E.J. Dionne asks the question, but does not answer it in any definitive or persuasive way. Reminds me of the headlines I always read in Popular Photographer when I was a wee lad. They were forever asking questions like, Is the New Canon AAA the Best Camera Ever? They never answered the question.
Later on, as a litigitator, Aardvark always acted on the working assumption that his adversaries were acting in their own rational best interest, and tried to reverse engineer their strategy based on that working hypothesis. Sometimes that worked, but sometimes it was a lost cause: no rational thinking explained your adversary’s actions and positions.
Like Aardvark, Jennifer Rubin, who used to swoon over Romney, has just bloody well given up:
The supposition among pundits, elected officials and political insiders is that Trump, like his argument over the inaugural crowd size, “lies” to make himself feel better. His staff salutes, repeats his lies and then gets bashed. What if, however, he thoroughly, “honestly” believes his crazy, unsubstantiated claims? When he denies saying something, what if he honestly does not, cannot recall statements that now come back to haunt him?
He seemed awfully sincere about his reprehensible birther conspiracy theories until it became inconvenient to say so. Before reverting to sycophantic form after his primary defeat, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), incensed about Trump’s assertion that Cruz’s father participated in the JFK assassination, called Trump a “pathological liar.” He said, “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And he had a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook. His response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”
Today, Dionne and many others are asking whether the great 5 Million Illegal Voters lie is part of a rational (though evil) scheme to further restrict voting rights. It certainly could be. But if that was your goal, wouldn’t you tell a more plausible lie? Wouldn’t a rational person grasp that a lie this big would be likely to undercut, not support, your wicked scheme to restrict voting rights? And if that is the case, what plausible hypothesis is left other than that he really believes his alternative reality?
Ms. Rubin says she isn’t yet—emphasizing “yet”—canning for the invocation of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment (the part of the Constitution that could let the country get rid of a loonytunes President.)
Keith Olbermann, however, has had enough and says it’s time for The Donald to resign on grounds of insanity.