The nagging mystery of Trump's BS

It’s one thing for Trump to order his vice president to intervene in the electoral vote count on Capitol Hill to somehow enable himself to remain in office after Jan. 20. That coupish behavior doesn’t require or presume that Trump thought he’d actually won the election. It’s something else entirely for Trump to listen to cranks who truly believe he was the rightful winner, denied his victory by nefarious forces. Why would he do that unless he was inclined to believe it himself and longed for vindication?

But did the cranks really believe it themselves? I can’t say what was going on in the heads of Wood and Powell this time last year, but Wood recently released what he claims is a recording of a conversation between himself and Flynn in which the latter appears to say that QAnon is “total nonsense” and a “disinformation campaign created by the left.” That would imply Flynn, at least, doesn’t actually believe the lies and conspiracy theories he peddled to the president of the United States and which he regularly repeats to the disturbingly large number of Americans who apparently do believe in QAnon, Americans for whom Flynn has become a leading public champion…

Though perhaps the truest and scariest possibility is that neither option is wholly accurate — that what the Trumpfied Republicans are actually doing is practicing a form of politics and way of comporting themselves in the world in which the difference between truth and lies, veracity and falsehood, sanity and psychosis is no longer even relevant. In place of such distinctions would be an amorphous and indistinct blurring of wishes, interests, passions, assertions, and counter-assertions lacking any solid ground from which to evaluate any of it in objective terms. We’d get the worst of both worlds: reckless decisions behind closed doors and maximal craziness.