I was just watching the talking heads on the teevee. One of them observed that a Republican senator had commented—far, far off the record, naturally—that Trump’s release of the “transcript” this morning was a “big mistake.”
The anonymous Republican senator had, plainly, lost his moral compass, but he had not lost his mind.
Let me tell you a little story. Some years back, Dr. Aardvark and I were tutoring in an after school program down in the inner city. She had worked up a dandy educational lesson for little Tyrone, and I was charged with implementing it. Shortly after Tyrone came into the room, the assistant principal showed up, and served him with papers confirming that he was to be suspended for the next two days. Naturally, Tyrone went catatonic on me, and there was no further tutoring that day.
But here’s the point of the story: investigation revealed the cause of the suspension. Tyrone’s teacher had corrected some misbehavior on his part, and he had responded by saying, “Shut up, bitch, or I’ll hit you upside the head!” It was, of course, clear that, based on his life experience, Tyrone thought that was the way males were supposed to talk to females. He was deeply offended by his punishment, which he deemed to be wholly unjustified.
Why did Trump release the damning “transcript” of his talk with Ukraine’s president?
Because Trump’s thinking is so distorted that he really did think it was exculpatory.
That much is quite clear. What is less clear is why his entourage let him release the damning transcript. I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do have a good working hypothesis.