Apropos the Great Unraveling, many have remarked on how, last night, the Evening Gaslighting Show reached a new low, as Orange Man publicly failed to bully his science advisers into joining his medical fantasy world.
And this morning—in fact, just a few minutes ago—the fivethirtyeight.com rolling average of Trump approvers and disapprovers showed him underwater by a full nine points.
Thus far, Lizard Brain has shown a certain animal cunning: he is in fact capable, sometimes, of switching positions and going against his notorious “gut” when he perceives a dire political threat.
One assumes he now perceives a dire political threat. Witness the public unraveling at the Evening Gaslighting Show.
He may well understand that his effort to turn the virus into a culture war has put him squarely on the side of, maybe, 15 percent of the population, and squarely against, say, 65 to 70 percent.
Politically, the wise choice would be a no-brainer: reverse course by 180 degrees.
But doing so would create a big problem: possible loss of financial and political support from the loonier fringe of the political class.
Irresistible force, meet immovable object.
I see three possibilities.
Possibility One: Trump sees that the right thing is also the politically expedient thing—stop gaslighting, invoke the full powers of his office, find a competent person to take control, get the hell out of the way, and claim credit for the whole thing.
Possibility Two: just keep on slipslidin’ away, until he’s down to Obamacare repeal level of approval, around 36 percent, or maybe lower.
Possibility Three: take no coherent action, sink more deeply into incoherence and public display of severe mental illness.
I have idea on God’s green earth which of these will come to pass. But I would be willing to bet some spare change on Possibility Three.