don’t have to be called Sigmund to sense that Trump’s bullying and pouting braggadocio reflect some deep cowardice. Is the combination more likely to produce action or inaction?
.. Trump, of course, is not a normal president. He called Kim a “madman”; he should know. So I am happy that the European leader with whom Trump seems to have the strongest rapport is Macron, who can bring his country’s wisdom on “the human basics” to bear on Trump’s wild leanings.