Trump always makes things worse for Trump. It's a rule that doesn't require a lot of research to confirm. Every decision Trump makes, whether it's linked to the investigation into his traitorous participation in the Russian plot to hijack our democratic institutions, or whether it has to do with his staff, his approach to legislation or foreign policy -- every decision he makes only worsens Trump's personal jeopardy, not to mention his presidential legacy.
A year in, it's almost become too easy to predict how Trump will react to whatever's happening around him. No matter what happens, he'll always choose the wrong thing. In the situation with Russia, it's especially easy to guess what he'll do. No one in the history of the American government has ever projected his own profound guilt. With every tweet, and every exclamatory "NO COLLUSION!" or "WITCH HUNT!" airing of grievances, he looks more and more like a man who's guilty of everything we've read about to date. And we know, almost for certain, that he'll keep escalating this approach, worsening the potential legal ramifications against him, while also underscoring his petulance, his unpresidentialness, his sense of entitlement and his total lack of impulse control.
As most of you have witnessed, Trump's agenda appears to be increasingly linked to the whimsy of his upper-middle-aged MAGA-hat fanboys and, more than that, the programming of Fox News Channel. Trump appears to believe that the Fox News demographic is an untapped market for presidential politics, so he's linking the fortunes of his presidency to whatever shit they broadcast on shows like Hannity and Fox & Friends. He's so loyal to Fox News that he often accepts the opinions of Doocy And Company more than his own advisers.
Indeed, this morning, Trump continued his habit of tweeting out plugs for particularly pro-Trump Fox News segments.
Trump steals wholesale from Fox News, believing that if he tethers himself to whatever's being said on the network, he'll automatically retain those viewers/voters and therefore he'll remain popular. Of course, Trump always makes things worse for Trump, so this strategic choice will definitely not help him win reelection, nor will it help his approval ratings. Trump's emerging Fox News agenda will only guarantee that he preserves around 30 percent of likely voters -- a number not even close to being enough to keep him afloat in an ocean of horseshit.
But this looks as if it's the basis for how he'll continue to behave.
On Friday, Trump pandered again to the Fox News audience while also continuing to telegraph his obvious guilt by ordering Jeff Sessions to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, just two days before McCabe's full pension was set to kick in. It's also worth noting that McCabe had already resigned. But Trump had to punish McCabe. He had to humiliate McCabe for daring to further the Trump-Russia investigation.
In the hours following McCabe's firing, Trump tweeted several messages, emphasizing the president's coarse, undignified behavior -- his sore-winnerism, his childish vindictiveness and his complete lack of presidential decency, decorum or dignity. How anyone of moral character can support this whining school-yard bully is confounding to me. Here's the most offensive of Trump's weekend Twitter tantrums:
Trump thinks this will illustrate himself as a tough-talking, no nonsense commander-in-chief type because it's the behavior that's most often projected by his television pundit heroes. He thinks it will further exonerate him from the growing slate of potential charges against him. Instead, it only emphasizes all of his worst qualities -- qualities that should have disqualified him for the presidency, were it not for Russian cyberattacks and the cultural sickness that's infected much of red America.
Rather than achieving what Trump wants, his tweets and public blurts only worsen his circumstances. The above McCabe tweet makes Trump seem even guiltier than he appeared before he tweeted it. It also helps Robert Mueller to zero-in on obstruction of justice charges -- charges that will ultimately be the centerpiece of the end of the Trump presidency, on top of money-laundering and the election conspiracy itself.
As an added bonus, Trump's loathsome screeching continues to drive away any and all leaners: voters who held their noses and cast ballots for Trump on the off-chance that he's crazy like a fox.
There's never been a president who's this unfamiliar with presidential best practices. The perpetually frustrating thing is, he seriously believes he's got this. He believes, especially in recent days, that he has a firm grasp of how to do this job even though he's utterly clueless and getting worse. For the rest of us, the chasmic disconnect between Trump's view of presidentialness versus what we all know to be true about the presidency is a primary source of the gaslighting we're experiencing with increasing levels of aggravation.
We've been conditioned to believe presidents act with the best interests of the presidency and with their own approval ratings in mind -- with the interests of the nation somewhere in the mix. Buh-bye to all that. Trump governs for the Fox News audience and no one else. And not only is it destroying his presidency and the office in general, one tweet at a time, but it's also highlighting how Fox News punditry absolutely fails to translate into effective real-world public policy and political strategy. Trump would probably do a little better basing his administration on the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup. But he's not even that smart.
Yet here we are again. In the wake of yet another weekend of unforgivably horrendous Trumpisms, he's only making things worse for Trump.