Another day, another opportunity for Donald Trump to exhibit his perpetual state of fear for all to see. Trump regularly displays how scared he is via relentless and invariably false attacks on his perceived enemies. These dastardly foes include Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, the “fake” news, the “Deep State,” and anyone who dares to show him anything less than undying adoration.
The tone of Trump’s tweets is more untethered to reality – and even decency – as he sinks further into the abyss of the legal jeopardy that is weighing so heavily on his alleged conscience. Some recent rants have taken a decidedly low road as he mocks Pelosi’s teeth, Schiff’s name, and even cyberbullied 16 year old climate activist, Greta Thunberg.
In recent weeks Trump’s trepidation has been squarely focused on the threat of his imminent impeachment. This week the House of Representatives will make that final with a vote convicting him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But Trump still managed to find time to expose his inherent cowardice by criticizing the Commission on Presidential Debates and signalling his possible refusal to participate. In a starkly passive-aggressive fashion, he began by saying that he looked forward to debating the eventual Democratic nominee and he bragged about what a formidable opponent he would be. But that bravado quickly faded into snowflakey paranoia:
….to me, and there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission. I will make a decision at an appropriate time but in the meantime, the Commission on Presidential Debates is NOT authorized to speak for me (or R’s)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2019
The Commission has been producing these debates for more than thirty years without a hint of bias or partisanship. It’s officers are an evenly balanced array of Democrats, Republicans, journalists, and academics. But to Trump, any organization that he can’t control is viewed as hostile and “stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers.” His charge that he was the victim of a deliberate “modulation” of his microphone is just another Trumpian falsehood, like the claim that his inauguration crowd was the biggest ever, or that China is paying billions to the U.S. in tariffs, or that his border wall is being built, or that … well, there are 14,000 more of these lies. Let’s just note that Trump is lying again. And he has no evidence that the Commission is anti-Trump or biased in any way. It’s just the paranoid voices in his head telling him that everyone is out to get him.
However, the most absurd claim in this tweet tantrum is Trump’s contention that “As President, the debates are up to me.” There is absolutely no rational basis for that delusional opinion. The only thing that’s up to him is whether he chooses to participate or not. If he bails, it won’t be the first time his cowardice has set his agenda. Trump refused to participate in a Republican primary debate in 2015 because he was afraid of Megyn Kelly of Fox News who was one of the moderators. So he staged a campaign stunt instead that he said would benefit veterans. It was later discovered that he failed to disburse the money that he raised.
Like most bullies, Trump is actually a shivering bundle of nerves who avoids any situation that triggers his fears. As President, Trump has declined to appear at the annual conventions of the NAACP. He has also chickened out of attending the charity fundraising dinners for the White House Correspondent’s Association.
But Trump’s dismissal of the independent Commission debates has ominous overtones. He really believes that, because he’s the President, he gets to decide when and how these events are done. That’s the mindset of a totalitarian who seeks to subvert democracy. It’s a theory he might have picked up from his pals Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, who control elections in order to retain power. And it’s totally in character for Trump to pursue this path wherein he tries to assume powers he doesn’t have, while whining about how he’s such a victim – the poor baby fuhrer.
If Trump doesn’t want to show up for the debates, that’s fine. Democrats will get over his absence. But he cannot pretend that he’s running them. And America will see that he’s just afraid to face any challenge in the same way that he was afraid to be interviewed by Robert Mueller, and is afraid now to testify at his impeachment. The boy who had his father invent “bone spurs” to get him out of military duty, grew up to be a world-class wimp.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.