Continuing to explore an issue I have addressed with morbid fascination these past months, Dana Milbank writes, Trump’s not a liar. He’s a madman.
I find Milbank’s conclusion curious. It seems to me that evidence is mounting that Trump’s lies are often conscious and strategic. Recent examples: the claim that the Democrats are responsible for separating children from parents at the border, and the assertion that there was an FBI “spy” in his campaign.
People who are actually successful have a number of techniques at their disposal, but Trump has only four: smarmy flattery, insults, threats, and lies. If you are the type of person whose behavior can be influenced by these techniques, then Trump has your number. If you are not affected by obviously insincere flattery, by verbal abuse, or by intimidation, and if you do not believe his lies, then Trump is flat out of luck, because that’s all he knows how to do.
Milbank cites evidence that the velocity of Trump’s lies is increasing at a dizzying rate. But the mere fact of lying is not in itself evidence of madness. It is instead evidence of desperation.
In addition, it seems that the lies are becoming so ludicrous that it’s like he’s just phoning it in.
As the dying cobra makes a last effort to defend itself from the mongoose by injecting more venom, it’s not crazy. It’s just ineffectual. ‘Cause the cobra has become immune to the venom.
Something like Shep Smith reacting to Trump’s venomous lies.