I don’t know how the election will go next week, so I will wait until the votes are counted to offer a purported explanation. But there are a few other things that I do know.
The Luxury of Trauma
It’s amusing that Politico solemnly informs us today that Democrats traumatized by 2016 are having pre-midterms nightmares. I suppose that is probably true of many. But this I know: when you are in the fight of your life, you cannot afford to be traumatized.
Trump’s Inexplicable Behavior
Meanwhile, Ross Douthat is, I think, on much sounder ground in lamenting The Luck of the Democrats: Trump could have flattened liberalism. Instead he’s given it an opening.
I deplore Douthat’s desiderata but believe he is probably right, or almost right, in his analysis of some plausible counterfactuals. But something important needs to be added to Douthat’s analysis this morning. Remember how, in his dubious book, Michael Wolff told us how Trump didn’t want to be elected president? If you bear that in mind, the best explanation for the Trump behavior that Douthat finds inexplicable is that Trump does not actually want to lead a governing coalition.
And so here’s another thing I know. I know that when your adversary seems to be crazy, there are three and only three explanations: (1) Your adversary is actually crazy. Or, (2) your adversary has figured out something that you haven’t figured out, and isn’t crazy at all. But don’t forget the third possibility: (3) your adversary seems to be crazy because he isn’t actually pursuing the goal he tells you he is pursuing, or the goal you would expect someone in his position to be pursuing. So, given his real goal, not his presumed or expected goal, he actions are appropriately attuned to his end.
Women’s Reactions to Asshole Male Behavior
Finally, on an optimistic note, this Daily Kos headline: Midterms 2018: Women are ready to win the fight.
This I know: though there are exceptions, by and large women are much, much, much less tolerant of assholery than we Y-chromosome folk. Probably because they suffer more assholery than we men have to put up with.
So I know something that Trump does not know: watch out for the women.