Trump, Biden, and projection

So, this is one of those weeks where I have so much to say, I end up saying nothing at all.  Sorry.  And, if I start thinking I want to write about something else besides impeachment (e.g., the really distressing position the Supreme Court seems to be taking on religion and schools) I start thinking how can I write about that with impeachment going on.  Sad result– nothing.  The good news is I’ve made some good progress on revision research for publication.

But, here’s one thought on impeachment that is surely not original to me, but just occurred to me for the first time today driving home and listening to the hearings on NPR…

I think to a significant degree the whole mess is driven by the fact that Trump actually cannot believe somebody would be in Biden’s position and not take advantage of the situation to help his child.  We have overwhelming evidence that Trump care not a wit for moral, ethical, and legal guidelines where he thinks he can get away with things.  We also have overwhelming evidence that Trump time and time again accuses his political opponents of what he is actually guilty of (I found Peter Beinart writing about this back in 2017).  Actually, just google “Trump there’s a tweet for that” and you’ll find example after example of him accusing others of what is now his own malfeasance.

Honestly, Trump is a man of limited imagination and limited empathy so it really is hard for him to conceive of Joe Biden being in the position he was in and not abusing it for corrupt purposes.  So, he’s surely convinced himself that, no matter what else, he was right in pursuing Biden’s “corruption.”  As Lindsey Graham just put it,

All I can tell you is from the president’s point of view, he did nothing wrong in his mind

And that’s probably true.  Thing is, I actually expect you can say the same thing for Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy (not to truly compare the president to a serial killer– point being even the most heinous criminals don’t see themselves that way).  So, sorry Senator Graham, but being innocent in your own mind is not much of a defense.

If I was going to say more, I would probably mention that somehow, I actually manage to keep being somewhat surprised by how much the Republican senators are willing to debase themselves in service to Trump.  Clearly, I’m not cynical enough.  And if you really want to know what I haven’t been writing about, I have been retweeting the best takes plenty this week (i.e., Steve Greene, mucking through twitter so you don’t have to).

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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