Those around a mentally impaired person who is unable to face facts will often give into that person’s wishful narrative—the sheer drive is often difficult to overcome. — Bandy Lee, in Salon’s Trump’s Mental Health Is Now A National And Global Emergency
The concept that mentally ill people can and do co-opt those around them into their delusional interpretation of the world is on clear display in the impeachment trial of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. Given that many of his lawyers and the Repube senators are on record having once held reasonable opinions on impeachment — at least when it was a Democratic president being impeached — tells us that their views have been warped by Trump’s narcissistic delusion that he is the state.
The Narcissistic Delusion
So great is the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s narcissistic delusion that his needs are inseparable from those of the states a la a common Louis XVI or even Napoleon, he has managed to subsume the entire Repube Party. Listening to the twisted convoluted reasoning of the WH lawyers and his Senate and House defenders is not only embarrassingly painful, it defies all reason. In a word, their reasoning is delusional, as deluded as the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s. It is not grounded in any way, shape, or form in reality.
Indulge me this one small indulgence: Yes, the framers of the Constitution wanted a balance of power between the branches of government so we would not have a parliamentary government in which the legislature could easily remove the executive nor an authoritarian government in which the executive functions unchecked by the other two branches. The framers prescribed a super majority of two-thirds of the senators needing to vote to remove the executive to prevent the parliamentary easy removal of the executive but allow for a check on the executive by the legislature. It would ensure that removal would not be a partisan move.
What the framers did not anticipate is that there would be a party in power that averred the principles of democracy so much that they would ignore overwhelming evidence of wrong doing and refuse any additional evidence and uniformly be predetermined to acquit an impeached president. They did not anticipate that elected officials would have such disdain for the principles of democracy, liberty, and justice that they would place the needs of their party over those of the nation and maintaining a democracy.
They new that it was always possible for tyranny to raise its ugly head in our midst, but as long as everyone else in the government maintained the norms and traditions of our democracy and followed the spirit of the law and Constitution, it would be contained and thwarted. Self-indulgent aside now at an end.
Narcissism dictates that the narcissist believes he is so special that exceptions to any law or norm will be made for him. That is clearly what is happening here. The Ol’ Pussy Grabber acts with such obvious corruptness because he believes we will make an exception for him and low and behold the Repubes are! He has co-opted them in his delusion. They are making an exception for him! Now, they must rationalize it for the rest of us, so we don’t hold them and the Ol’ Pussy Grabber accountable.
Normalizing the Narcissistic Delusion
How did this happen? How is it that one of the two major parties in our system is no longer supporting democracy but openly working towards creating a single-party pseudo-democratic authoritarian regime? How is it that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has become the wrecking ball that the Repubes are using against every institution and tradition of our democracy?
There has long been an authoritarian bend to the Repbues, but we won’t address that here. That discussion belongs to another post. While the Repubes are using the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, he his using them, too. And, he has used a number of techniques, if you will, to convince them to abandon our democratic way of life.
First, he has carefully driven out any member of his cabinet who had any loyalty to the Constitution over him. Jim Mattis was the last of these types who were brought into the government to act as guardrails on the Blunderer-in-Chief. That gave the Ol’ Pussy Grabber greater freedom to commit all the corruptions without the necessity of trying to hide it from certain people in his cabinet.
Second, he has bullied most of the elected Repubes in Congress into submission. By mean-tweeting at them and siccing his flying-monkey brigade on them, he has ensured that those remaining will tow the line, and those leaving, and I’m looking at you Will Hurd, and they left in droves before the 2018 election, who still wanted paid work in the conservative realm would tow the line, too. Those he could not bully in this way, either because they weren’t elected or up for re-election anytime soon, he blackmailed, ain’t that right Alan Dershowitz?
And, if you’ll further indulge another aside, may I say that whatever Alan Dershowitz did with his underwear still on — I suppose such a claim could include wearing it on his head — with his underage masseuse at Jeffry Epstein’s place was sufficiently illegal and immoral as to push him into making such ridiculous arguments. There is a positive correlation between the absurdity of what he is saying and the depravity of his acts with that girl. Self-indulgent aside #2, over.
Third, he has simply worn others down. Most of his hanger-on and sycophants had tendency to corruption, racism, misogyny, or all three to begin with, but when exposed to the daily racist, misogynistic bombast and illicit and illegal schemes of his inner circle, it just started to become normal.
We base our beliefs about what is normal on what we see every day, on what people around us are doing. So, folks like Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo while they may have started out as cruel racist and misogynistic bastards who were not beneath bending the rules for personal gain and profit, they were easy to seduce into the blatant racist, misogynist, corrupt goings on in the White House.
Those who were more dedicated to the job and Constitution, like those who wrote to Bolton telling him that his entire book was a national security threat and couldn’t be published, have been nickle and dimed into the corruption. Like the frog in the gradually warming water, they hardly noticed as they went a long with more and more corrupt orders. They rationalized their reasons for staying and doing worser and worser things.
And fourth, those who have not been required to act corruptly or immorally or directly against our democracy, have succumb to the bystander effect. The bystander effect is a social phenomenon in which members of a crowd assume that someone else will take care of a vital function like calling an ambulance or the police, so they don’t have to do so. And, in the same way, a crowd will watch an injured person bleed out without anyone calling 911, the remaining members of the Repube Party are telling themselves that someone else will call out the corruption, someone else will take responsibility, that #MoscowMitch wouldn’t let them do something that was truly corrupt or destructive to the government. They allow responsibility to be diffused across the entire party so that their individual actions will not be responsible for the destroying our democracy and they as individuals won’t be bear responsibility.
Jettisoning the Narcissistic Delusion
In case, you’re worried that these poor Repube souls have been permanently stained, blackened, or injured, don’t. It will pass as soon as the Ol’ Pussy Grabber is out of office. No other president will be afforded such a deluded defense of their incompetent corruption. The Repubes will return to their belief that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress are impeachable offenses as soon as they can accuse a Democratic president of them. And, you know they will impeach the next Democratic president just as soon as they are able. They were writing Clinton’s articles of impeachment in October 2016, weren’t they? Hell, they’ll just adapt them! The next Repube president won’t allow their corruption to be so clumsy or transparent as to require such convoluted arguments to defend.
So, you see, it’s all good. As long as you don’t mind trading in our democracy for a single-party pseudo-democratic authoritarian regime that exists solely to transfer the nation’s wealth to the 1% as fast as possible and make it easier for corporations to make a profit. Don’t let a little thing like climate change bother you, either. Once we’ve gotten the 1% wealthy enough, they’ll be able to afford to cope with it without hardly changing their decadent lifestyles at all.