Suggested reads this morning:
Lacking the ability to read minds, I do not know for sure why Trump does what he does. But, based on the observable facts, I believe I do know the simplest and most persuasive explanation for his vile tactics.
Trump is not acting crazy because he is crazy. He is not inadvertently committing political malpractice by emphasizing racism over good economic news. He has not figured out something that we have not figured out. (Certainly, he has figured out that his strongest supporters are racists, but at this point, that’s not a surprise.)
I believe, instead, that, knowing what is coming with Mueller, he wants to stage authoritarian mob scenes in order to try to scare the shit out of the rest of us.
And, as Chait points out, he is now overtly inciting political violence.
He has already succeeded in unleashing the nutjobs, and he will probably unleash a good many others in the next little while. But will the overall intimidation effort succeed or fail? We will know a lot more by bedtime on Tuesday.