Soothing The Presidential Ego

[ Posted Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 – 17:56 UTC ]

As if we weren't already in Bizarro World, America is now going through a period where the national government has dedicated itself to one goal above all else: soothing President Trump's fragile and bruised ego. This is beyond pathetic, it's approaching being downright dangerous.

People are even admitting that this is precisely what is going on. Anonymously, to be sure, because who wants to bring down the Toddler-in-Chief's wrath? Here is the most extraordinary quote from a "senior Republican official" I think I've ever heard:

What is the downside for humoring [President Donald Trump] for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change. He went golfing this weekend. It's not like he's plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power on Jan. 20. He's tweeting about filing some lawsuits, those lawsuits will fail, then he'll tweet some more about how the election was stolen, and then he'll leave.

One can only hope, at this point.

But it's getting more serious by the day, because now it's not just a few ego-soothing bogus lawsuits. The head of the General Services Administration is refusing to make an official "ascertainment" that Joe Biden won the election, which blocks the Biden transition team from being officially formed (and paid). Trump has reportedly also told his cabinet to refuse access to the Biden transition team.

To work out his rage, Trump is firing people left and right. Including, most notably, his secretary of Defense. The people who remain are backing Trump's delusion to the hilt. Mike Pompeo just stated today that he was preparing the State Department for a "smooth transition to a second Trump administration." He may have been joking, but it's hard to tell at times. William Barr overturned Justice Department protocol to give the green light to federal prosecutors to open investigations into all the non-existent voter fraud Trump keeps whining about. This immediately led the guy that was nominally in charge of election crimes to resign in disgust:

Shortly after [Attorney General William] Barr's directive was released, Richard Pilger, director of the D.O.J. Criminal Division's Election Crimes Branch, sent colleagues an email saying he was transferring to another role in the department. The 28-year-veteran federal prosecutor also made unmistakably clear that alarm at Barr's policy shift prompted his exit from the job he has held since 2010.

Pilger's email called Barr's edict "an important new policy abrogating the 40-year-old Non-Interference policy of ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested."

"Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications... I must regretfully resign from my role as Director of the Election Crimes Branch," Pilger wrote in his message, first reported by The New York Times. "I have enjoyed very much working with you for over a decade to aggressively and diligently enforce federal criminal election law, policy, and practice without partisan fear or favor."

The rest of the federal government is also supposed to act as if Trump is going to have a second term as well. Plans for the annual budget document -- which the White House traditionally gives to Congress in February -- are moving forward. Everyone is being told to put in a massive amount of work to create a document that will never see the light of day -- because it will be chucked out on January 20th by the incoming team.

This is not just delusion, it is institutionalized delusion. And not in the sense of: "putting a delusional person in an institution," but rather: "changing the entire institution of government to fit one man's delusion." It is delusion writ large. Because Trump is sulking, the rest of the government must sulk with him. This is where we are, folks.

Will any of it change as the vote counts are certified? That's hard to tell, at this point. Will Trump continue to throw a tantrum, or will he eventually accept the reality that he lost? Your guess is as good as mine.

For now, Republicans are humoring Trump, because they can still say things like: "nothing's been finalized yet," and: "he deserves his day in court." However, those paper-thin excuses have a definite shelf-life. In a matter of days, states will indeed start certifying their results. Trump's lawsuits are being steadily laughed out of court for their complete and utter lack of evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever. So sooner or later, "just give him some time" is going to not be an acceptable response any more. The clock is ticking, and every moment nearer to January 20th is a step towards the inevitable.

For now, Trump can get away with sulking and refusing the Biden transition team access. However, that is not going to last very long. Once the election results are finalized and certified, then Trump will no longer have any excuse for not doing so. And it will become a question of national security, because the incoming president needs to be in the loop for what is happening both in all the federal departments and out in the rest of the world as well. That is when all the other Republicans will be forced to take a real stand.

Trump refusing all the ceremonial aspects of the transfer of power is one thing. Trump likely won't invite Biden to the White House or attend his inauguration. But you know what? Biden already knows his way around the White House. Ceremonial snubs will merely be a final embarrassing footnote in Trump's legacy -- they won't impact Biden's legacy one whit.

But if Trump tries to deny Biden access to the non-ceremonial aspects of the transition even after the election results are certified, that's going to get very serious very fast. It may not be "plotting how to prevent Joe Biden from taking power," but it's awfully close.

Trump tantrums sometimes burn themselves out. But not always. Sometimes they just get added to Trump's ever-growing load of grudges he carries around. "Humoring" the president's ego, at this point, is just pathetic. But going along with blocking an incoming administration from access is downright dangerous for the entire country. And the clock is indeed ticking towards that decision point.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


24 Comments on “Soothing The Presidential Ego”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    This is not just delusion, it is institutionalized delusion. And not in the sense of: "putting a delusional person in an institution," but rather: "changing the entire institution of government to fit one man's delusion." It is delusion writ large.

    Heh. Sigh. I mean ... Hehehehehehe. You really MUST laugh at the situation because, you know ...

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trump and Co. really have taken over the Republican party to the point where Republicans are willing to publically humiliate themselves and destroy any semblance of credibility they may have had left over the last many years.

    For what? The right to hold on to Trump's supporters so they don't lose their own grasp on power?

    These Republicans are going to be in real trouble if Biden, over the course of the next two years, is able to persuade enough former Trump supporters that he is the guy that has always had their best interests at heart.

  3. [3] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Some writers at DailyKos have suggested that the White House isn't just stalling out of petulance but also buying time to shred documents and wipe servers of incriminating records. Seem plausible?

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    God only knows what is going on in there - now and for the last four years. Should probably fumigate it all, among other things, before moving in.

  5. [5] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    andygaus [3]

    The most popular theory I've seen is that it's to keep the base riled up for one final fleecing to cover Trump's campaign debts and to fund his PAC and maybe fund a new news network. His current "save America" fund to help fund the "legal battle" is a 40/60 split for the aforementioned projects and a pathetically tiny bit left over for the legal defense fund, as outlined in the fine print.

    Personally, once the votes are certified, I think Biden should leak that he was thinking of someone bi-partizan for AG but with the Trump antics he is leaning toward Preet Bharara. Then if the antics are still going on when he takes office, sedition charges for all involved...

  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    those paper-thin excuses have a definite shelf-life

    So does selling classified information to pay his personal debts. After January 20, he'll be taking a lot more risk. I wonder how many times he's talked to Putin in the last seven days.

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    I think it's obvious what Trump is up to:

    * He's stalling for time in order to shift the con to another playing field and setting up a scenario wherein he continues fleecing the gullible Trump Cult marks to keep their money flowing into his accounts. He loves the uneducated and easy to shake down... the Teanuts, the QAnon-sense conspiracy crowd, and the MAGA minions who couldn't find their way out of a paper bag with a giant pair of scissors because they're demonstrably dull-witted, slow to catch on, and ignorant enough to believe the utter asinine concept that Donald Trump is "their voice"... versus the con artist extraordinaire who's spent a lifetime doing everything he can to separate people from their money to use for his own benefit. He's got outstanding debts coming due, and the New York Attorney General and all manner of legal types from multiple jurisdictions are soon to be attached to his fat ass for his decades of fraud that he and his crime family have committed.

    * He's systematically installing his loyalists, the conspiracy-theory Teanuts à la Devin Nunes in "high places" in order to promulgate a shit-ton more of their Russia-serving bullshit and to obfuscate the facts... taking active measures to undermine Biden while attempting to rewrite history to save his own ass.

    In other words, Donald will still be doing exactly what he did that got him impeached... except this time, Biden will be the president, and Trump will be the one running... pun intended. #SSDD

  8. [8] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    First off, Hats to the men of conscript armies, the women who stepped in to replace them in times of war and to the leaders of nations whose words and hearts paid for what we consider our freedom today.


    CW...Agreed, this has the potential to go pear-shaped and quickish. However quaintly you want describe Trump fiddling with himself while others feed the VCR with Swingers Porn, to keep him sated, the real world spins on.

    Yesterday, after having given the power to hurl any elected official from the governing body of Hong Kong, the Chinese appointed commissar did so four times.

    Crickets from Washington, while Trump gets jerked off.

    A week ago, the poor Armenians get a peace treaty shoved down their throats by Putin over Nagorno-Karabakh. ( I have a soft spot for Nagorno-Karabakh, I imagine Marlene Dietrich saying the name...) and the Armenian's epic struggle with a slime of humanity, Turkey. A generation before Hitler coined genocide, the Turks systematically ethnically cleansed themselves of Armenians and other peoples it deemed intrusive. The Western Allies greatest mistake of WW1 was accepting Turkish surrender, we should have sorted these heathens out while the chance was there... I think the Kurds would agree, not to mention the Greeks.

    Fucking Washington crickets.

    Shameful behaviour hopefully remedied on day one by Biden. We know the toothless-Tiger can only really condemn and sanction, but we know that works, why else would Trump be sent into power by Putin if not to ease sanctions and deflect condemnation?


  10. [10] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Re ". . . or will he eventually accept reality . . ."

    Obviously, he WILL 'eventually accept reality', not because he's willing, but because it will be forced upon him, but he will follow Hillary's example (times ten, likely) with something akin to 'It wasn't that the people don't love me, it was the FBI guy, or it was the Russians', etc. etc.

    For him, it'll be 'election fraud' or 'Fake pandemic', etc.

  11. [11] 
    Bleyd wrote:

    As of this posting, Biden has widened his popular vote victory to over 5 million, currently standing at around 77.3M to 72.2M.

  12. [12] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I'm seeing the word 'delusional' bandied about too much lately, it's starting to piss me off. Am I myself 'delusional' in my definition of 'delusional'?

    Simple answer, are you nuts?


    'Delusional' is the word de-jour in describing half of American voters recently.

    I think the word we're looking for here is 'dishonest'...


  13. [13] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I wish the count would just end in Pennsylvania before we have to see Lt.Gov John Fetterman morph completely into the un-named alien from 'Battleship'...

    That's right, I had stoned for lunch...


  14. [14] 
    Bleyd wrote:

    JTC [12]
    [ dih-loo-zhuh-nl ]
    having false or unrealistic beliefs or opinions

    I think that's a pretty apt word to describe a lot of people in this country right now.

  15. [15] 
    Kick wrote:

    John From Censornati

    He outed himself responding to his own tweet. Heh.

    The Trumplican propaganda machine wherein they run multiple accounts across Twitter and Facebook posing as "Black Americans" and directly targeting them with disinformation, and for every one of them posing as a "Black American," there are multiple Russians doing likewise... so much so that even the MAGA minions and QAnon-sense rubes are thoroughly convinced of the utter asinine fantasy that "Black Americans" love Trump.

    Make no mistake, though, that it was indeed those very Americans who chose Joe Biden and delivered South Carolina and the Democratic nomination and then organized their asses off and voted in massive numbers and helped flip Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even Georgia.

    So suck it, Trump. Far from delivering for "Black Americans" and your repetitive moronic prattle regarding Abraham Lincoln, you are the recipient of a collective giant middle finger wherein they've impressively and definitively helped deliver America from you. :)

  16. [16] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    The funny thing about this election is how much it seems like a re-run of Kentucky's 2019 election for governor. Matt Bevin (R) was an obnoxious, incompetent Trump wannabe who thought that insulting anybody who disagreed with him was a good idea. He was running for re-election against our AG Andy Beshear(D) who just seemed like a normal, decent guy whose father had also been governor.

    We had really high turnout and Beshear narrowly defeated Bevin. The GOP otherwise did quite well. Bevin lost because voters hated him, not the GOP.

    Bevin refused to concede and made a lot of unfounded accusations of voting irregularities in West Louisville. That, of course, means black people. The GOP didn't follow him for very long (maybe a week or so).

    Bevin pardoned a whole lot of people on his way out and some of them were truly outrageous. That put the final nail in his political coffin. He's finished and nobody cares what he tweets.

    I voted for Beshear although I really didn't want him to be governor. Bevin had to go and Beshear was the only alternative. I have to admit that I've been pleasantly surprised by Beshear. He has done an outstanding job managing the pandemic in a red state.

    I hope that Biden makes his presidency feel like a re-run of that as well.

  17. [17] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    "Delusions are fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence. Their content may include a variety of themes (e.g. persecutory, referential, somatic, religious, grandiose).[…] Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible and not understandable to same-culture peers and do not derive from ordinary life experiences. […] The distinction between a delusion and a strongly held idea is sometimes difficult to make and depends in part on the degree of conviction with which the belief is held despite clear or reasonable contradictory evidence regarding its veracity."

    Do you really think 72 million of these people are active in your community?

    If so, it's Mental healthcare-for-all America needs most urgently. Agreed?

    Nah, I'm not buying it.

    I believe the folks who vote to the right are willfully disinclined to pull back the curtain with Trump and therefore essentially dishonest.

    I'm not sure how selling the 'delusional' narrative to explain away a fundamental character flaw of 72 million people does any good going forward?


  18. [18] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    I tend to agree with you. The same theory applies to religion. They say they believe every word of the fantastical zombie BS in the BuyBull, but I find that very difficult to believe.

  19. [19] 
    James T Canuck wrote:


    At best, all we can really count on is the courage of belief.

    I think ultimately Trump and Trumpism will see it's least stalwart members flake off and return to the fold. Some will enter their hereafter convinced that black is white, that the rain is dry and the cat indeed barks at the dog. There's no telling how many.


  20. [20] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Another thought occurs to me, I'm concerned how Biden and the Democrats deal with Trump once no doubt remains and Biden is installed as president.

    Up until now, I've not seen the will to deal Trumpism the coup de grace history will eventually measure this time by.

    Trump, Trumpism, and all the odious apparatus thereto need purging from American society, not wafting away in the hope that it comes to its senses.

    The Chinese have a simple solution, quietly lock a few million people, lovingly beat some communism into them over a decade and either work them death in warm surroundings or spit them back into society as cured.

    I'm sure America can come up with its own solution.


  21. [21] 
    MyVoice wrote:

    [16] John From Censornati

    The funny thing about this election is how much it seems like a re-run of Kentucky's 2019 election for governor. Matt Bevin (R) was an obnoxious, incompetent Trump wannabe who thought that insulting anybody who disagreed with him was a good idea. He was running for re-election against our AG Andy Beshear(D) who just seemed like a normal, decent guy whose father had also been governor.

    We had really high turnout and Beshear narrowly defeated Bevin. The GOP otherwise did quite well. Bevin lost because voters hated him, not the GOP.

    This does, indeed sound like very much a re-run, which begs the now-annual question of how the polls could have been so wrong. How, for example, did a sure loser like Susan Collins retain her seat so handily?

    I don't see that the hand-wringing has yet started in earnest, but did find an interesting perspective this morning in One pollster’s explanation for why the polls got it wrong wherein pollster David Shor posits that results in 2016, 2018, and 2020, demonstrate that old assumptions about weighting responses to adjust for various census-related factors no longer produce a realistic sample of the voting population.

    His thesis boils down to "[T]he people who answer polls are not the same as people who don't." One can correct and adjust until the cows come home, but it doesn't change the fact that those who will answer polls are definitely not representative of those who won't. It used to be that the assumption that people who trusted their neighbors basically voted the same as people who didn’t trust their neighbors produced a reasonably good approximation of the entire population, but it no longer does.

    He finds that today's poll respondents:
    • Are more politically engaged
    • Have much higher agreeableness [a measure of how cooperative and warm people are]
    • Have higher levels of social trust

    Time for some new tools and updated modeling.

  22. [22] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Sweet, a FOX NEWS alert...

    'Trump voters are less inclined to be truthful to pollsters because they claim to distrust polls in general'

    QED innit.



  23. [23] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Aw...It's co nice to see Trump out and after his bout of chicken shit...

    His Drs said a nice gloat at a military cemetery would do him the world of good.

    See, coup de grace...


  24. [24] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I know that in the past the GSA has given the incoming administration access to everything they need prior to the final EC vote is finalized, but that has always been done only after the other party concedes. Yes, Trump is being childish and his actions are damaging to how democracies are viewed around the world, but Biden’s people have plenty to do that can be done until the EC vote is officially finalized. There are lots worse things this is administration has been doing that deserves more attention than this story!

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