Monday, September 12, 2022

Shamelessness Is Their Superpower

In which the old Emperor shows more of a sense of shame than you'll ever see from Chris Christie, or Marquito Rubio, or the entire Roberts court.

I'm more and more serious about this, I think, partly because of the way it's worked for Trump's supporters and Walker's supporters. Not entirely for Trump himself—he really does have a sense of shame from which the entourage can't always defend him, as in that awful moment when he was booed at the 2019 World Series and you could see him starting to cry. Trump's understanding of everyday right and wrong is so weak that he doesn't have any reliable sense of what he ought to be ashamed of to guide him in his actions, though, and he never found out exactly why they were booing; but in general it works out for him the same way as it does for Haley, because the public response is the same—only his enemies ever disapprove of him, and he always gets away with it, at least until now. 

And whatever it is, a sense of shame is his weakness: the closest he ever comes to getting caught is when he's trying to hide things, from the hush payments to his occasional girlfriends and the mysteries of his tax records to the ten counts of obstruction on which Mueller should have nailed him and the trove of stolen documents that he's still trying to hide after the FBI has gotten hold of them.

Unlike the Republicans now recalibrating their abortion positions and making no attempt to hide that they've changed them: 

Or Justices Alito and Thomas writing self-evidently incompetent opinions for a party-line decision and getting all huffy and surprised by the negative reactions, not to mention Mr. Chief Justice Roberts, who had the sense to recognize that overturning Roe was bad politics, but serenely expects our continued respect:

Or former Trump adviser Christopher Christie being so pained by Biden's speech, which he claims to take as a personal attack:

Or Senator Marco Rubio calling Trump's vast document theft a "storage issue" (indirectly acknowledging that his condemnation of Hillary Clinton's email storage issue was no big deal, though he seemed to think it was high treason a few short years ago)

and perfectly willing to see the real secrets exposed as long as it's a Republican president who's responsible. Shameless. And it gives them a kind of invulnerability, and I can't see what can be done about it.

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