At a water cooler or Starbucks near you, speculating about Donald Trump's psychological state is America's newest cultural obsession. Is the president crazy? Or crazy like a fox?
I don't know. What I do know is that Trump's Democratic opponents are doomed if they think they can beat him by acting reasonable. Haven't they learned anything from Hillary's disastrous "when they go low, we go high" shtick?
Point of order: what follows are musings about political strategy, not an impassioned "Trump is evil and here's how to get rid of him" advisory column. If this makes you want to read no further, here's the big reveal: Democrats are congenital wimps.
Still here? Awesome.
This Week In Trump (TWIT): the president accused ex-president/drone killer/kitesurfer/eight-figure author Barack Obama of having his phones tapped during last year's election. Is he right?
I don't know. What I do know is that corporate media is ridiculing Trump for "offering no evidence." That phrase was in the New York Times' headline. Nice qualifier; a similar expression of uncertainty would have saved hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives during the Bush-Judy Miller days. "Citing no evidence," said the Los Angeles Times about Trump's claim . Since when does that corrupt paper care about evidence? If you can see past its crazy tone and placement on Twitter, the substance of Trump's charge is hardly outlandish.
True or false, Trump's accusation is a blockbuster. Whether by design or coincidence, the resulting tsunami of coverage wiped the question of whether attorney general Jeff Sessions lied under oath about meeting with the Russian ambassador and whether he made any untoward promises during those rendezvous.
Political observers have noticed a pattern in Trump's behavior. Whenever he's under fire, Trump does something bigger and more outrageous.
Magically, Trump's troubles go: poof!
Grab them by the p*ssy," Trump was caught saying on video just before his key second debate against Hillary Clinton. "You can do anything." Seasoned politicos, including your humble narrator, thought his campaign was all over. So Trump invited three women who'd accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to attend the debate. It was a gangster move. A WWE move. And no one could stop talking about it.
Goodbye PussyGate, hello White House!
Again, I'm not weighing in on Trump or his policies here. This is about politics and human psychology and how Trump understands them better than the Democrats.
It has been suggested to me by frustrated Democrats and progressives that Americans should be reminded that the Real Issue is Jeff Sessions' lying about Russia. They say that the media ought to ignore Trump's accusation against Obama.
Sorry, guys. That won't work.